Wednesday, April 11, 2007

back bend craziness

We've established on numerous occasions that I ain't a spring chicken at least in the ballet world. Although I can do the splits and have fairly loose hamstrings my back is pretty darn stiff. This has as much to do with skirting close to 30 as it does with the fact that my day job consists of sitting in front of a computer.

I discovered the most horrendous exercise known to man yesterday in ballet class. My usual com padres are all taking their Royal Academy of Dance examinations right now, so I was carted off to the advanced pointe class which, by the way, was nearly impossible to keep up with. I was sweating enough just trying to remember the combinations never mind holding my leg up above my head at 180 degrees. Vlada, the instructor, was quite kind though and understood why I was there instead of pondering why a short chubby gal was tainting her long-legged sylphs. And yes, her name is Vlada and she's add to the pressure, lets just say two of the other students are named Nikita and Dimitri.

Anyhow, at one point Vlada instructed us to get on our bellies. That's odd, I thought to myself and then the sweet gal (who happened to be the senior division 2004 Youth Grand Prix winner, by the way) at the bar with me offered: "Oh, we're doing backwards sit ups." I asked if she could go first because I wanted my notion of what this would entail to be proven wrong. Anyhow, it ended up being worse than I imagined. Sitting on Cody's perfectly arched feet and holding onto her sinewy well turned out legs, I watched every freaking muscle in her back and buttocks contract as she went from lying on her stomach to being arched backwards lifting the top part of her body so that she was folded into an elegant L shape with her arms encircled above her head.

Good grief! Would I even be able to get my cheat off the ground? And then to add to my horror, I heard Madame Vlada yell out: "ONE! Down...TWO! Down...THREE....Down...."

All the gals on the ground started doing their backwards sit ups to the count of the instructor and at the end they had to hold the arched position. I couldn't stop admiring the lovely musculature of my ballerina buddy, but good God, the fear was immense.

My turn wasn't too bad. I was afraid that my partner wouldn't weigh enough to pin my legs down, but seeing she's 100% muscle mass proved to be enough. I could get my chest off the ground a decent amount, but I was no where near a 90 degree arch. Furthermore, by the time Vlada has counted to 3 I about ready to quit. Oy!

What's the point of these? you may ask.

Well, the idea is to have an incredibly elongated line that resembles Irina Dvorovenko:

If you recall an earlier post with the leg warmers, I'm technically doing the same ballet pose as she is, but without the flexibility or elevation. That's about how high my leg goes up, folks. Remember, I ain't a spring chicken!

I should add that Irina is not kicking her leg up there and relying on the magic of flash photography. No-no...she's holding that position with the muscles in her back, ass and legs. Frankly whenever you're in this back attitude position or any ballet position for that matter, you're using every freaking muscle in your body. For the record, Cody can get an even more pronounced arch, but I couldn't find a pic of her.

Needless to say my back hurts like hell today.

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Blogger Sammi said...

*absolutely boggles*

Shit, I'm happy if I'm on the beat more than half the time when I dance. I'm gonna have to try one of those backwards situps just to see how bad it hurts.... but only one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007  
Blogger dasMobius said...

Well... I can't do that!

Thursday, April 12, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...'s an exercise routine from Hades.

Saturday, April 14, 2007  

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