I think this is how some people feel after a spa day or a glass of wine. These people aren’t masochistic, though. Besides my hips feeling sore, in the good I-worked-them-to-death sort of way, I feel great. Energized. Talkative. Like I could easily transition from walking to ninja kicking should such a situation arise. Morning dance classes always make my day better – I succeeded in getting my ass out of bed at seven thirty and made it to contemporary.
This contemporary class wasn’t like the other “contemporary” classes I’ve taken in Portland, which have tended to fall into two categories. There are the Tracy Durbin classes, where classical jazz and Horton rules. The Tracy warm up is arduous but fun enough that you forget the time until you’re done with it. The style is not suited for me whatsoever; I don’t have enough control of my limbs for the cool, sly movement that stems from the contraction and the core. Tracy makes it all look so cool, but this is one of those newborn gangly giraffe classes for me. I can do the movement, but I can’t do it all in a way that it flows. It looks very disjointed even though I may pick up the individual steps. I’m also working on my contraction crisis (contract UP not DOWN jesus christ it’s hard).
The other type of contemporary I’ve been taking has been a la Northwest Dance Project and its style (very very contemporary), which is so very grounded and mobile with its positions and ooey gooey with its everything. You aren’t always tracking, you’re using the entire surface area of your foot, and you are in that low, low second/fourth. The torso is mobile and the chest is open, the ribs lead sometimes and being sickled and turned in is helpful in a lot of situations. I feel like I could become good at this moreso than classical jazz, if I worked on it another few decades of course, but I do feel that the potential is there. I see little of my training in the “big picture” for these classes, though, in the warm up and the final combinations. I do see a lot of spiraling, but combined with these other principles, it’s harder for me to access. It’ll feel good when I can finally get there, though, because it looks friggin fantastic on the company.
But Thursday morning contemporary, dang, that’s my jam. I feel like it has enough of the ooey gooey, but there are a lot more modern dance principles and Barenief influence. I see a lot more spiraling and pelvis power moments – I mean, they all have all of these things, but the emphasis isn’t always the same. This class emphasized a lot more of the principles that my UI classes focused on. I felt at home with the foot warm up (I vividly remember Greg correcting me in these – use your feet and toes to push the foot off the ground, don’t lift your leg – I think I’ve finally got it) and the leaning traveling combinations. I love to fall like that, like a tree, just as much like I like to crumple down to the ground. Traveling on straight legs is hard for me, which is makes sense, considering how often my knees are just slightly bent whenever they shouldn’t be. It’s disconcerting.
I feel so much less angsty after all that work.
It’s funny how much this little city has opened up since I’ve been here. At first glance there’s a set few studios and companies and classes, but there are actually a lot of dancers here, and there are a lot of little projects going on, with people you see in various random classes in various places. The woman who taught this fabulous class – I had seen her in Tracy Durbin’s jazz many times, as she was usually the demo person since Tracy claims that she only “used to be able to do that,” but I had no idea that she taught, either at NWDP or Bodyvox. I also had no idea she worked with her own little company, but it all makes sense now. And this is constantly happening with different people.
I sort of would like to get into teaching, but I also enjoy the fact that I don’t have to deal with parents (past the front desk), or that I don’t have to come up with coherent lesson plans. Getting my pedagogy project done in my undergrad was grueling. I would like to be in the studio more, though, and I would LOVE to make more money, even if it was only a few classes a week. I have no idea where I would teach or how any of this would happen, but I can daydream.
One of the new work studies is going up to Seattle for the Zoe Scofield audition, and so long as I can chip in for gas (cheaper than 80 bucks for the train) and find the $45 for the workshop, I’m going with her. I wasn’t so sure I was going to go – because of $$$ and getting work off, but then that offer fell on my lap so I’d be silly not to take the opportunity. I don’t know a whole lot about Zoe’s work, but I do know that she has won a few Princess Grace awards (which is a big deal), and it’s a workshop-audition so I should at least get a good four hour class out of it if nothing else.
I need to do laundry more. My clothes all smell like rancid febreeze. My current favorite pair of dance pants has shifted to my old freshman year of high school dance team pants, somehow, because they’re the perfect volume for tucking into socks. I feel like I look like a real modern dancer now. I definitely smell like one.
Class of the day: Thursday – contemporary at Bodyvox with Rachel