Ballet Homework! 

BW continues to be amazing, as always. 

Tonight became Turns Class. This resulted in Turns Homework, as follows:

  1. Passé Pulses*: plié & spring into your highest passé whilst shooting arrows of intention from your supporting leg right through the center of the earth and out the other side. Then use the turnouts and the other muscles of the upper leg to pulse the passé just a little higher and back several times without changing anything else.
  2. All The Singles: prepare fifth (to get your turnouts in the game), tendu à la 2nd, rond into a Goldilocks fourth (not too big, not too small), and then: turn, land fourth, plié eight times. Then do the other side. You can do these at the end of class; it takes about a minute.
  3. I Am An Aeroplane**: place your arms à la 2nd and set your feet in a small 2nd (parallel is fine). Keeping everything engaged through the core, rotate back and forth until you want to die. 

*I think this one might be specific to fairly advanced students with a sound passé. You really want to do it at your maximum turnout or you’re going to wind up working the wrong muscles, which isn’t going to help anyone.

**I feel like this one needs video. This is not the aerobics version in which you twist at the waist. It is exactly the opposite of of that. Your whole body moves together. The whole point is that everything remains engaged.

I have, of course, taken the liberty of giving these creative names and memorable descriptions. All three are suitable for use in the kitchen, which is, as all dancers know, where we do our Turns Homework.

The goal, of course, is to prevent handbasketry.

Still pretty much my favorite graphic. I think I’m going to get this printed on a t-shirt.

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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 2017/01/19, in balllet, class notes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The graphic is awesome. So now I know what a Tendu and Plie look like (as well as a handbasket of doom) but what does a Passe look like?

    • I was hoping I could reply with a picture, but the WP app won’t let me, so here’s a link instead:

      Technically, it’s passé when the working (raised) foot starts front and closes back or vice-versa and retiré when it starts and closes on the same side, but it’s a pain in the neck to always write passé/retiré 😀

      • The link apparently converted to a picture! So I can see it along with reading your descriptive text. And in the photo I see a web address for ballet terms which should be helpful in the future.

        You know I never thought that ballet would require one to essentially learn another language, but I suppose that’s no different from learning to play an instrument or sing, is it? Music has its own vocabulary as well when I think about it.

      • Oh, cool! BalletHub is a great resource. That’s funy, I didn’t realize it would show you the picture and my comment at the same time. Awesome!

        You’re exactly right–I’m a musician as well (I sing and play pipe organ, piano, violin, viola, and ‘cello), and as I began learning a kid one of the things I enjoyed about both music and dance was that they came with “secret” languages shared by people who knew and loved them 😀 (Even if those languages aren’t exactly really all that secret, being respectively Italian and French!).

      • I played the flute and oboe in high school. I sang as well until adulthood, but I started smoking and my hearing went kuput. My middle son informed me not too long ago that I can no longer sing well. You know Autism being literal and picky… he informed I wasn’t allowed to sing anymore, only allowed to make noise. lol I can live with that. 😉

  2. Which reminds me (via the passé/spring thing) of a correction I forgot from yesterday. “When you plié before you spring, always get the heels down – you’ll need them when you jump”

    • Yes! I think those of us with strong feet especially tend to neglect this, because we can muscle our way through many things without actually getting the heels down. Eventually, it tends to bite us in the tuchas (and it makes our jumps less awesome than they can be).

      To whit, that’s is how I tore my soleus a couple years back. It was cold, we were doing *glissade-jete-jete-jete, glissade-jete-jete-jete* as part of a combination,* and I was jumping off my toes without getting my heel under me. #FAIL

      Apparently, this is a great way to tear something, and I was lucky I didn’t blow my Achilles’ tendon.

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