Monday Class, Now With More Sleep

Thanks to daylight savings, I woke up with much more enthusiasm that usual.  Of course, this was offset by the chill in the air that made my body feel extra stiff and shivery. The studio was no more warmer than outdoors, and I was really wishing I was wearing a long-sleeve leotard.  The shivers is not a good look to begin your barre exercises. Apparently my body got used to it, or the central heat kicked in, and by the time we started barre all was well.

New, slightly more challenging port de bras at barre for plies: two grand plies (from second), on the first one the arm comes all the way down into low fifth, on the second one the arm goes all the way up into hight fifth. Not hard, necessarily, just involves some body coordination. Which I wasn’t producing enough of this morning.

The slightly complicated tendu combination went much better though. I was warming up!

We worked a lot on fondues – one of my favorite moves! Specifically, Teacher wanted us to be sure to straighten both legs at the same time. We used the arms too, so it was a fun barre combination.

The pique combination (8 piques en croix, then reversed en croix, so what does it make…48) from last week that made my thighs feel like they were melting was back today. I like how those piques sneak up on you – in class it feels like no big deal but then hours later you really feel it (or at least I did).

My balances at the barre – and center, for that matter – seemed improved, stable and long-lasting.  Lately I’ve been focusing more on the feeling of lifting – I guess what is meant by “pulling up” – always lifting rather than resting in releve.  In ballet you never rest, I guess that’s the lesson learned. This has helped with my balacing so much; I think previously I wasn’t engaging the core from the beginning as much as I need to, just kind of finding a balance and only using the core to stabilize, but not really lifting the top half of my body with it’s own volition, but supporting it on my leg(s).

In center, Teacher told me to go in the first group (with the more advanced students) for our 4 balances, step into arabesque, pas de bourree combo, with the added difficulty of going into releve sous-sus after the pas de bourree and beginning our balances to the left from the releve position.  The new addition made it a bit more challenging, but I kept up. Unfortunately, while the second group went Teacher told us for the next run through we were going to be adding pirouettes (instead of the releve sous-sus), so we should practice.  I quickly hissed to a girl from last semester “How do you do a pirouette?” and she began to teach me.  Teacher caught on, asked me if I’d ever learned how to do a pirouette, and when I responded in the negative, told me to go with the second group instead.

Strangely enough, it did not feel awkward; it’s not my fault none of my previous semester’s ballet teachers had taught the class pirouettes ( and E Teacher on wednesdays doesn’t break them down enough. When it comes to physical movements I’m really a break-it-down-to-the-bare-bones kind of learner. But I guess I could have been proactive and youtubed it. I would’ve, in fact, had I known we were going to be doing them in this class. Which I didn’t, since we never had. Ahhh, circular logic…). But, anyway, I did learn the basic feel of how a pirouette goes from my classmate, so after some practice we’ll see.

And that makes it official: this is the most challenging semester ballet class I’ve taken, at least as far as the moves introduced.  I am so glad this wasn’t my first semester – but at my current level I find it just about right.

Sautes went better.  I’m finally starting to be able to point my toes while in midair (which has just been such a challenge for me!), though at times my feet don’t land in a perfect first position.  My changements felt better today as well.  It’s got to be the jumping practice I’m doing after my morning jogging.

The four (galloping) chasses, run, pas de chat combination went better as well. My galloping chasses feel so much more controlled now compared to when the semester first started.  Once again, I will credit the post-jog “gallops” that I’ve been practicing.  So glad that it occured to me to take my practicing outside when needed.

2 thoughts on “Monday Class, Now With More Sleep

  1. thebloggingballerina

    Congratulations on your progress. The fact that you’re aching after piques is definitely a sign you’re doing them properly!

    For pirouettes en dehors, try this exercise: get into a good preparation position (this varies between styles, teachers and even from exercise to exercise- try starting in fourth position with the weight exactly between your legs, knees bent, back straight. If the left leg is infront, have the right arm in 1st position and the left in 2nd. You should feel very stable). Now releve up into pirouette position (the back leg comes to passe or retire with the foot resting just below or beside the kneecap, arms come to first and your supporting leg is straight on a high demi pointe). Hold for as long as you can- try saying the alphabet. Make it to B, then C, and keep going. When you are ready to add the turn, the position will be in your muscle memory and you will have a good understanding of your own balance. Keep doing this exercise and you will develop enough balance to do multiple pirouettes. Just get a teacher to check your position in preparation and pirouette position, so you don’t get your body into bad habits (easy to do, hard to break).

    Sorry about the unsolicited advice, I hope that’s ok, couldn’t resist chipping in with what I hope was a helping hand!

    1. flowergirlkit Post author

      No worries… I love unsolicited advice – as long as it’s ballet related, LOL
      Actually, that’s a really helpful exercise. It’s more or less along the same lines of what my classmate was showing me yesterday. I’ve been practicing it today, with good results. But I think a lot of my problem lies in the spotting part; when traveling across the floor I get the gist of it, but spotting while stationary is still foreign to me.
      Thanks for the advice though, and nice to meet you!


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