Have you ever seen The Nutcracker? For our latest UK Ballet Meet Up, the plan was to learn some of the snowflake corps de ballet routine:
Pretty nerve-wracking if, like me, you casually attend on ballet class a week (two on a good week!) and don't like to perform!
Luckily I had no need to worry - the lovely Karis from EverybodyBallet was in charge and led a lovely class with adapted sections from the ballet. We started with a 30min barre to warm up (I love barre work! It's so simple and difficult and disciplined all at once!), before spending 2 hours on the snowflake choreography.
One thing we all learnt very quickly - snowflakes aren't delicate and floaty, they're spiky. A lot of the movements were surprisingly quick and we had to get used to using straight arms (as opposed to usually maintaining a delicate curve).
And then there were the hands. At select moments during the piece we had to "shimmer" our fingers in a snowflaky manner (I'm not sure how many snowflakes you've met, but I'm assured that they all shimmer their fingers!). This looked beautifully delicate when demonstrated by Karis, however I'm convinced my version was a cross between jazz-hands and spirit-fingers (oh gosh - that's a dodgy reference to cheerleading film Bring It On (and its sequels!)). Suffice to say, less snowflake and more west end musical. It wasn't until after the class that I discovered many of my classmates had made the same link and we had all been trying desperately not to go too "jazz" with our snowflakes!
What was amazing about the class was how many people were there! At our very first meet-up there were just 5 of us taking the clad (plus a couple of spectators/photographers). At this incarnation (number four) there was 15 of us! Crazy. It was so nice to meet more ballet people and chat with them after class. Some had travelled from as far away as Lincoln just for our ballet workshop! That's dedication, and a testament to the amazing organisation as of Becca :)
I've saved the best for last: somehow I ended up in a tutu! Still not completely sure how that happened, but it actually worked! It made dancing in my little group of snowflakes more fun and I felt a bit more floaty (erm... I mean spiky of course!). Not really my thing though - I expect it'll be a while before I find myself donning one again!
Apologies for the slightly dodgy iphone pics - I didn't have a decent camera with me! Much too busy dancing to take proper photos anyway!