Category Archives: steps

Chaines: Bring The Party (Side)

At Suspend, where I train in aerials, there’s a cute shorthand for differentiating one’s dominant side from one’s non-dominant side: we call the dominant (usually right) side the “business side” and the non-dominant (usually left) side the “party side.”

This means that if, for example, you start an exercise on your dominant side, when your instructor says, “…And, now let’s do the party side!” you’ll know what to do regardless of which side is which for you (or, if you’re a giant mess of cross-dominant feels like me, you’ll just do whichever one you didn’t already do).

I mention all this largely to apologize for the fact that I’m about to lamely use the same terminology to mean “something completely different,” as it were, all apologies to Cirque Volant du Monty Python.

and-now-for-something-completely-different-1

Shamelessly stolen via Teh G00gs.

Anyway, as you all know by now, I have what one might call a chequered past with regard to chaîné turns. I have been known to refer to them as “hell turns,” “devil turns,” and “Can’t we just leave that part out?”

In short, I used to hate chaîné turns avec le feu de mille soleils(1).

  1. That’s “with the fire of a thousand suns,” for those playing along in only one language, or at any rate in a pastiche of languages that doesn’t include French.

Then I learned, or possibly re-learned, to approach them from tombé and began to make peace with them (the fact that BW makes me do roughly a billion chaînés every class probably doesn’t hurt, either: that’s what happens when you have 90 minutes and only one student).

I’ve spent the last several months tweaking things: bringing the chest forward, doing away with the swayback bit, actually spotting at the same rate I’m turning, etc. All of this has greatly improved my relationship with the much-hated chaîné.

On this past Friday, BG added a really sound correction (given to the entire class) to the mix—one very similar, in fact, to that which Killer B gave me on my grand assemblé en tournant. BG said, in essence,

Don’t let the second side trail behind. Snap it around. Think about actively bringing the opposite shoulder and hip around.

It turns out that this helps immensely—but, as with almost everything in ballet, it requires that you’ve first laid down the groundwork.

In this case, the groundwork is cross-lateral activation. If you’ve got decent pirouettes and piqué turns, chances are good that you have the groundwork in place.

It just so happens, though, that we tend to forget to use it when doing chaînés, probably because we’re too busy grumbling to ourselves about how horrible they are.

Anyway, when you consciously think about bringing the trailing shoulder and hip along with you, which you do by activating the muscles that connect diagonally across your body, not only do you prevent the annoying swayback effect, but you also get faster turns with less effort.

So, really, while the term “chaîné” refers to the fact that you’re chaining together a series of turns, you can also think about it as if you’re chaining the trailing side of your body to the leading side, or perhaps better, activating the chains of muscles that connect across your body, as you turn.

I was actually quite surprised at how immediate and clear a difference this made for me: it got me a “Good, Asher!” from BG, which is always welcome (and, for once, did not immediately cause me to forget how to walk, let alone dance).

So, basically, if you think of your business side as the side that’s leading, make sure you intentionally bring the party side along with it: because all business and no party makes Jack terrible at chaînés. Or something like that.

One more semi-pro tip: I find it helpful to imagine that something is pushing my trailing side around from behind. For whatever reason, this helps me keep shoulders and hips (and, presumably, body and soul) together.

So, there you have it. My current bit of helpful advice for chaînés, which (as it turns out) are not beyond help after all.

I may not be quite as ridiculously fast at them as Rudolf Nureyev was, but dangit, I’m improving. So there.

~

PS: I am likely to be more or less incognito for a week or so. I have a Big Thing Happening, and I’m keeping my hecking mouth shut about it until it’s done, and might just kind of keep my big hecking mouth shut period for a bit and take a break from the written variety of Social Meteors.

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Sissones, Petit Allegro Style

As you may know, petit allegro is not my forté.

As such, I ask all kinds of super-technical questions, like:

PLZ HALP.
HOW DO POTEET ALLERGO ZIZZONES LESS BAD?

Fortunately, LAA’s class is small enough that she’s had a chance to really analyze my (admittedly-wack) petit allegro calzone zizzone technique, and last night she gave me two incredibly helpful bits of advice:

  • Tone down the UP!!!!
    • In comparison with barre exercises, think of it as a jeté (accent in, if it helps you keep the adductors fully engaged) rather than as grand battement.
  • Add some side (that is, lateral travel).

