Wednesday Class: Keep the Chocolate in the Fondue Bowl
Class was pretty good today.
Brienne gave us one of her signature long, tough barres – but I guess I must be getting stronger, because I made it through two sets of two killer fondu combinations without feeling like I was going to die or like I just couldn’t get my legs off the ground anymore.
Or, well … some of that’s strength and some is technique. Brienne is bringing ideas to class from Robert Curran, our new artistic director, and one was about pelvic alignment and was like a miracle for me.
As a kid, I always stood swaybacked, and I had to correct for that in the ballet studio (and in gymnastics). Now I no longer tend to stand swaybacked, but I still correct – which leads to over-correction (AKA the mortal sin of tucking), so Brienne worked with me on pelvic tilt.
She suggested that we think of the pelvis as a bowl and concentrate on keeping the water in the bowl — thus, in my case, as we worked in fondu and through extensions, I had to tilt the bowl to the front, since in the past I’d been dumping the water out of the back. (My interesting porprioception makes that feel like a huge change, but it’s not.)
As soon as I found the spot where the water would just be shifting towards the font rim of the bowl (but NOT SPILLING, you do not want to spill), my extensions magically became about a billion times lighter and easier.
I also got nice detail corrections for my arms, which makes me happy — my arms have come soooooooo far. I used to be a squid; now I’m slowly becoming a swan — just like in the famous fable, right? Where the squid grows up to be a beautiful swan?
Maybe I’m confused, here…
I also nailed a coupé balance for so long that I shocked the heck out of myself.
Coupé is often my worst balance; today, I was able to just let my arms float up and hang the frack out, like, forever. And close to soussous. And turn. Without falling. Or having to bourée like crazy or anything.
WTF, you guys. Holiday miracles? It’s Chanukah, after all.
I made up for it by forgetting the order of the frappé/Grand Battement combination, though, so there is still balance in the universe.
I think the adagio at center was okay, though I was fairly well cooked at first. When we marked it, I felt like a disaster, but I was able to pull it together, more or less.
Across the floor, I kind of held it together on the first run, and actually nailed the second run down quite well. My turns started out cray, but then I got my head back in the game and pulled my core together. It is always all about the core, you guys (and about keeping the water in the bowl, and turning the arm at the right moment to keep the elbow supported, and about using your épaulement and not hiding from the audience, and…).
The grand allegro combination was almost good, except when I started thinking and hosed it up completely. Note to self: don’t think about which leg; just go, go, go (as the super cute bevy of little girls called out to me on my bike this morning).
We did grand jeté a la Bournonville, and I’m not sure mine was quite right, but it was a decent normal grand jeté. And my entrelacé was good, which it for some reason always is.
Oh, and I did some entrechats that weren’t complete abominations when we did Little Jumps part 2.
Most importantly, Brienne said I look good and things are really coming together — which is the best thing ever.
We live and die by the words of our instructors, especially the ones who push hard and ask a lot of us.
Tonight, more roller time.
For the record, the cat is extremely dubious about the foam roller. Usually, when I’m stretching, he gets on the floor with me and “helps” (nothing like a face full of cat butt to improve your stretch, I always… wait, I mean never… say!); when I’m roller-ing, he mostly supervises from the sofa or the ottoman.
Tomorrow, video at last. I promised Brienne a copy 🙂 I owe so much of my improvement as a dancer to her amazing classes.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Groceries, lunch, home, housework, roller.
À bientôt, mes amis!