So I have to say in the world of ballet, it is SO easy to get stuck in a rut with the same teacher. I love Pam at Cincinnati Ballet. She was so great for getting me back to where I was three years ago. For those who don't know me, I had to stop ballet because of working on the cruise ships made it nearly impossible. I started again this time last year and it has been a long and very painful road. I am getting to the point though that I feel Pam isn't challenging me enough. This is probably the reason why I put the pointe shoes on for center: challenge.
I discovered De La Arts in Oakley via my artistic director (actually former A.D. since he needs to take a break), Kevin. Him and I have rehearsed there because it was convenient for me but then I started taking classes and Mario just gives a hard class...for me it seems at least. Or maybe I just like getting my butt kicked every once in a while.
So I have been down at De La Arts taking class for a couple weeks now because I haven't been able to make it to Pam's class because of work and school. Today I got a one on one lesson with Mario. He is the first teacher EVER to tell me I have a nice body and nice lines. REALLY! Short and muscular little me. I was shocked (actually I am still in disbelief...but that is the difference between a Balanchine aesthetic and a more Modern/Realistic one). But what I learned is that I am using my legs all wrong...I am working them too hard because I know they are my powerhouse.
Mario also said I have great flexibility, especially in my back. I laughed and said, "Shit! You should have seen me 5 years ago." He is also teaching me how to relax in turns because I get all tensed up during them in trying to execute doubles and triples.
And then there was the epiphany:
"Kristi, I have taught you 3 times in the last 2 weeks and I have come to the conclusion that you are a straight forward, technical oriented, anal retentive dancer in class [ba ha ha ha...yes I know because everyone else has told me my technique sucks during auditions!]. Just let go and relax! I have seen you perform and it is like watching 2 different people. Stop being hard on yourself and let go!"
That's a novel idea! So I did. My turns were better and my jumps were lighter and quite frankly: I WAS HAPPIER!
The long and the short of it: Awesome Class today!
Mario is officially on the list of all time favorite dance teachers!