So let’s revisit a screencap of me doing pantones sissones:

sissones-01

I’m the one with no feet on the ground.

This is me landing a pannetone sissone[1]. Technically, this was a medium allegro combination, but it was still wildly unnecessary for me to put that much elevation into that jump (and every single other jump in that combination).

  1. If you need a quick refresher, a sissone is a jump from two legs to one leg. A pannetone is a delicious sweet bread (not sweetbread, that’s something else) from Milan.

You can see that my working leg is up there (and turned out and pointed and effing winged, holy hell).

What you can’t see is that I did this entire sissone with very little lateral travel relative to the height of the jump.

You can probably calculate the apex height of the jump with some degree of accuracy. That should give you an idea of why I’m always and forever behind when tasked with sissones in settings other than grand allegro (ideally at “men’s tempo,” which tends to be slow in order to allow for lots of elevation and ballon).

I’ve probably been doing petit allegro sissones this way for quite a while: I think, “Make it smaller,” and respond by making it not go anywhere but UP.

Technically speaking, sissones aren’t really traveling jumps (which is to say that they’re not leaps, basically). Laterally speaking, you shouldn’t go very far in a sissone—but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go anywhere at all.

If you tone down your elevation and allow for a little lateral travel, your petit allegro sissone tends to become the light, lovely little spring that it’s supposed to be, and you don’t get behind the music and find yourself receiving epic side-eye from the poor schmuck attempting to dance next to you.

When I approach them this way, I can make my petit allegro sissones small and light enough to practice them in my kitchen without fear of whacking my feet or shins on things (my kitchen is tiny; the struggle is real). Coincidentally, that also means they’re quick enough to use in those horrible, fast petit allegro combinations universally despised[2] by those of us who are built for grand allegro.

  1. Or at least despaired over…

One more thing: if your hips are ridiculously flexible like mine are, you’ll also want to think about opening  the working leg straight to the side or even a little ahead.

The flexibility of my hips lets me put my legs kind a quite far back in a turned-out second, which can make closing back to 5th to prepare for the next jump really slow and do weird things to the path of the sissone, which should be diagonal.

Coincidentally, I have to think about the same thing when doing grand pirouettes: keep the working leg engaged a few degrees forward of dead-to-the-side, or things become unwieldy because physics.

Mid-Year Progress Report, 2017

You guys, WTF?!!!

IT IS ALMOST JULY, YOU GUYS. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN.

did-that-really-just-happen

This blog has now reached a point at which I can recycle images at will for almost any topic.

Anyway, as you know, ballet goals: I haz them.

wp-image-1097475121jpg.jpeg

Some of my ballet goals, affixed to my copy of Tarasov’s (ahem) *man*ual pour les danseurs (Get it? *MAN*ual? Whomp, whomp, whooommmmmp… :V).

Anyway.  (Yup, it’s about to get long in here, so have a cutscene thingy.)

Read the rest of this entry

Remember That Audition Where I Fell Off The Trapeze? 

The most interesting man in the world doesn’t always fall off the trapeze, but when he does, it’s during an audition … and lands him a callback!(1)

  1. Okay, so falling off the trapeze may have had exactly nothing to do with it. But still! I got a callback!!! YASSSSSSS!

Pretty much a perfect depiction of how I’m feeling right now 😀

Technique: Notes On Tombe-Coupe-Jete

I’m launching a series of post on the details of technique. It’ll probably consist primarily of steps I’m struggling with, so take it with a grain of salt.

I find it helpful to write things out in an effort to get a grip on them. These aren’t so much instructions (though if they work for you, awesome!) as observations.


Tombé-coupé-jeté is a subset of coupé-jeté en tournant (if you do jazz, you might know this as a “calypso,” if I understood my classmate correctly). 

As its name implies, it’s a compound step. The elements are:

  • a tombé into a
  • turn at coupé
  • that lends its rotation to a jeté

Some form or another of coupé-jeté en tournant shows up in men’s technique a lot—QV Le Corsaire’s famous (and famously-hard) Slave variationthe Pas de Trois from Swan Lake, a whole bunch of stuff in Nutcracker, etc, etc.

Coupé-jeté pass starts at ~1:20 This guy knows what he’s about.
Also, 
I like the way he moves.

The tombé version is the one I’m concerned with here.

