Tuesday Class: When It Picks Up A Little…

Had a pretty good class.  I’d forgotten how much more fun BC is during the second half of the semester!

We did a different port de bras for plies, the one I found so confusing last semester (starting from arm out in second, stetch out the hand and arm(like if doing a grand plie) when going down for the first demi plie, bring arm to low fifth when coming up from first demi plie, bring the arm to middle fifth (first?) when going down for second demi plie, open arm out to second when coming up from second demi plie,), and it was so much easier this time around, like second nature.  Yay, progress! Teacher didn’t come up behind me and shift my pelvis into correct position, so I’m taking that as a good sign as well. When we  balanced at the end of the plies combination I felt as though my balance was a little better than last class as well.

Which reminds me, Teacher made a remark about how it’s better to fall forward than fall back when balancing.  I would love to ask clarification on this (since I usually fall forward when I go off balance, rather than back), but honestly I would not like it to turn into an awkward movement.  It often feels like my chest is the elephant standing in the corner of the studio, the thing that must not be mentioned  or acknowledged in any way…

New – still pretty basic,but slightly more challenging – tendu combination.  From first, en avant, a la seconde, and derriere 2 tendus, third tendu flex the foot before pointing it again and bringing it back in. After tendu derriere, we tendued devant and closed fifth, tendu a la second and close fifth derriere, tendu derriere and close fifth, tendu a la seconde and close first. Repeat in en dedans direction.  I liked how it was slightly more complex than our usual BC tendu combinations, but not a super fast speed like in IC.

We did a long rond de jambes a terre and en l’air combination, going both en dehors and en dedans twice.  After the rond de jambe en l’air, we would bring our pointed foot down to the floor out in tendu, close in plie, and then rise up to a passe releve “balance” (in quotes since I don’t think a single one of us let go of the barre).  We worked on passe releve at the barre quite a lot, actually – which you know means that we were going to be doing plenty of that in center.

Finishing up our barre, we did more of those fun foot-in-hand stretches.  I love doing these, they make me feel so flexible!

We started off center with a balancé combination, similar to what we’ve worked on before (4 balances with arms, step into first arabesque, pas de bourree) but this time adding on a releve sous-sus balance the first time through, and  passe releve balance the second time. I continue to work on keeping my foot pointed on the way down, but in general my passe releve balances are getting more stable.  (I’m going to try to not be jealous of any brand new beginners that can balance already, as when I had been balleting that long I couldn’t even rise up in one-legged releves.) My balancés have gotten much more fluid as well, though to be fair we were going at a pretty slow tempo.

During chaines I was remembering to engage my back and it totally helped with stabilty.  I wish I could say that engaging my back during turning is in my muscle memory but that would not be very true.  It’s one of those things that I know I’m supposed to be doing, but when I find myself in class, lined up with the other students and Teacher tells us to go it’s a little nerve-wracking.  So I forget what I’m supposed to be doing and focus/freak out about the (seemingly) immediate objective of Cross The Enormous Studio – And Quick!  Today though, as I started my series of turns I was like ‘Ok, arms? Check. Back? Check Spotting? Check’ and tried to not think to much about the fact that other people turn way faster than me, or the possibility of a collision.

After we did a few sets of regular sautes, Teacher told us to split up into 2 groups for our echappe, echappe, echappe, soubresaut, soubresaut repeat combination. The first group was going to go at a slower tempo, then other group at a faster one. Or we could choose to do both (I did both).  During the slower tempo, I was able to focus on stuff like pointing my feet and landing in plie.  My jumps from a la seconde, like to close the echappes, have gotten much stronger than a few months ago.  And for whatever reason, I find it much easier to point my feet in soubresauts than sautes from first.

At the faster tempo it was hard! I was able to remember what kind of jump I’m doing next, and land with the correct foot in front, but other than that it was sloppy.  My feet were nowhere near pointed, and I may have been losing my turnout. However, it was so much fun! By the end of going through both combinations twice I was really feeling like I was getting a cardio workout.

We ran out of time for reverance, but it was ok – I was exhausted.

6 thoughts on “Tuesday Class: When It Picks Up A Little…

  1. Sarah

    I’m really glad you had a good class, sounds like it was a bit more challenging than usual? Yay, for getting our ballet mojos back! 🙂

    1. kit Post author

      Thanks! Tuesday’s class was really fun, and a while it was a little more challenging, I didn’t feel discouraged (or I was too tired to feel disccouraged!) However, I think it may be too soon to consider my ballet mojo back after my next class 😦

      1. Sarah

        Oh no! It’ll come back 🙂 Mine’s been gone for a month or so, but it’s slowly coming back (I still haven’t done any at home practice for the past 4-5 weeks though, which is shocking). I watched some ballet on TV yesterday to get me in the mood for my barre class and that seemed to help (plus the class was quite difficult, so that was a bonus). I think maybe enthusiasm and motivation are cyclical, I do worry that both the summer break and lack of an “advanced beginners” class might kill mine off for good though!

      2. kit Post author

        Watching ballet videos always works to get me in the mood for doing ballet – actual performances, documentaries, reality shows about ballet, all of it! I do agree that enthusiasm and motivation are cyclical, so I try not to stress too much when feeling unmotivated.
        Is your barre class like only barre exercises but no center? I wouldn’t mind one of those…

  2. Sarah

    Yeah, no centre, just all barre work, which is perfect for me as I’m still really wobbly away from the barre, so it’s really good to try and find my balance by letting go of the barre, but knowing I can still grab it if I feel like I’m going to fall is quite reassuring.

    1. kit Post author

      That sounds like a good class. I use the barre as a safety net quite a bit myself, and when we step too far away from the barre I feel more pressure to not mess up (which usually ends up with me messing up, lol) than when I’m close to the barre but letting go for a bit here and theree.


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