Base and apex: battles to be fought and won

Ballet is an ongoing series of teeny tiny battles – some of which you win, some of which you lose (over and over again). Or so it seems to me anyway.

Pirouettes are a losing battle. Second position arms are a losing battle. Balancing on one leg on demi pointe is a losing battle. Coupé renversé is a losing battle. Cambrés are somewhere out beyond lost.

I am lost?

No, not quite. Sometimes I almost win some of the battles. Note the almost… I term these my ‘inner smug moments of personal triumph’. Like really getting the feeling of flyingtravelling in allegro or keeping my supporting leg straight/steady/’there’ at the barre or remembering to pull up in my torso on pointe (without attempting to shove my shoulders into my ears in doing so – that is not a look, I can assure you).

The biggest battle though, is always with myself. And the mirror. I feel it’s going well, glance in the mirror and bam, no, mostly definitely not… Boom, gone, hopeless case, straight to loser corner, do not pass go, do not collect £200. 

Maybe I should stop terming them ‘losing battles’. Maybe they’re more ‘battles to be won’. If I’m always thinking about losing then there’s every chance I’ll never get that eureka moment of epiphany where it all comes together. Mind over matter? Positive mental attitude? Mindless optimism? Cross everything and hope for the best? Grab the nearest plank of wood and cuddle it to within an inch of its life? I’m back in Irwin’s ‘not anything enough really’ head space at the moment. It’s not a good one and I need to get out of it.

I need… a good flying allegro to bust the cobwebs. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And a cup of tea. Not together, that’s only going to end badly.


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