Thursday 19 April 2012

Twinkle toes?! Not quite!

Ever since I left school, I've been saying that I miss ballet classes, so after a 12 year gap I've finally got myself organised and trundled along to a class.

Organising myself was a nightmare - I had to get to a dance shop and buy some ballet shoes for a start. At least the woman in the shop was helpful; she even helped me sort out what to wear, which was my second problem...

What does one wear to an adult ballet class? As a teenager there was a strict dress-code: in my case it was dusty pink leotard (with capped sleeves I think) or navy leotard (with thin straps) depending on the class I was attending. These were teamed with pale pink tights and hair scraped back into a bun. But what about an adult class? Would there still be leotards? Baggy, casual fitness gear? Or maybe something inbetween? I was really worried about standing out from the crowd.

I finally settled on leggings and a baggy-ish top, plus my shiny new ballet shoes :) I hurriedly sewed the elastics onto my shoes, carefully forgot to take a water bottle and rushed out to the studio...

I loved it! 

It took all my brain power to follow the instructions for each exercise (especially with all of the terms being in French) and then try to repeat them in time to the music whilst my muscles occassionally refused to comply. And my complete lack of flexibility raised it's head a couple of times (put my leg on the bar? - I may be nearly 6" tall but there's no way that's happening!). I even managed a few piroettes! They weren't particularly graceful, but still not bad considering!

I sewed that elastic on myself!

The only problem is how my legs have reacted since. Basically, my calf muscles haven't worked that hard in a long time - all that pushing through your legs, pulling up, balancing on the balls of your feet and a whole load of jumping. Yesterday they were pretty sore, and today I'm actually limping! And in trying not to hurt myself, I've seem to have altered my posture so that my weight is entirely on my heels and my feet feel like I've been stood around all day.

Hopefully, by next week I'll be able to walk properly so I can go to my second class.

Did you do dance classes as a child? Any urge to revisit that experience?
And any tips for easing calf muscles?!


Rachelle Q said...

Wow, that's great! So nice that you are revisiting something you love:) I hope your muscles recover quickly.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I never did dance as a kid but I did some dance in high school on the dance team. I always wanted to be a ballerina though, sounds like a fun class, although hope you are feeling better after the next one.

Elle said...

I never danced as a child but did do 3 years of ballet in my 20's... mostly for exercise but I loved it. I was never good at it.

I wore pink shoes to class too, but recall buying black ones to use as slippers... tucked them in my bag and trundled them around to visits to friends so I could take my shoes off and have something nice and comfy on my feet - never sewed elastics on any of them though.

I bet your legs are sore! I just stood up and went through the 5 positions, barely! yikes.

How is this going to work with running, I wonder?

Have fun with it.