Last year when all the anxiety was following me around and I was skipping ballet class here, there and everywhere, we had started to learn the mother of all ballet moves; fouetté turns en pointe.
The progress was minimal over four or five months thanks to skipping class and dreading class when I got there because I knew there would be fouettés to do.
Since getting a regular ballet class back in March I can proudly say I have not let anxiety get in the way and I have 100% attendance. After a bit of a shaky trying to remember which muscles helped when you dance en pointe, I can happily say that our ballet-skills are back where they were last August. And last week, for some reason, that could only mean one thing.
I think my reaction went along the lines of ‘that’s a bit sudden.’ Eight weeks in and we’re already back at fouettés.’
All the fouetté fears. Falling off pointe, falling over, not being able to repeatedly relevé onto the same foot (especially the left), lack of balance, lack of ability, lack of flexibility, worrying if the pointe shoes have entered the dying stage…
Ballet is still a challenge, even five years of learning the art form. Each week there’s a challenge, be it the challenge of watching your body in the studio mirrors and not finding a lump or bump to criticize to reaching the end of a hip killing 45 minute barre routine. And fouettés have always been the biggest challenge, probably because they are the biggest ‘techinical’ goal in ballet. They represent and show the skill and strength of the dancer, and not only that, they look stunning and are certainly awe-inspiring when you understand what goes into them.
Last year I think I the furthest I got was the pirouette into two or three full fouettés.
Here’s hoping this year I conquer the fear and the technique.