I’ve been wrestling with making my tombé-coupé-jeté consistent on both sides so I can use it in choreography without having to think about it (because thinking is basically death to my ballet technique; it makes my brain overheat and crash).

The basic mechanics, traveling right, go like this:

  1. Tombé onto the right leg.
  2. Bring the left leg to coupé while executing a turn en dedans.
    1. Your arms help to provide momentum for the turn.
    2. Don’t leave your body behind!
  3. Transfer weight onto the left foot. Your left leg will be in a demi-plié.
  4. Simultaneously, grand battement the right leg just as you would for a plain old vanilla jeté.
  5. Spring off the left leg.

JP’s notes:

  • For men’s technique: tombé to second (you get a bigger jump, and men’s technique is basically be distilled into How To Get A Bigger Jump).
    • I realized today that I kept tombé-ing to something like 2.5ième. Bleh.
    • It works a lot better if you actually really do tombé to an actual 2nd.
  • The turn happens in the coupé.
    • NOT in the tombé.
    • NOT in the jeté*.
      • *The remaining momentum from the turn will cause the jeté to rotate slightly, but if you think of the turn as being in the jeté, you’ll inevitably add a rond-de-jambe, and everything will go right to Hell in a hand-basket.
      • O-Turns-Why

        So, basically, this is “how not to pirouette,” but, eh. You get the point.

    • I tend to start unfurling my working leg at the wrong point in this turn. DO NOT DO THIS. It throws everything else off, and also results in a wobbly flight path.
  • The right leg sweeps STRAIGHT OUT, as in grand battementavant or to 2nd (I’m not actually sure if one is correct and the other incorrect; I didn’t think to ask JP).
    • The working leg does not rond.
    • I repeat, the working leg DOES NOT ROND.
      • I find that it helps to think “Grand battement!” rather than “Don’t rond!”

So let’s think about how this all works on the right.

  • The tombé loads the right leg, providing impetus for the turn just as the plié does at the beginning of a pirouette.
  • The arms come together to add to the momentum of the turn as the left leg snaps to coupé.
    • The body has to stay connected—the shoulders and hips must travel together—in order to execute this movement well. This is true for all turns, but especially true for coupé-jeté en tournant.
  • The coupé builds momentum that will allow the jeté to sail along a curvilinear pathway.
  • At the end of the turn, the weight is transferred to the left leg in demi-plié. The right leg sweeps straight out to initiate the jeté.
  • The jump lands on the right leg. It’s possible to move right into another coupé-jeté en tournant or into another step entirely.

Here’s what I tend to do wrong when doing tombé-coupé-jeté en tournant.

  1. tombé into some weird 2.5iéme kind of position instead of a clean 2nd.
  2. I fail to keep my hips and shoulders together.
  3. I try to come out of the turn at coupé to soon.
  4. I sometimes snap the leg up as one would in saut de chat instead of sweeping it straight up.
  5. rond the leading leg in the jump to compensate for exiting the turn too early.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did do about a million slow-motion coupé-jetés on my living room carpet while trying to work all of this out.

Anyway, now I know what I’m doing wrong, so I should have a better time getting it all sorted.

In the meantime, here’s a really good video that demonstrates coupé-jeté en tournant. I should probably note that I’ve only watched it with the sound off, so I have no idea what it sounds like 😛

Balances 

Tried Aerial A’s exercise with my worst balance, coupé (avant), today. 

Holy Entrechats, Bournonville-man! It works! 

The exercise in question(1), by the way, is a painfully slow piqué into whatever balance.

So, with Turnout Mode Engaged:

  • point (with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul) through the entire leg that’s going to be the supporting leg
  • keep the hip socket engaged 
  • soft demi-plié the other leg
  • keep the hip socket engaged 
  • push (don’t spring!) onto the demi-point of the supporting leg 
  • KEEP THE HIP SOCKET ENGAGED(2)!!! 
  • slowly lift-rotate the working leg into place 

This gives you time to think about what your back, hips, etc are doing. 

I’ve realized the my back is totally my nemesis in coupé—in retiré, I automatically engage the bejeezus out of my core (because that is part of the recipe for a high retiré), but in coupé I don’t, and then my tendency to throw my shoulders and head back just screws the whole thing right up. 

The various  arabesques and attitude arrière are easier because they’re counter-balances, which means you can fake ’em’ til you make ’em, to an extent. 

