Wednesday Class: Fun, Fun, Fun!

As I’m still on Spring break and there’s no class schedule conflicts, I was able to take Wednesday evening class at Adults-Only Studio.  I realized how much I miss going to this place. It was so much fun, and the difficulty seemed a little higher than the last few times I’d been there (which is a good thing), but to be fair it’s been a couple months.

At first I did feel pretty anxious, as there was a bunch of brand new people – and by “a bunch” I mean it was a full class, about a dozen people.  I was the only one in a leotard and tights. While I feel the most comfortable taking class in a leotard and tights – and the one time I tried taking class without my “uniform” I felt so unballet-ish – I also feel awkward being the only one wearing them.  Like I take myself too seriously or something… like a “hey, this is basic-beginner ballet class – what, you think you’re auditioning for an intensive/performance or something?” kind of feeling. I really don’t like that feeling… (and I’m still learning trying to learn the concept of “don’t notice anyone else, and just do you”. It’s hard, I tell you!  Damn this anxiety! (Seriously, if someone gives me (what I perceive to be) a mean look I can feel myself shrinking back into myself – which is really counter-productive if you’re trying to do ballet and appear “taller” and specially “confident”, LOL))

Anyway (enough about my personal problems).

We did plies with one arm at the barre, full port de bras including cambres.  I love how it was in this class ( a few months ago) that I learned than when you cambre away from the barre in second your arms go through middle fifth on the way back.  When I took IC I’d seen that that was, in fact, how the more advanced students do it, and I was pleased that I had known that. I’d forgotten about the super long balances (and I mean long it feels like half a minute!) we do in releve at the end of the barre combinations in this class.  Thanks to my back/core, I was staying fairly steady, even when not warmed up yet.

After the super slow tendus facing barre we did tendus en croix with full port de bras. This was nice – the times before that I’d come to Evening Class (EC?) we’d only kept the arms in second so it was nice to get to use them.  This was actually more advanced than what we’ve been doing so far in BC (where we’re still not using the arms with our tendus at barre), and so fun.  I’d forgotten though that E Teacher’s combinations often include 4 tendus (or degages, or battements) instead of 3, so I was getting a little confused when going a la seconde. I mean, I know that when it’s an even number you don’t switch on the first one and when it’s an odd number you do, but I guess I’d gotten used to operating purely on muscle memory.  By the time we turned around to do our other side I had gotten the hang of it, sort of.  For sure by the time we did degages en croix with arms. We balanced both in passe flat and passe releve.  I’m still not up to putting my arms in middle (or high) fifth for the passe releve balance, but I’m easing into it by having a super light touch on the barre.

For our rond de jambes combination, we did 2 slow rond de jambes and then 3 quicker (en dehors), 2 slow and 3 quicker (en dedans), then cambre forward and back, then  angle towards the barre, tendu back leg (the one that had been the inside leg) and fondue front leg into to a lunge position, then cambre forward and bring both arms up in high fifth and cambre back, recover and balance in 2nd arabesque.  This combination was so fun! Loved it! Wish we would do more stuff like that in BC…

Then it was time to stretch, which is not really lead, we just kind of do our own thing. I always take the opportunity to do my pretty leg-up-on-the-barre-and-cambre-towards-and-away stretches from BC, plus some en ballancoire leg swings to loosen up the hips.

We then did this combination that was kind of a fondue developpe (as in, we developped, but starting from a bent supporting leg) en croix with arms. We didn’t stop after the first side, but closed to fifth, did releve sous-sus, soutenu, and other side (see, it’s that higher difficulty stuff I was talking about). Then we did frappes facing the barre, just a la seconde.

For our grand battements en croix w arms we also did a soutenu and other side without stopping. At least by this point I was remembering that we were doing 4 to each side, and to close back in front after my first one a la seconde. I was also remembering to keep my back/core engaged to not let my upper body slump forward when battement-ing to the front.

In center we did the tendu a la seconde, close and plie,  passe releve balance, other side, then repeat with pirouette (from fifth en dehors) instead of the balance. My pirouettes sucked – what else is new? – but I was able to recover from the failed pirouettes in time to do the other side without messing up the timing too much.

Then we did a really fun combination: glissade 3x (towards the right, right foot stays in back), pas de bourre, other side (now left foot stays in back). I think I really enjoy doing glissades – well, at this speed, not like that crazy glissade-assemble combination we were doing (more like I was attempting to do) in IC.  When I first started ballet, and for the first year or so, I couldn’t do glissades at all ( a combination of not being able to balance and my legs being too weak to push off with just one leg) so I do feel a bit accomplished doing them. Pointy, pointy feet!

And for across the floor we did  step and  jete.  It was much easier with the right leg in front, but fun either way. Then we did reverance, which I was sort of able to mimic correctly what E Teacher was doing.

So yeah, I had a super fun Wednesday evening! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Wednesday Class: Fun, Fun, Fun!

  1. Adeline

    I feel you so much about the “overdressed” part!
    But what’s middle fifth? I’ve never heard of it. Is it the “high first” position in Balanchine technique?

    1. kit Post author

      Middle fifth is when the arms are in the front of the body, about the height of the bottom of the sternum – I guess like if you close a la seconde arms. I’m not sure what high first is (I don’t think I’ve done Balanchine technique), but if it’s higher than first (but not all the way overhead high) then i think it may be the same thing.
      I really got to remember to ask Teacher what style is she teaching when I get back…

  2. imitationballerina

    I definitely know what you mean about being overdressed! Luckily, most of the people in my class dress in ballet wear. Though, for some reason I still feel like I’m a fraud.. and that I’m dressed the part but can’t really dance haha

    1. kit Post author

      Yes! I know what you mean! Like it wouldn’t be so bad that I was overdressed if I wasn’t so bad at actually dancing. But then, if I try to take class in just yoga pants or shorts and a tank top, I feel like I REALLY can’t dance…


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