Monday, March 12, 2007

Hard Pretties

I survived my first tissu class on Friday. I was surprised that I wasn't hurt more, especially since I went into it with an injury. Pile that on top of the fact that I had a rotten Friday and it's even more amazing.

It took me an hour and ten minutes to get to the school from Studio City. The 405 totally sucks, I took a wrong turn when I exited the freeway, and there's not a sign on the school. When I arrived, we did some random stretches for about half an hour. That's when Gabrielle arrived to learn climbing with me. Climbing was tough since it required a lot of upper body strength and you have to keep your foot flexed so you can hold onto the tissu. Dance classes tend to train you to point your toe so it looks prettier. Not here.

After we worked on the first climb for a while, we learned how to wrap one foot and then get free. That was easy enough since there wasn't a lot of climbing involved. That's when the teacher had us make "candy canes." I'm doing candy canes in two of these photos. It's called a candy cane because you have the tissu wrapped around one ankle and part of that leg like stripes on a candy cane. The first time was easier than the second. It takes a great deal of arm strength and it put a lot of pressure on my ailing ankle. The second time I did it, I felt like my arms were going to give out on me and when I got in the air I felt like I was going to vomit. Maybe my body was trying to get rid of the gummy worms I had earlier in the day. We did one more move similar to what we do in pole, then we ended for the day.

The class is made up of all levels. It's a little dusty on the floor and you have to go barefoot, so I washed the black funk off my feet before I put on my socks. It was worse than pole class in that regard. There's one teacher for up to twelve students (there were only eight students that day), so you have to monitor your own safety so you don't hurt yourself. They did have some thick, soft pads on the floor under the tissu to help break the fall if needed.

It hurt a lot the next day. If I was more out of shape, I don't think I would've made my belly dance rehearsal yesterday. I've heard it gets better after the first time. I may just try again this week at a location in Hollywood, a little closer to the path I normally take from work to home.

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