Meanwhile, attitude avant and simple balance à la seconde are hard enough that I have to think about them (and both require intense core engagement). Likewise, balances in extension (usually via développé) in the various directions engage the core automagically for me. 

Hence, coupé balance is hard because it’s easy. 

Ah, yes. That’s right. This is ballet, the art of counter-intuition, isn’t it?


  1. I’ll see if I can get Aerial A to collaborate on a video for this!
  2. If you’re like me and you like to show off your flexibility and hyperextensions and beautiful lines and you have intermittent issues with your supporting leg feeling squidgy at the top, you might be failing to extend from the hip socket, and instead making your whole pelvis go all cattywampus and sideways ‘n’ shizzle. See below. 

This visualization works well for me. Also … My handwriting. So very terrible. Sorry.

Ballet Goals for 2017

We’re on break for the next couple of weeks, so this seems like a good time to sit down and set some ballet goals for next year.

I think I set some last year, but I’m not sure what they were (because I’m too lazy to look them up right now). Anyway, I may not have included all of these on whatever list I made, but I know these were all things I hoped to achieve in 2016:

  • Reliable double turns. Check.
  • Suck less at port de bras. Hella check. I realize now that this is a really, really vague, but still. The nice part about being actually terrible at something is that you can improve really fast if you put in the work.
  • Suck less at petit allegro. Kinda check? This one was too vague as well. I am less bad at petit allegro than I used to be, but it is not my forté. Not at all. Got beats, though, and at least least it’s usually just bad petit allegro these days and not the desperate flailings of a a baby giraffe on rollerskates. 
  • Barrel turns. Oddly enough, I did manage to learn these. I wouldn’t call them reliable—they’re still squarely in the “can do it if I don’t try to think about it” department. 
  • Tombé-coupé-jeté. See “barrel turns.”
  • Saut de basque. Check. Like a boss, mofos. I have one heck of a nice saut de basque. 
  • Ditto pas de chat Italien. I didn’t know this was a goal until someone asked me if I could do it. Then it was a goal for the 5 minutes it took me to remember how.
  • Ditto also renversé. I don’t know why it’s so hard to “get,” but once you really have it, you want to put it in everything. It’s like saffron or fleur du sel. 

So my first goal for 2017 is to make my goals for next year less vague (pretty sure that’s basically like wishing for more wishes).

So here we go.

Steps & Stuff

  • Double tours.
  • Double cabrioles avant and arrière (edit: see footnote 1)
  • Reliable triple turns.
  • Unreliable quarduples.
  • Reliable turns à la seconde.
  • Entrechats six et plus. This should be doable; my quatre is reliable.
  • Brisée—this needs to be reliable. Right now, it’s …. Yeah. Let’s not talk about that.
  • Maybe revoltade? I feel like fewer of my goals should be grand allegro pyrotechnics, since that’s basically playing to my strengths. 
  • Solve the infuriating problem of being good at circular/grand port de bras without the barre and less good with.
  • Overcome my turns-at-the-barre phobia. Seriously.
  • Balances. All of them. Today in Sunday class I slow-piquéd into a first arabesque, slowly brought my working leg up above 90, and just hung out there until my head pretty much exploded with amazement thanks to a very simple exercise that Aerial A gave us. Then I failli-ed out like it was no big deal. 
  • Temp de puisse. Stop turning it into a funky Sissone.
  • Sissones. Review them. ALL OF THEM. 

Specifically for BW:

  • Directional stuff. BW is basically the reason I can now reliably describe whether something is croisé or effacé without having to freaking well get up offa that thing and dance til ya feel better  out of my seat, draw my imaginary box, and then execute the movement in question. 
  • Strengthen them turnouts.
  • Use that crazy-high passé/retiré without having to think about it.
  • Dat sus-sous, though. I feel feel that BW will be happy with me when he never, ever has to remind me to tighten my sus-sous (for the record, he’s the one who helped me solve my sus-sous versus knees problem, so I’m glad he calls me out on it).
  • Effing devil turns.  Chainês. Be good at them, because I want BW to be proud of me, and whenever I do chainês he looks vaguely horrified. I think this is exacerbated by the fact fact that we usually precede them with My Favorite Thing, piqué turns, at which I rock 

Variations 

  • Revisit Albrecht’s variation. Work out the kinks. Specifically: connect the steps and passes better; get the arms sequenced so I don’t do stupid flappy hands after jumps.
  • Revisit the first act Peasant Pas from Giselle. See above. No flappy hands and no half-assing the balances. 
  • Learn at least 2 more solo or duo variations. This should be no problem. I should look at the repertoire and see what’s what. Probably not Le Corsaire, though miracles do happen. I could probably learn the trepak from one Nutcracker or another. Maybe something from Swan Lake? Or from La Dame aux Camélias.
  • Learn at least one pas de deux. This will probably depend on whether we get rep class and partnering class to happen; otherwise it’s just going to be a thing that maybe happens at summer intensive, I guess?

