Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wk II, SF Ballet's Tiit Helimets arrives

"Hey, I'm from California too! Do you ever eat at La Jardiniere? It's the place to go when I'm feeling spendy and in the mood for some sultry jazz. Yeah, but I still go to my mainstays like Panta Rei for down-home Italian trattoria cuisine. We should hang out sometime when I'm back in SF visiting my dog. My husband and I'll come see you onstage, afterwards, you and your wife should come have a drink with us."

That's the kind of dream talk that I imagined I'd say to our guest teacher, San Francisco Ballet principal, Tiit Helimets. After a week of 4 hour daily classes with him, I managed on Friday to say, "You like the Giants? Me too. *awkward pause* Thanks for tolerating me in class. Uh, have a safe trip back."

Remember how good it felt as a kid when your parents or teacher, any authority figure, would compliment you over the most mundane thing? "Oh, Matt! Good job, you didn't walk yourself into that glass wall again! Good work!"

It felt awesome. In retrospect, I kind of realize that the compliments didn't always warrant the puffed up pride I had as a kid. Perhaps they were even kind reminders like, "Great, you missed the wall this time! Once out of five... hope you don't make it six! Concussions hurt!"

Still, I delighted and exulted in every compliment Mr. Helimets had for us, even the remarks like, "There's no excuse for dropping her, she's tiny!" Did I hear that right? Did Mr. Helimets just call me tiny? Hee hee hee! Even if I had to have some say.. unexpected dental work from face planting into the floor, I would probably still be enthused over a non-compliment like that! Fortunately, Isaac caught me right before the floor rose up to hit my face, but still! Tiit called me tiny!

I'm not sure what makes me happier after that week with Mr. Helimets. Maybe it was the fact that I learned new lifts, that I overcame a lot of my reluctance in partnering, gained confidence in triple and quadruple pirouettes on flat, learned two variations (one of which I thought I would never be able to even attempt), and worked with a dancer I'm star-struck by from one of my favorite companies. Maybe I was equally ecstatic when my partner caught me mid-fall during some un-choreographed flailing; Tiit Helimets would glance over and say, "Good work."

I done good! Yay!

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