As the semester progresses we are doing more and more barre exercises during which Teacher has us let go of the barre the second time through. Today we let go during the degage and pique combination and during the rond de jambe, fondu, coupe and passe combination. We were also taking our arms of the barre at the end of most of the combinations and balancing in releve. Teacher has not yet asked us to balance in releve on one leg, but I anticipate that happening soon so I’ve started working on that more at home so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Surprises during ballet class don’t usually end well for me…
Something new we did at barre was move our leg en cloche. The combination went something like degage forward, come back through first and degage back, then degage front, pique, and balance. Then the same thing to the back, ending with a pique and balance with the leg to the back. While I am familiar with this movement, I was glad that Teacher said we would not be letting go of the barre during it today.
We did grand battement and changements exercise (three grand battements to the front, three changements, repeat other leg), first holding the barre then letting go. While we waited for the other half of the class to do it the rest of us then could optionally practice it far from the security blanket safety of the barre. It went better than I could have imagined. Grand battements a la seconde are easier for me than en avant – I think that’s how you say “to the front”, we’ll be getting quizzed on this later – so the fact that the en avant one’s went well was encouraging. My changements were not too shabby either; I had a good mirror spot so I was able to see the part where the thighs clap together that wednesday evening teacher says should occur.
My feet pointing during sautes was not too bad today. While I don’t always point to the fullest that I possibly can – either I forget or I get tired – my feet no longer do that floppy lifeless thing they used to do in midair. Or land too far apart. Also, it could have been in my head, but I think that my height during the jumps has improved as well. It used to be that I barely left the ground.
Our balance combination (4 balances starting with to the right side, then step out our right foot and put our weight on it, lift up back (left) foot and put arms in first arabesque, then bend supporting (right) leg keeping the back leg straight, and pas de bouree, switch and to the other side) went ok. The feet part at least, my arms were horrible. But I felt stable and sort of like I was dancing.
Teacher complimented me on my chaines while turning left. For whatever reason it’s much easier for me to turn towards the left than towards the right. When turning towards the right I kept losing my spot today, but otherwise it went ok. Now teacher wants us to actually finish (in first arabesque) when we finish chaines-ing, instead of just kind of running out of center, so that’s the next thing I will be working on.
Today I wore one of my new tights. Since I’ve been obsessing over the silky feel of the material I went with the Theatrical ones, since I just couldn’t wait to try them on (but actually wearing them to class, not just for a quick minute). I will be updating my mini-review as I get to know the tights I bought some more.
As I was leaving I saw Strict Teacher. That was kind of weird…