After what feels like a jillion years being confused about part of the naming convention vis-a-vis balancé, I just finally (while thinking about how to re-do my balancé video) figured it out.
The over/under ones (en tournant) are named based on where your foot is going.
HERP. DE. DERP.
Having heretofore failed to make this distinction, I couldn’t even properly link the terms “balancé under” and “balancé over” to the concepts of en dedans and en dehors*.
*There is a part of my brain that is perpetually nine years old and always chooses to translate “en dehors” as “in the out” and then snicker about it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when someone says, “balancé under*,” what they mean is that the working foot passes behind (sometimes expressed as dessous: under, in the same sense that the leg to the rear is “under” in sus-sous or that coupé dessous means “cut under”) as you come through the turn.
*So, with all the French, balancé (en tournant) dessous, which works out to balancé (en tournant) en dedans.
So, say you’re doing balancé à droit – balancé à gauche – balancé under – fourth?
In the balancé under, you:
grab your Metro strap with the right hand (à la Strap-Hanger Waltz)
brush out with the right foot, step onto it – pivot – plié
as the left foot comes around in coupé derrière
continue the turn as you step onto the left foot and plié
pique back onto the right foot and complete the turn
tombé onto the left foot in fourth
This will make my life so much easier, as it’s easy to miss the distinction if you blink when you’re watching the combination, and it helps to have a meaningful description to fall back on.
Honestly, I have spent so many years going, “BUT IT ALWAYS GOES UNDER THE ARM. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. DOES NOT COMPUTE! ABORT! ABORT! QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKetc…”
Why did it take me this long to figure this out? And WHY HAVE I NEVER ASKED? FFS. This is why I remain a Danseur Ignoble: if I had thought to ask all the questions I should have asked by now, instead of just quietly puzzling away in my pretty little head, I’d clearly be a proper danseur noble by now (SHUT UP. OF COURSE THAT’S HOW IT WORKS. LALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAR YOUUUUUUUUU.).
…On the upside, I will now be capable of actually teaching balancé under (and over) to my Sunday class, instead of just going, “Um, you sorta go like this?” and hoping they’ve all had their coffee and Adderall.