Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ignore this if you're bored of my shoulder

For a long time, I felt as if I wasn't making any progress with my shoulder, but the last two months or so have seen noticeable progress.

In January enough range of motion back that I was able to do more than walking and pilates, so I bought a class card for the Alvin Ailey extension. I tried a couple of West African dance classes, but while my shoulder held up, I found the choreography too difficult for an absolute beginner. If I was seeking out a new hobby, it would have been worth persisting through the frustration, but since I was only looking for a stopgap, I didn't. The classes were a good aerobic workout, though, and the teachers are hampered by only working with two class levels, which tends to force the beginner class to greater difficulty.

I also went to the extension's Absolute Beginner ballet class - which, unlike many dance classes, is actually pitched to beginners. (I get that teaching absolute novices can be dull, and it is difficult if said novices include people who have never danced before as well as those who are professionals in other dance forms, but that doesn't change the fact that many beginner classes are incredibly challenging for students who aren't used to following choreography.) Finis Jhung, the instructor, does a great job with this class, with a strong emphasis on correct form. Many adult classes (not just in ballet) tend toward rushing into pretty moves - after all, they'll never be professionals, so who cares if their form is off? But doing things right is the key to getting those harder moves, and to not hurting your adult body, which doesn't rebound as fast.

(Frankly, his approach is similar to what I like about Capoeira Angola Quintal; it's more important to execute a basic movement correctly and well than to do some impressive ooh-ah flip/jump/spin.)

Monday, I noticed that I was better able to balance in eleve, so huzzah, it was working! Another recent milestone - being able to wear a backpack. And then, the most exciting - permission to return to yoga.

So Tuesday I went to a basic vinyasa class with a teacher I know and like, Magi Pierce at Life in Motion. It was exactly the right class; I could do most everything and modify what I couldn't. She doesn't push people but focuses on technique as well as the "why" of poses. I left class very happy to be back.

But oh man, after ballet, then yoga, then PT today, I am sore.

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