As my last blog post mentioned, I was given the opportunity to attend a Master Class taught by Allison DeBona. She was brought here by the amazing Jessica Wallis, founder of Ballet In Cleveland. I was so excited to attend this class, even though I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, how many girls would be there, what type of work we would be doing, etc. I was so nervous. Thankfully, my BFF, Legal Ballerina, was also able to attend. I remember walking into the studio and seeing a bunch of really pretty, young, ballerinas. They were all stretching on the floor and at the barre in their cute little warm up outfits. I was immediately intimidated. All I could think was, “I can’t stretch like that. Holy cow, I’m not that flexible. Wow her leg extensions are amazing.” LB and I put our belongings back in the locker room and headed out to find a place to stretch. We headed for the farthest corner of the barre. There ended up being so many girls in this class! It was amazing to see so many girls from all over Northeast Ohio. So we stretched for about 10-15 minutes when it happened. I saw THE ballerina walk into the room. The lovely Allison DeBona had entered the room and was ready to get started. We were fortunate enough to have somebody there playing the piano. I had never experienced this! Allison introduced herself and we quickly got started. She showed us the warm-ups she does at Ballet West on a typical day. It was kind of hard to see her demonstrating things from where she was standing, but I tried my best to follow her. She would quickly demonstrate the combinations and also verbally say them too. I recognized most of the words being used, but struggled with the quick pace each set of combinations went at. We did basic leg work. A lot of tendus, relevés, fondus, etc. All the younger girls flew through them with ease. I struggled a bit with combinations. It was hard not being able to see what she was doing. I tried my best though! Allison would even stop the pianist mid song to correct things the majority of the girls were doing incorrectly. I liked that she did that because the advice she gave was really helpful.
LB and I weren’t the only “older” people there though! There was actually a very nice gentlemen in his 40’s there who had only been dancing for a year. A guy! How awesome is that! I give him mad props for putting on those ballet shoes and learning ballet. There was also a younger boy in the class who danced pretty good for his age too. I was afraid Allison was going to call me out for the mistakes I was making or for not being up to speed with these younger girls. But she didn’t! In fact, she was very helpful in explaining things and giving everyone pointers on how to better effectively execute moves. She was very poised and knowledgable. You could tell this girl definitely knew what she was doing. And her body?! Holy cow. She is so muscular and petite. All strength. Pretty mind blowing.
Anyways, back to class. After working at the barre, we moved to center and did a few adagio combinations. Simple ones like tombé pas de bourrée, pirouette or tombé pas de bourrée, glissade, jeté, jeté, jeté, grande jeté. She even complimented me on my traveling across the whole floor! Score!! We worked on grande battements in center too. I was actually able to do them as good as most of the other girls. So that was good.
At the end of class we took a class picture with Allison. I don’t have it yet. They should be mailed out sometime this week! I was able to get a picture with Allison and LB though on my phone! Super cool. We also got a autographed headshot of her too. Ballet in Cleveland also gave us some swag bags with some cool items too. The owners, and also professional dancers, of Food Barre were there too. We ever got a free sample in our bag!
Even though I struggled quite a bit with the class, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of. It was such an amazing experience. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to go. If you ever have a chance to take a master class in your area, I highly recommend doing it. Don’t be afraid. Even if you are the oldest one there, you will still take things away from the experience. Not once did I ever feel like the younger girls were judging me. I even got to talk with Allison for a minute! I introduced myself and told her that I was the one who had been tweeting her lately! She was such a sweet woman. I hope she is able to come back again some day and do another class. There was also a Q&A session after class where the girls were able to ask Allison questions. Allison’s mom and sister were even there! So cool. I’m so glad I was able to do this. And I cannot wait for season 2 of Breaking Pointe to air on tv. I recommend everyone check it out! You won’t be disappointed.