I have recently taken up classes with Miss Janet L. Springer, the founder of Classical Dance Alliance.

We’ve been meeting on Zoom with a few other students of various levels. The lessons are VERY precise, musical, and technical. At first I will admit I was getting a little stir crazy. I wanted to dance big, I wanted to focus on improving my jumps and in doing choreographic combinations. These lessons are slow, methodical, and, at first, very painful.

I still get a little anxious when we get to adagio. We hold those poses for a very slow 8 counts, sometimes twice in each direction. I have had to invent a pretty lengthy recovery routine for my hips and glutes.

But I have to admit, my strength has improved with these slow careful lessons. I rely less on tilting my hips for extension in all directions, and I am more stable in canter. I can jump better and land with more control than I could three months ago.

I HUGE benefit has been the clarifying of all ballet poses, both at the barre and in center. All kinds of questions about which arm where and when and where the head goes with the clarification on a few simple rules. This has already helped my teaching immensely, and its only January.

As for getting my “big” dancing in, my Christmas Concert was great for that. I choreogrphaed out last number (links for that show coming soon) and oh yes, we jumped ran, and turned. And it was all easier because I had been amde to slow down my plie and tendu work, and really fight for my balance in the center.

Something else I was reminded of was the idea of combinations where the idea almost, is to fail. Frappe, rond en l’air and petit battement on releve in center for example. That sort of exercise is pretty humbling, but just fighting and failing two or three times a week with something like that makes many other exercises easier to do.

So, if you need some remedial work, or, like me, had a ton of holes in your ballet education growing up, or you jsut feel like you need to back up a little, I suggest getting in touch with Miss Springer.

Classes accommodate small spaces, so its fine if all you have is your kitchen. You can message me here to get her contact information, or check out her website linked above.

What ever dancing looks like for you right now, I wish you all the best.