Choreography

  • Finish and stage “Work Song.” I should should be able to fully check this one off in March!
  • Finish at least the first act of Simon Crane. Possibly look into setting and staging a few pieces.
  • Finish Peace, set it, and perform it.

And, of course, I will endeavor to actually be good at port de bras and épaulement, in accordance with the scriptures, and to focus on making my petit allegro light, precise, and clean, instead of always approaching it as “grand allegro, but faster and with a million fussy steps.” (Read: tone down the elevation and the travel.)

That might prevent Eric Bruhn, Bournonville, and Vaganova visiting me from beyond the grave to stare at me in silent disappointment. Not that this has happened, of course, but I feel that it’s what should happen to bad little boys who don’t work on their petit allegro.

Lastly, I will attempt to remember that attacking turns does not mean we’re trying to kill them. Or, rather, to remember that when it counts, and not after class or in bed at 11 PM.

Um, that’s probably enough for one year.


  1. Turns out I can do double cabrioles arrière using the “hands on the barre (or shopping cart)” approach that we use to convince ourselves we can do any cabrioles at all as little kids. This doesn’t actually buy me any air time, so apparently this is entirely a mental thing. Avant on the other hand? Dunno yet.

    Bonus: it’s Hella fun doing shopping-cart double cabrioles across a parking lot in winter boots 😀

    Arabesques Made Simple*

    *Unless you’re following an RAD syllabus, in which case, ignore this completely. 

    Today, M r. C gave us a brilliant shorthand for keeping arabesques sorted by name. None of this “same arm/leg vs opposite arm/leg” confusion, just clarity. 

    I’m listing them here in the following format: “Arms; legs.”

    1. Open to audience; open to audience 
    2. Closed to audience; open to audience
    3. Open to audience; closed to audience
    4. Closed to audience; closed to audience 

    Obviously, this doesn’t tell you what what to do with your head, but I don’t find that difficult to remember. I just get the names of the arabesques confused, so up until now I’ve just tried really hard to make sure that I memorize the arabesques visually, because I haven’t reliably been able to remember which is which verbally (except first arabesque).

    Anyway, I think this is brilliant, and I hope it helps you as as much as it helps me.

    Thursday Class: Split the Difference

    Tonight was my first class back with Company B.

    There were only 3 of us, the more advanced members of the class, so he taught to a fairly high standard. (I should say, he always teaches to a high standard, but in this case he also gave us fairly advanced material).

    At the beginning of barre, I was worried I wouldn’t be up to hanging with the cool kids, since I’m still fresh back from my Off Season, but once we got into it, I felt fine. My body woke up and remembered that dancing is what it does, and after that everything went fairly smoothly.

    I got my left split back today. That’s a huge improvement. I’d been having trouble recovering it after yoinking something in my hip at the July intensive, but a month off seems to have un-yoinked said something. Now the only thing making life difficult is a tight spot in the top of my right quadriceps, but it’s not preventing me from getting that split all the way down, just making it slower getting there. It’ll come.

    So that’s another keen reminder of how sometimes it’s good to take some time off, let the body just recover. 

    In other news, I had developed a weird hait of fouette-ing out of my renverse, and I got that sorted tonight a well. I was, it turns out (har, har) turning (ha!) my renverse into a turn, which, as M. BeastMode reminds us whenever we do renverse in his classes, it patently isn’t. It’s just a fancy way to change the direction of your body, really.

    Anyway, if you turn your renverse into a full turn, you wind up doing a crazy kind of fouette thing to face yourself back into the correct direction. That sort of defeats the whole point of the renverse, and while it looks cool, it almost certainly isn’t valid technique.

    On the other hand, being able to float through a full rotation in renverse means you have the balance working, so there’s that?

