..and I love it!
In B(eginner) C(lass)we did these super slow grand plies, really holding it down and the lowest point before bringing the ankles back down. My thighs were so feeling it, as I held my turnout and tried my hardest to keep my tailbone from poking out. Since Teacher knows I’m doing Pilates, she’s really on it with those corrections to keep my core tight and my tailbone it. So true about BC level classes being harder in a way because of all the attention to detail. This did remind me though that I tend to rush through my grand plies when I do my practice barre at home, a bad habit (and this, kids, is why it’s not recommended to practice without teacher supervision. However, until ballet is free we’ll all make do with what we can…) that I’ve apparently fallen into.
And then we did grand plies in center. I remember last semester when we did that I was freaking out, like ‘seriously?! Grand plies in center?!’ In Beginner Class?!’ (link below) But today I was like ‘Oh cool, whatever, just keep your core tight,’ which was definitely a step up. I like obvious reminders like this that there’s been progress. That’s one of the reasons I like taking the semester-long ballet class; I get to see my progress compared to how I was doing the semester prior. (I have my notes from a year ago on my computer, as it’s from my pre-blog days, and I’ll probably end up posting it as a blog post at some point. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything from my first semester ever. At the time I was too flustered by the difficulty of doing ballet to even think about writing about it, though I really wish I had…
Anyway, BC was fun, if slow paced. Really feeling the burn on the thighs though.
Then came I(ntermediate) C(lass). Faster-paced, more thinking involved for sure, and lots of little challenges.
Barre combinations were tricky: switch closings on tendus (like close first, close fifth front, close first, close fifth back) or close the tendu with a plie. The slow arms during 4 fast rond de jambe combination is still not going so well, but arguably better than last week. And then we did beated frappes. I’ve never even attempted beated frappes! It was not pretty…
Then came center, which is not as scary as I would have anticipated as little as a few months ago.
The tendu combination from last week ( 2 tendu devant, temps lie, 2 tendu derriere, temps lie (in croisse) 4 tendu a la second (ecarte), pas de basque, en dehors pirouette from fourth, other side), was making way more sense to me now. I realized that I was getting confused because I didn’t know how the arms go in tendus in ecarte (the arm in hight fifth is the same as the working leg), so I asked Teacher beforehand and tried to get used to the motions. During class it was way better, I even noticed that a few of my classmates were sort of getting mixed up on that part too. Made me feel less alone…
So now the main problem I’m having with that combination is that my pirouettes don’t quite reliably make it all the way around. I mean, if I really wind up and kind of throw myself into it I can make it around (and probably lose control), but if it’s with bad technique then it’s just cheating, in my opinion. At the same time, I’m thinking ‘This is so cool, I can’t believe I’m actually doing combinations with pirouettes! (High pitched squeal)
After doing it with tendus twice or so, we did the whole thing over but with degages instead. Fun – and I actually held my balance!
We did a 4 balancé, tombe, pas de bourre, pirouette en dedans combination, which was super fast. However, I was happy to see that en dedans pirouettes were part of today’s class. For whatever reason, the en dedans direction for pirouettes has always felt more “natural” (an oxymoron in ballet?) than en dehors. Unfortunately, it’s not like I can actually land my en dehors pirouettes cleanly either…
Chaînes were going well, I was actually spotting correctly for once, and then another student and I collided. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but it did mess up that series of turns. We didn’t, like, fall or anything, just kind of bumped arms, apologized quickly, and then attempted to keep going. Before the semester started, I’d been super worried that in I C everyone would be an awesome turner, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the worst one. (Great, now that sounds so mean. Isn’t it so sad that in order for someone to be better it means someone has to be worse?)
After our sautes, we did a jumping combination (4 changements, echappe, pas de bourree, 4 changements, echappe, pas de bourree) and there was just so much to focus on! I felt like I was barely finishing my 3rd changement and it was already time for the echappe and so on, always one thing behind. And now I’m thinking, ‘A jumping combination – does this mean we did petite allegro?’. If so, that is so cool!
Then we did reverance, which we’d never done with Teacher. She called us through it, so it went ok. Felt so pretty!
And then I limped my sore self to the car 🙂
Me freaking out over grand plies in center last semester:
(Actually, reading over that post, I realized that I went into super detail of what we did in beginner class at that stage in the semester. I’m thinking of including a link to what what going on in beginner class during that week last semester for all my posts, since I tend to be focusing a little more on intermediate right now (and I don’t want to be redundant.) )