The first time I noticed this was during that month or so that I was also taking Intermediate class a few months back (and honestly, I had all but forgotten). However, a couple days ago I was practicing at home, doing the tendu combination off of Kathryn Morgan’s “Classic Ballet Class Center Workout” video on youtube – which is excellent, by the way, highly recommended – and it included some pirouettes en dehors, which reminded me of my experiences in IC.
It is so much easier – well, not necessarily easier, just smoother somehow – to do pirouettes mid-combination than by themselves. What I mean is, if I set out to just practice pirouettes, like tendu, close fifth (or fourth), and pirouette, odds are very high that I will mess up. Not get all the way around, lose my form during the turn (losing turnout, foot not staying in passe), not spotting at the end, the usual. But then, when I go into a pirouette as part of a combination, with little to no prep time, for whatever reason I actually get all the way around. Not only that, I actually keep my turnout. By no means am I saying that I have perfect pirouettes – trust me, I don’t – but there is a visible difference. (Of course, the spotting is still not there, argh!)
So now I’m wondering why this is. And, I guess, is this normal?
I have a theory, of course. When I’m just doing pirouettes I may be overthinking it, and not letting my body do it’s thing. But in the middle of a combination, there’s not much spare time to think, just time to do. This may be just like how it was so hard for me to go up to passe releve until all these (mid-combination) pirouettes were thrown at me. Suddenly, going up into passe releve wasn’t such a big deal anymore. Turns out my body had the muscle memory and the strength to do it, it was just a mental block of some sorts. Is that what’s happening now with my pirouettes?
I’m also wondering, should I even question this or just go with it? Like, instead of wondering why my body is so weird like this should I just be happy that I found something that sort of works for me?
I guess I’m just confused because I thought if I just practice pirouettes repetitively they’ll get better, but they’re not. So then, I try a combination, thinking ‘Here goes nothing!’ and I actually get all the way around. Every single time. So weird. But a good kind of weird, I think…
Oh, and just had to clarify: I am by no means skilled enough to get through that entire video. I’m working on the tendu combination, and was hoping to work on the adagio, but it is freaking hard! In the comments, someone requested a beginner version of the video and I am so with the commenter on that. Still, it’s nice to see what more intermediate combinations entail, and to have them broken down step by step how she does. She’s doing an amazing public service – much thanks! 🙂