This morning I could have stayed in my bed, but I manage to drag myself to school, knowing that otherwise I will regret it. I haven’t looked at today’s schedule, but I think that we have ballet. I’m in school a little hour before class starts, to warm up. I start with a nice exercise that one of my former teachers used to do with us, getting through my whole body, stretching some parts, massaging others. My poor feet get extra attention for supporting me and keeping me up day after day. Push-ups to become stronger when doing handstands, sit-ups to activate the center, and back bends to stay in balance. Time is up and class is about to start.
I remembered wrong, we don’t have ballet, but contemporary. I let my body melt down to the floor and to the voice of our teacher, I imagine a warm oil filling up my body, making it move. I feel the warm oil changing to boiling water, making us bump around like freaks, ending up doing freestyle sit-ups, faster and faster, until we slowly go down to the floor, staying here a few seconds with the blood tickling around. We do some series on the floor, working on loosening up, getting more flexible and strong, precise and aware of our placement on the floor and in the room. We do a funny, kind of awkward, monkey-swinging-like walk over the floor. With that I mean a walk on knees and the upper feet, which doesn’t really make my feet much better, but I get a smile and a nice comment from one of the others, and I keep on, because it actually is quite funny.
After this enjoyful class, we have a half hour break, used for stretching and snacking on some dried fruit and nuts, then it’s time for a 2 hour workshop with Lotte in Store Carl and more killing movements. Luckily not much more new choreography, that wouldn’t have fit into my head, but time to go in depth with the spin-choreography that we learned the day before. There’s a crazy, but beautiful and strong jump, quick movements from up to down and around and a smooth roll back over the shoulder. It just really doesn’t look smooth when I do it. Every time I bump to the floor on a new bone, my skeleton must soon be painted in blue marks on my skin. But it get’s better and suddenly I do it right, once. We dance and dance, over and over again, switching groups, giving and getting feedback from our partner in the opposite group. It feels great to be on the big stage with lots of place to move, improve, use all energy and still do it again.
Then you think that time must have run out, but it’s only been 1 hour, and we get a new exercise. 10 minutes to make a solo, with emphasis on direction and focus on the pelvis. Fuck. Clear your head, don’t think, don’t go black, just act. And I actually do. First 1 movement, then the next. 1, 2, 3 movements, some more. Again from the beginning, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 movements up, down and around, remember to breathe. And time is up. But I have some material, and I find it quite good. Then show it, do it again in front of 36 eyes looking at you, only you. Remember it and all the notes you’ve had over the last couple of months, so the mouth under 2 of the eyes wont give you the same, but probably something new. And there’s always something new.
I get up on the stage, I start, I move, I remember, I forget… One second feels like eternity. But, I stay in the moment, catching the eyes of some of those watching me, and I continue.
Text by Manon
Photos by Emma Arnoldi