Week 6: Short But Sweet

Short week, only 2 days of class. It was a great couple of days!

We had a nicely challenging barre, lots of work on releve and  pretty quick combinations.

The plies combination included 2 grand plies with port de bras, which are really fun to do.  The hardest part of the plies combination is remembering the little changes from one day to the next that F Teacher gives us. For example, one day we may start in second, then go to first, then fourth then fifth. A different day we’ll start in first, then go a la second, fourth with working leg in front, fourth with working leg behind, then fifth.  Sometimes we only cambre forward, sometimes forward and back, or to the barre only and not away from the barre.  I like it because it keeps me from just going into autopilot, keeps me on my toes you might say, lol.

Four count port de bras with four degages en croix easier than eight count, I found out.  When we do it with eight counts I tend to either rush the arm or do it in little bursts as opposed to a smooth fluid movement.  I will definitely be working on this at home during my upcoming free time. As for the rond de jambes with 1 slow port de bras, we went a little slower and I actually did my rond de jambes to the correct side. I also noticed that when doing them en dehors the arm also moves en dehors, and when we do them en dedans and the arm is reversed the arm goes en dedans. This is probably a “Duh!” movement, but I feeli like it made so much more sense once I realized that.

I also really enjoy all the temps lie combinations we do. We’ll temps lie forward (sometimes closing the back leg, other times not), then back, then a la seconde, then reverse. But first we’ll do it at a nice slow tempo and it feels so pretty, then at a faster tempo (this is harder).  Then we’ll do the same thing but instead of with tendus it’ll be with degages. This means that when we go a la seconde it’s a quick weight shift to balancing on one foot.  But you know what, I’ve actually gotten way better at this than I thought was possible.

After doing the combinations the whole way through both sides on flat, we had the option of releve for fondues and passe releve and developpe combinations.  For fondues it was just fondues en croix with arms, and the releve part was no big deal. The developpe combination on releve was a little more challenging.  We would do a developpe with arms on releve, then stay on releve for 2 grand battements, en croix.  While I have done a grand battement that goes up to releve before, I’d never tried to do them while already on releve.  I was a little nervous, but I’d already decided that I was going to try the more advanced combinations, so I went for it. It was a different feeling, though not as hard as I had thought it would be.  When we did the combination on flat, F Teacher had been telling us about how when you grand battement you’re supposed to have a feeling of pushing the floor with your working foot, that way the correct muscles are used to get the leg up. Well, it’s definitely harder to get the feeling of pushing the floor when you’re already on releve and the foot loses contact with the ground a lot sooner! It was a really fun combination though.

I do a bad job of remembering exactly which ones did what, but all of our combinations ended in a releve balance.  After 8-8-4-4-2-2-1-1-1-1, or whatever more difficult variant of it, it’s usually a balance in releve in first.  Then we go on to balancing in sous-sus, then coupe releve and finally passe releve.  I’m still working on letting go of the barre for short periods of time on the one-legged balances, and I almost got my second arm in middle fifth once or twice.  Ok, to be honest, the closest I came to death-gripping the barre – though not as bad as me trying to do tendus in my second week of class ever – was towards the end of that grand battements on releve combination.  It wasn’t just the releve aspect of it, but the speed as well.  That’s my excuse…

Center was fun.  We didn’t do any adagio this week (boo!), but we did work on the combination we’ve been doing throughout the term in different tempos.  The faster it gets the sloppier, but I’ve been able to more or less keep up.  I really liked how we went right from the right side to the left without stopping.  The combination had a pirouette en dehors from fourth and I actually got around enough to get the correct foot in back.  I definitely prefer my pirouettes from fourth than from fifth.

We also worked once again on the 1/4 turns, 1/2 turns, passe releve balance, and full pirouette, all from fifth. Yeah, my pirouettes from fifth still need work…

Across the floor we did 4 soutenus, 4 pique turns, and 4 chaines.  Of all of these turns, the newest  to me are soutenus – prior to these last few weeks I’d only done soutenus at the barre to change sides.  I feel like my soutenus across the floor are somewhat hesitant and slow, but when we do the piques i feel like I’m flying. I really enjoy pique turns! Something I need to work on though is facing the correct angle when I do my chasse to first arabeque finish.

We also went across the floor with the waltz step that turns, then 2 balances, and some soutenus.  If this combination was slower I feel like I would find it so pretty, but as it is I struggle to waltz quick enough. The pianist played the Sleeping Beauty waltz though, so it was quite pretty.  I also noticed that the reason I waltz so slowly is because I turn too early in the sequence of steps. Another thing I’ll be working on…

Sautes are rough, still.  I think the hardest part for me is to jump quickly with not compromising technique.  I so would rather just jump higher and slower, but the quick little jumps ar a mystery to me.  I’ve improved so much though, so I’m just going to practice more, and when I least expect it I might find myself doing it right. I hope.  While glissade-jete is making more sense, I haven’t yet figured out how the arms for it go. Last, but not least, F Teacher had us working on royales. It beats to the front and then changes once.  Seems more manageable than entrechat for sure. It’s funny how I can do all these beated jumps on the Reformer, but upright I just get scared of gravity. Perhaps I should try on a trampoline and cheat a little bit…

Class ended with an exceptionally long and lovely reverance.  I seriously love reverance, it’s one of my favorite parts of class (along with pretty much all of barre, and most of center. Except sautes, and petite allegro…). Oh, but I don’t like the fact that it means that class is over, that’s for sure.

2 thoughts on “Week 6: Short But Sweet

    1. kit Post author

      Yeah, that’s probably what it has do do with. From fifth it’s hard for me to get my weight forward since I feel like it already IS forward, so I hold back. From fourth I pretty much have to shift forward. It was scary at first, but once used to it feels so much better.


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