First Ever Intermediate Class

Ok, I’m feeling waaaay too scatterbrained and exhausted (yet so excited) to write a coherent post, but I really want to jot down these notes on my first ever intermediate class…

First off, I had so much fun! I haven’t been challenged this much in a long time. I mean, I know ballet is not easy (and if it feels easy it probably means I’m doing it wrong) but this was just, like, a new level of intense. I left flushed and sweaty, and in such a cheerful mood, as I stepped out into the cool night air.

Barre combinations were challenging, required lots of thinking.  Looking back, I guess part of the challenge is that we were mixing up the moves (like tendu devant, a la seconde, derriere, then swich to pas de cheval a la seconde, devant, a la second, close back then reverse) and my brain was trying to catch up. instead of 8-8-4-4-2-2-1-1-1-1 degages we did something like 16 right-8 left-4  right- 2 left- 1-1-16 left- 8 right- 4 left- 2 right- 1-1.  I actually kept up on that, which surprised me.  During rond de jambe we did this slow port de bras while the rond de jambes were in fast timing. Something like it took the time of 4 rond de jambes to bring the arm from low fifth to high fifth and out to second. I’d be lying if I were to say that my arms   during this were anything short of horrible.

One of our barre combinations included chasses, temps lie, and this pretty fondu while cambre forward. I don’t know if it has a name, but doing it made me feel graceful.  When we did cambre back in that pose though, I felt very ungraceful. Looks like I found which side of my body is weaker or something.

The grand battement combination included a pas de bourree turn instead of a soutenu. I was so not prepared for that…

Center was, ummm, interesting; on the one hand I am just so amazed at how far I’ve come in my progress (for sure at the start of last semester I couldn’t do the stuff we were doing today without falling off balance), but at the same time it was so clumsy and uncoordinated.  The first combination consisted mostly of tendus, but changing from croisse to efface to ecarte and I was always one beat behind. Why? Because I was totally following the best dancer, as I had no idea which leg was in front, or even which leg was the working leg.  By the time we went over it the last time I was sort of starting to get it so I don’t feel hopeless.

Another combination involced pas basque which I’m off to youtube, as I had NO IDEA what I was doing. However, the combination also had pirouettes (from fourth, en dehors) and I was getting around enough that it wasn’t messing me up too much. Not that it mattered, as I was messing up on which direction I should be facing. I’m sure once I know what’s up with that pas basque things will simplify a bit…

During sautes, I saw my feet in the mirror in midair and they were so pointed!  During changements Teacher corrected me on my final landing position, as it was not closed.  I remember last semester my correction was always on my unpointed feet and crash landings so I think I’ve improved.

We did 4 pique turns and then chaines for 4 counts, repeat if there’s enough space (and if you’re not too dizzy).  I was sooooo nervous, but I just did it and it went ok.  To the left I started getting a little rushed and started forgetting to spot, which sucked. We also did a jumping combination (saute arabeque, saute with foot in coupe, repeat x3, saute arabeque, pas de chat x2) and it was the coolest feeling ever, very much feeling like dancing.

Class size was about 20 students, a big range of skill level and body sizes, which I was glad to see. Honestly, I had been a bit worried that everyone in Intermediate would have the stereotypical “dancer” body, but there was enough diversity to make me feel somewhat comfortable.  It’s kind of weird, but the vibe of intermediate class felt less intimidating than during beginner class, which doesn’t really make sense.  I need to ponder on that some more…

There’s probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, so if I remember I’ll be adding it in.  I also took beginner class, but we mostly just went over stretching and the positions of the arms and feet.

4 thoughts on “First Ever Intermediate Class

  1. Annie

    The arms during the rond de jambs – how?! My arms feel content in a lovely second position and when asked to move they just do an awkward jerky thing – probably similar to a robot attempting grace. I feel as thought my top and bottom halves are disinterested in appearing to belong to one another. Maybe you will get some tips of how to move them gracefully together (and then share, please!).

    1. kit Post author

      The weird thing is, I know how to do arms with rond de jambes if the arms match the leg – front and front, seconde and seconde, back and arabesque arm. But yesterdays tempo was just weirdness!
      I promise i will share all tips received! 🙂

  2. JustScott

    I actually find beginner classes more intimidating because there seems to be more attention to detail. The moves are generally slower, bigger and more basic, so if you’re doing something wrong, it’s so easy to spot. But maybe that’s just me.

    I think I fell in love with ballet more once I started taking intermediate classes (not that I didn’t love it at the beginner level). The combinations are harder, but the ones we do during center work make you feel more like you’re dancing.

    1. kit Post author

      You’re definitely right about the center combinations being more like dancing. Also good to know that during intermediate there is less attention to detail.


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