In New Studio class we’ve been working on lots of new to me stuff, which makes barre more challenging that normal. I really like it though, as it seems that this will make me a better dancer. I still can’t believe that I’m actually referring to myself as a dancer – perhaps soon I will start to feel like one.
Something I really like about this class is that when we change from one side to the other at barre, sometimes instead of doing a soutenu we do bourree. This has been the first class I’ve taken that we do bourree at all (not pas de bourree, but just bourree), and I do remember before ever coming to this studio wondering when I would take a class in which we’re taught bourree. It may have to do with there being several people en pointe in this class, but I’m just glad I get to be in the middle of it!
Another new thing I learned is something called serrie (my spelling’s probably off), which is kind of like these tiny little piques in the front. Well, like piques but much quicker. Then, in another combination I learned what is known as flic flac. This move was much more difficult for me than the serrie. Flic flac involved brushing out the working foot, then brushing it back in to the front (in coupe, perhaps?) while turning into the barre, and then brushing it to the back while completing the 1/2 revolution and now facing the opposite direction to do the other side. NS Teacher came around and worked with each of us on the flic flac, having us do it for her until we got the general idea of it. I was struggling a bit, but she assured us that it’s something that gets easier once we stop overthinking it. As a lot of things in ballet do, apparently – or so I’ve heard.
We also do fondue-developpes, which is how it sounds: part fondue, part developpe. It starts out like a regular fondu, plie-ing our supporting leg, and bringing the working leg to coupe. Then we developpe the working leg, while staying in fondue, only straightening it as we close. These look so pretty the way the more experienced students in the class do them, but for now I still feel a little awkward doing them.
My rond de jambes en l’air, the small kind, are terrible. In my other classes, the majority of rond de jambes en l’air we did were the kind where the leg goes around from the front to a la seconde to the back. In this one we’re also doing the kind where the thigh stays a la seconde and only the bottom half of the leg does a little rond de jambe. I am so not good at those! I feel like it looks like I’m just ramdomly waving my calf and foot around – or perhaps even trying to shake something off. However, I do like how we do lots of extending the leg out and then bringing it back to passe in releve. I’m sure it’ll help with leg strength.
We also worked on echappe releves at the barre, which is something I hadn’t done in class in a while, months at least. It was 4 echappe releves, sous-sus balance, turn in bourree, otherside, repeat twice all with one hand at the barre. Another good strengthening workout for our calves, and I felt so much more stable than my last time doing this.
Once again we did lots of jumping in center, though at least this time I had a more appropriate leotard. The combination we did was 8 sautes in first , 8 changements, 4 changements while turning a revolution, 4 entrechats (!), glissade, cabriolet (to the side), then repeat to the left. I was good up until the entrechats, which I have no idea how to do, so I think I just jumped to try to keep up with the tempo. A regular jump with no beats uses up much less time than a beated one, and there was 4 jumps. So I ended up off tempo anyway. Then there’s the cabriolet. This one to the side looked easier than the ones to the front that I’d seen in class before, but still not easy enough for me to actually do. NS Teacher said that you jump with one leg out, then have the second leg meet the first leg in midair and push the first leg up, and I at least attempted to do it, unsuccessfully.
In general, i think we (meaning the recent influx of beginners from summer ballet session, which I am a part of) slowed down the general level of this class because the first class ever here after summer session ended went much, much faster. There’s a lot more explaination now between combinations, and now there’s more demonstrations. NS Teacher seems cool with it, which is awesome. Even though the level is still quite a challenge, the atmosphere is more laid back than during my regular semester classes, so that makes it seem much less intimidating. Yet I still feel like I’m learning so much. I’m so glad I found out about this place!