…or at least my not yet.
As someone who struggles with doing “basic” ballet jumps like sautes (on a bad day) and changements (on the regular) correctly, the idea of actually doing beated jumps doesn’t often cross my mind. I mean, I do think about how awesome it would be, but not actually about doing them. It’s something that’s far off in the horizon, if I even get there at all…
In Pilates class, lately Teacher has had us working on the jumpboards on the Reformer (ok, so a jumpboard is this thick, padded wooden slab that fastens to the Reformer (which is this wooden, medieval torture device looking Pilates apparatus that you lay on, that provides resistance in the form of springs) so that you “jump”, but horizontally), doing horizontal sautes, changements and soubresauts. I’ve been working on my heel’s tendency to lift off when landing, pointing my feet, not losing my turnout, the usual stuff. Making sure your feet are perfectly pointed is so much easier when you’re not struggling against gravity – and worrying that gravity will win!
After going though these jumps – and lots of them – Teacher suggested that we do beated jumps. And honestly, I was like “What?!”, as I’ve never tried to do beated jumps upright – I know my limits. So I tried it (first were entrechats with the front leg beating behind and then closing front again), and to my immense surprise, I was doing it! It was so surreal! I stared at my legs and feet in the mirrors the whole time, as it was that unbelievable that I was actually doing beated jumps. I needed the visual confirmation as I often do.
The first time was a few weeks ago, but let me tell you, the novelty has not worn off. Today in addition to entrechats I tried royales (front leg beats front again without switching), once again remaining fixated on my reflection. These were a little harder, but I was actually doing it!
Anyway, I don’t even know what the point of this post is. I guess I’m just excited about getting to get a glimpse of something that I may never get to otherwise. I love seeing my perfectly pointed feet outstretched, seeing them almost flutter in the air. At some point Teacher said “This is what I want to see in ballet class!”. I think I replied something like “I’m trying, but it’s so much harder standing up!”
Pilates has done so much for my dancing. Besides ballet, it is definitely one of my favorite physical activities!
Here’s a video so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about, if you’re curious. The jumping starts at around the 4:30 mark.
I’d love to have one of these at home! In the meantime, so grateful to have access to this at all…