Danseur Ignoble: That Moment When You Get It

Today’s class was good.

Not “I did absolutely everything right” good (because, come on, it’s ballet; the very instant you get something really right, they give you something harder to do), but “things are starting to crystallize” good.

I once described this feeling as “leveling up.” This time, it’s not so much leveling up as refining the level I’m on: like going back to collect all the hidden coins in a video game, or whatever.

Brienne gave me a zillion corrections today, which felt awesome (given my history with ballet, horsemanship, and academics, it shouldn’t sound weird to say, “Yay, criticism!” but it rather does, actually). She also said it’s fun to pick on me 🙂 That, too, is high praise coming from one’s ballet teacher.

Barre was quite good, with the exception of a super-weird moment in a grand rond de jambe from soutenu derrière (Brienne described it as “the worst thing in classical ballet, but we have to do it”), which was … well, it could have been worse, but it wasn’t good.

The highlight, meanwhile, occurred during barre adagio: Brienne gave me a handful of corrections as I did a different grand rond de jambe from derrière (this one did not begin with soutenu), and my working leg did this magical thing wherein suddenly it was fully pointed, straight, awesomely turned out, and weightlessly* hovering at what seemed like a ridiculously high extension. It startled3 me so much that I said, “Oh! Hey!”

*Note to self: I have been trying too hard again.

And then my working leg basically owned the rest of that rond de jambe with essentially no effort from me. If only all of class could be like that, all the time!

Now, if I can ever do that again, particularly when someone is ready with a camera, I can probably die happy. I won’t even ever have to perform if someone just gets video me executing of a single perfect grand rond de jambe with that kind of ridiculous extension.

At center, adagio was … meh, could’ve been worse, but would’ve been better if I’d understood the first combination right the first time and then didn’t spend the remaining repetitions freaking out about getting it wrong.

On the upside? Double turns! On demand! WTF, when did I stop sucking at turns (again)?

Brienne gave us a useful talk about identifying one’s own natural spotting speed so one can modulate one’s turning speed according to the music.  I think I am actually kind of a slow-turner, but I’m not entirely certain.

I also sucked it up and did the little jumps, since my toe felt okay, and was surprised how much faster they’re getting. It used to be that I could either jump really slowly with beautiful point and straight legs or schlub my way through quick jumps.   Now I’m starting to hit really nice quick jumps about half the time.

Brienne has been making me focus on really working through my feet, and holy cow, is it ever helping!

We ran out of time before we got to do grand allegro, alas.

I’m thinking I will do class tonight.  A) it’s giant ballet party open house night, and B) Ms. E is teaching, and I don’t think I’ve done class with her yet.  Perhaps we’ll allegro!

Anyway.  That’s it for now.  There is nothing like the feeling of making progress!

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About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2015/08/12, in balllet, class notes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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