Quick Recap On Thursday Classes

Better late than never…LOL

During grand battements at barre we did the infamous “swivel step”, the one where you angle your body towards the barre, after one of the grand battements a la second. The way it went down was that Teacher went though the combination (3 grand battements devant, a la seconde, derriere, then one a la second, swivel in, back out a la second while going up in releve (!), then when the leg comes back in the momentum carries over to the soutenu for the other side), and then we sort of marked it. I’ve never officially learned how to do this, just seen (more advanced) people do it.  So I marked it, and to my extreme surprise I did it! Grand battement on releve, soutenu, swivel – all of it! I was in some strange state of disbelief, and Teacher actually caught when I did it and said “Good!”  This is such a weird experience for me, as I’m not used to being able to see others do movements and actually mimic them. I’ve been blabbing excitedly about this to anyone who’ll listen for the last 2 days…

We also did these tendues at the barre where you alternate the feet – tendu right foot close back, tendu left foot close back, etc.).  The challenge was the head movements; when you tendu your right foot out you look towards the barre, when you tendu left foot you look away from the barre.  This is all unfamiliar to me, so I’m sure I’ll get it more in the weeks to come.For our barre stretch, after putting our leg on the barre both a la second and devant, we also did this thing where we grabbed our foot and kind of pulled it overhead. I was able to do this as well.  This was definitely a day of surprises…

Same tendu combination in center as Tuesday. Now that I’m getting a little more familiar with how it goes I’ve been going over it at home and it’s definitely improving.  I keep seeing how one of the better students does it in my mind, and the visual is really helping, like giving me something to strive for.  Once again, I’ll say how the vibe in intermediate class just feels different from beginner class.  For whatever reason, in beginner class I easily get intimidated by better students, but in intermediate I’m thinking ‘What can I learn by watching this person?’ Very cool.

My sautes are also doing well. Besides the pointing of the feet, I’m actually getting pretty high of the ground. It’s so weird, like I’ll see my feet in the mirror and I almost find it hard to believe that it’s me.  The changements need work though, especially landing in fifth. My pirouettes are improving as well. The marley floor in the studio is much more pirouette friendly than the wood floor at home, so I’m actually getting all the way around (and landing not-so-cleanly). Of course, I’m messing up by putting my foot behind – as with pique turns – instead of front, but I’m working on it. I think practicing all those pirouettes from fifth really helped my pirouettes from fourth improve.

In beginner class (immediately preceeding intermediate) Teacher showed us some exercises we can do at home to help strengthen our feet and turnout muscles and then we mostly went over arm and feet positions again, alignment while plie-ing and releve-ing, and a little bit of a waltz step with arm coordination.   A little slow, yes, but I think this is so valuable to brand new beginners.  My first two teachers didn’t really go over this stuff and I think unless you grew up dancing you may not have a clue about how to properly condition your body for ballet.  So, very important stuff.

4 thoughts on “Quick Recap On Thursday Classes

  1. Joyce

    The way I learned the tendu thing was when you are going arrière (moving backwards) you look away from your working leg. When you are going forward you look towards the working leg. (Another way I have heard it explained is you look the same way as the leg that will be in front when you close.) However, I do think head positions is one of the things that really varies depending on what style you are learning!

    1. kit Post author

      Yeah I sort of noticed the pattern of looking away from the working leg when going arriere, but of course it all fell apart when we went forward. Teacher explained it as looking as the leg that will be in front, but that’s just a bit too much multitasking thinking for now.
      Also wanted to say, I love your blog! You have some really cool interesting posts. Just wish you were on wordpress so it’d be easier to comment!

      1. Joyce

        Thanks! Seems like most of the adult beginner community is on WP. Maybe one day I will defy my Google overlords and be not lazy and switch! Funnily enough, I just had a class yesterday that used the head and epaulement A LOT, and it was really confusing. 😦

      2. kit Post author

        No worries – I should stop being lazy about commenting but one time blogger made me go though the whole thing (putting in my email and info, filling out the CAPTCHA to prove I’m not a bot – twice – and retyping my comment) only to glitch and erase it without it going through, so I get hesitant (and lazy) 🙂
        Yes, epaulment is confusing! In beginner class we’ve only worked en face for the most part, so intermediate is a whole new level of challenge (as it should be!).

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