In preparation for auditions for dance pedagogy programs, I have started taking classes again, mostly at the American Dance Institute in Rockville, MD. So far I have had two classes, each taught by a dancer with Washington Ballet: Runqiao Du and Elizabeth Gaither.
Both classes involved a long barre--45 minutes to an hour. Normally this is not my cup of tea, but as I am still pretty weak, it was nice to have the support. There were many combinations focusing on battements tendus and dégagés. Very good for precise footwork. By contrast, we did not do much in the way of jumps, which was also fine with me as by that point in the class I was running out of energy!
I've noticed that I seem to have a lot of trouble with combinations involving lots of battements fondus as I'm finding it difficult to plié on one leg with control. Not sure why that is, maybe I just need to get strength back. Pirouettes are also not working well, and I have trouble using good épaulement at the barre.
On to the positives: My foot articulation is still good, perhaps even better than before now that I've had to teach students to do it for several years. I can pick up combinations easily in my head, even if it doesn't yet always translate to my body. And I still have some flexibility, although it needs work. I'm basically doing a complete overhaul on my arabesque, as I don't think it's ever been placed quite right.
The important part, though, is that class is still fun, even after all these years!