Adventures In A New Studio

So what have I been up to since my summer ballet session ended? Moping around, missing ballet? Nope! I’ve been taking class!

(Thanks to a former classmate) I found a(nother) local studio that advertised an adult ballet class. Not only that, class is more than once per week, and it’s affordable!  An offer like that was just too good to pass up, so I mustered up all my courage, called on the phone for more info., and the past week I’ve found myself taking class at a brand-new-to-me studio (Which I’ll refer to as “New Studio”, I guess?). I know that may seem like no big deal, but if you’re a long time reader – or have gone through the archives – you may remember what a big deal it was to me back when I first tried going to Adults Only studio last year.  Trying out new things tends to terrify me…it’s a wonder I ever even worked up the courage to try ballet at all! (Though at the time I had absolutely no idea what was in store, so I’m sure that made it easier to get myself in there.)

The class itself is more towards the intermediate side of beginnerland.  Definitely would not have been suitable for me back when I first started, or even a year or half-year ago. It was just listed as “Adult Ballet”, so I had no idea about the level, though I had figured it may not be too advanced since a leotard was not required (though each time I’ve been there the majority of the class did wear leotards).  If I would have known, I would have been super anxious about going in, so I guess I’m glad that I didn’t know…

The teacher (New Studio Teacher) is pretty chill and laidback, though she doesn’t skimp on the corrections – always a good thing.   She said to really push the floor when we do our single leg releves, and I swear I felt like I grew an extra inch! I love when a correction really speaks to me, you know? There’s also hands-on corrections, like when we were in releve a la seconde she came over and moved my feet closer and turned them out more – of course then I couldn’t balance anymore…

Since I’m still new I haven’t yet figured out how the combinations go, both barre and center. So I keep messing them up… I also keep winding up in a spot where I have no one to follow when we do the second side, but I’m definitely not going to barge in and try to get a good spot in someone’s way.  When I’m new somewhere I always feel specially awkward, but I’m hoping it’ll wear off soon. The combinations are really pretty, so I do look forward to a time when I’ll be able to do them better. Or at least have the correct leg in front…

Center has been challenging, for the most part (and this is where the whole “a few months ago I wouldn’t have been able to keep up” part comes in even more).   Combinations include pirouettes, and we even did this thing where we did a pirouette en dehors into a soutenu turn. Well, the class did that, I kind of fumbled about. While I’m glad that class is more often than once a week, I’m even more glad it’s not daily so I can have some time to work on stuff at home. This combination went like this (I may be forgetting  a step here and there): pas the cheval devant, pique sous-sus, pirouette en dehors from fourth, into soutenu, developpe  a la seconde tombe pas de bourre, pirouette en dedans from fourth, tendu close, other side.

We also did this other combination that was tendus while changing facings and doing port de bas and pirouettes at the end.  I could sort of do it without the arms, and the pirouettes…

Petite allegro was fast, really fast.  I saw in the mirror that the speed had me reverting to unpointed feet for sautes and changements – ugh. There was also an entrechat in the combination, which I’m not even close to being able to do.  I remembered F Teacher had told me a few weeks ago just to modify a combination if I felt like I couldn’t do a step, so I tried just doing changements (which did NOT fit into the tempo somehow). We also did this other jump that I didn’t catch the name of – kind of like part pas de chat, part petite jete, but with one leg kicking out instead.  In another combination we did changements on demi point (the people en pointe did them en pointe) which I found much easier than regular changements – getting the ankles all the way down in the regular ones is the hardest part for me. Across the floor we did sissone-assemble, and at least I was doing that less horribly than I had been doing them during summer session. My assembles still suck, but I didn’t freeze up on the sissones, so I’ll count that as improvement.

We also practiced 1/4 and 1/2 pirouettes.  NS Teacher taught us about different preparations for pirouettes: starting from fifth with our right foot behind, then tendu a la seconde and close fourth in front, or starting with the right foot in front, then tendu a la seconde and close in fourth in back. I hadn’t ever tried the ones where you close fourth in front before, but they turned out to be about the same difficulty as the closing in the back ones. NS Teacher said that the ones closing in front are Russian style and closing in front are Balanchine style, which I didn’t know.  She also taught us the difference in arms and hands for both types of pirouettes. I still think pirouettes from fifth are the hardest though…

Anyway, I’m happy that I found some ballet classes to take while I wait for the next semester. While the level is a little bit out of my comfort zone I think it might help prepare me for intermediate class in the fall.  And of course I still have the option of going to Adults Only studio to take basic beginner class…

8 thoughts on “Adventures In A New Studio

  1. meetatbarre

    Sounds like a good addition to your ballet curriculum!

    “We also did this other jump that I didn’t catch the name of – kind of like part pas de chat, part petite jete, but with one leg kicking out instead.”

    A grand pas de chat maybe?

    1. kit Post author

      I tried youtubing grand pas de chat and didn’t get any results, so that might be it. Just remembered that the teacher said it is traditionally only a men’s jump, if that narrows it down at all…

      1. kit Post author

        No, it definitely wasn’t that jump – though that was gorgeous! I wish I could catch air time like that!

      2. kit Post author

        I’ve taken class with an ex-pro male dancer before, and he would just fly when going across the floor. It’s so amazing in person! Almost surreal…

  2. wedoballet

    Glad you found a class to take! Sometimes a class like that (if it doesn’t make us crazy) is a chance to get out of our heads and just try some things.
    I was going to suggest ballote or balonne as your pas de chat petite jete hybrid… but they aren’t men’s only jumps…hmmm… ballonne is more man-ly though. is nice and has descriptions and demos 🙂

    1. kit Post author

      Hmmm, between a ballone and a ballote, the jump we did seemed closer to a ballote. But it’s different from the ballote we learned in my other class, so now I’m just confused…
      Thanks for the link though 🙂


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