Thursday: Last Class Of The Semester…

… and I am still having ballet class withdrawal! 🙂

It feels like the semester came to an end much too soon.  At least that’s how I feel about ballet class, about other classes (and super long school days) not so much.  In fact, other than ballet, I feel like I’m overdue for a break! Well, now I have a couple months to relax on my own. Plenty of time to excessively practice ballet, watch some ballet videos, catch up on all the other hobbies in my life…

It was a good last class. After we did our plies, Teacher divided us into small groups, barre by barre, to work on a combination featuring a specific move, teach it to the class, and then do it all together.  It was a pretty small class, so there were only 4 groups this time. Same as last semester, my barre was in charge of rond de jambe.  I’m wondering – coincidence, or can Teacher tell how much I love doing rond de jambes.

It was funny, as soon as Teacher told us our assignment the other two girls on the barre just kind of looked at me like “Do you have any ideas?”.  Do I? Of course!  I went with a similar combination to the one I usually do to practice rond de jambes at home – though much shortened.  Actually, when I said “Ok, this is what I do at home…” they kind of looked at me funny.  Yes, I am just a tad ballet-obsessed, guilty! LOL

I kind of wish I had known ahead of time we were going to be doing this.  While the combination we came up with was fun, as soon as I got home I started getting all these cool ideas about challenging combinations we could have done.  Not necessarily impossible ones – after all, Teacher told us to keep the combinations to moves we did during the semester – just more complex, like add a chasse front after finishing en dedans, a chasse derriere after finishing en dehors, or something.  Regardless, it was fun working in a little team and coming up with a combination.  This may sound bad, but I was really glad that in my group I was the person with the most ballet experience; last semester, there was a girl in my group who may have had more experience (or at least about the same), and when we were trying to come up with the combination it felt like we were sort of butting heads.  I’m not that skilled in interpersonal communication, so it’s at times hard for me to work in a group.  I think in the end I just let her decide how we were going to do it. This time, I got more creative license, as the other girls were just saying “Ok” to everything.

(Great, now I made myself sound like a control freak.  I assure you all, most of the time I don’t speak up and just end up letting the other people/person decide…)

Anyway, all the combinations my classmates and I came up with were at least somewhat challenging. Here’s what I remember:

– sorta basic tendu combination involving tendu to demi point, then point, then demi point, then close.  En croix, going en dehors with arm staying out in second, en dedans using the arms.  It was different, kind of shocked my body’s muscle memory a bit. It’s funny how I think nothing of doing arms with tendus en croix, but that muscle memory somehow failed me when we had to do en dedans first.  Muscle memory is such an odd thing. Something I will surely be reading a lot about now that I have some more free time.

-1 tendu and 2 degages en croix with arms, followed by 8 echappes releves. The tricky part involved the echappes. It was something like two at regular speed, then hold a balance on the third one.

– frappes en croix with arms, again with different tempos, like 2 fast, pause, then the other one.  At the end there was a soutenu (without holding on to the barre, the girls specified) and other side.

– tendu devant, fondu, bring foot up to passe, developpe pausing at attitude, straighten leg, tendu, close, repeat a la seconde, then derriere, then a super long balance in attitude devant.  This was personally my favorite combination.

Our group’s combination was 1 slow rond de jambe en dehors with arms, 1 rond de jambe en dedans with arms, two rond de jambes a terre en dehors, 1 rond de jambe en l’air en dehors, close, 2 rond de jambes en dedans a terre, 1 rond de jambe en l’air en dedans, fondu, up to passe releve, sous-sus and soutenu other side.  It was ok, very similar to last semester’s combination, definitely not as complex as it could have been.  Everyone looked sufficiently challenged though…

It was a good end to the semester.  Afterwards I had a thought that this is a “team effort” version of the short dance that students in other dance classes have to choreograph (like my first semester ever).  We weren’t tested on this, but it was a good way for Teacher to assess if we’ve learned the ballet vocabulary, as we were supposed to use ballet terms while explaining the combinations to the class. A recurring theme I noticed in the combinations was a mid-combination tempo change.  I guess if one thing was learned it was that a change in tempo makes for a much harder combination!

What’s next for me ballet-wise? We will soon see…

Last semester’s creative barre combinations class:

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