    So basically, renverse is a fancy pivot that takes you only halfway around your imaginary box (generally from one corner to its diagonal opposite) and not a turn. And it looks awesome.

    We also drilled down on pas de bourree en tournant, which is one of those steps that, at this level, many of us have just been faking forever with varying degrees of success. CB pointed out that it’s helpful to think of the en tournant part as quarter-half-half, and mentioned that even our resident Russian-trained-in-actual-Russia ballerina (and, yes, I’m using that term in the technical sense) says you often wind up having to fudge it a little. So you might go quarter-half-half and then sort of pivot subtly in sus-sous, or whatevs.

    Anyway, excepting one instance of my prodigious ability to do the should-be-impossibly-wrong turn, my turns were good today, as were most other things once my body woke up. So that was good.

    I love Company B’s class, because he tends to give a slightly slower class (possibly because he legitimately has a full 90 minutes, whereas my other classes are nominally 75 minutes long, but generally run closer to 90 anyway), which allows more time to absorb the finicky little details.

    Which is good, because finicky little details are, to some extent, the heart and soul of ballet, though of course they mean nothing if the technique underpinning them isn’t there. They are, however, what puts the finish on.

    So that was class tonight. 

    I apologize for my lack of diacritical marks, by the way.I’m trying out a new Bluetooth keyboard and am too tired this evening to go back and add them after the fact. I suppose I could’ve just used HTML mode on this editor, but I didn’t think of it ’til just now.

    Choreography Study Group tomorrow, Advanced Class on Saturdau, teaching on Sunday, back to Modern on Monday now that my car is back from its maintenance visit.

    Also, I really quite love this little keyboard, even if I keep mistyping “keyboard” in various creative ways.

    Advanced Class: Don’t Leave Your Body Behind

    Today’s class was pretty good.

    EF taught, which meant long and complicated combinations at barre, some of which were VERY fast.

    After we had all sort of traded a moue of despair after flailing our way through something that I’ll call a degagé combination (with the understanding that it was SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT), he pointed out to us that we shouldn’t feel disheartened and give up mid-combo if we’re not fast enough yet.

    Even if we flail through and don’t quite make it, even if the combination is so freaking fast that 75% of the advanced class can’t actually get their feet either to point fully or to relax fully, by trying, we’re developing the strength and the speed that will eventually allow us to execute these insanely-fast combinations correctly.

    riddikulus

    Us at barre today(1, by PhantomMoon, via Pinterest).

    I was awfully glad to hear that, because that’s exactly what I keep telling myself: even if you’re just flailing away like a wind-sock, keep going, because it is through flailing that we reach transcendence.

    Or something like that.

    Even if you’re just flailing away like a wind-sock, keep going, because it is through flailing that we reach transcendence.

    Or something like that.

    (I felt like that could use some fancy formatting.)

    This is how EF teachers, and one of the reasons that I lurve his classes(2). As I have probably mentioned before, he teaches to the most advanced dancer in the room (in this case: a home-town boy on a brief vacation from American freaking Ballet Theater, apparently) and allows everyone else to rise to that level.

    Curiously, it generally works.

    Anyway, adagio went well, once I stopped being a spaz and forgetting to actually use the muscles that make my supporting leg, like, support me (yeah, totally fumbled in a tour lent today … but I jumped right back into it and fixed it on the second side).

    Turns and terre-a-terre also went well: we got music from Swan Lake today, and my insides went SQUEEE! because I ❤ Swan Lake so hard. My outside, on the other hand, went, “I’m not sure I have this! I’m still not sure I have this! Oh, wait — I’ve got this!”

     

    Basically, I was having some trouble remembering where this one failli went, and also trouble remembering that my new dancing policy is supposed to be:

    Look like you know what you’re doing.

    …Even when you don’t.

    Which, this week, has been frequently.

    Anyway. Petit allegro was a moderate disaster, but only because for some reason on the first pass my brain couldn’t contain the combination, and on the second pass my body kept executing the incorrect version.

    It began:

    assemblé
    jeté
    assemblé
    jeté

    and then made with the glissades, but I somehow thought it began with glissade – jeté and thus kept doing it backwards and getting horribly lost.

    EF tried to sort me, but my legs refused to comply until the very. last. repeat. Thus, I wound up working it alone, as everyone packed up.

    EF called me over and gave me a note on my brush-jumps (the ones like jeté, assemblé, and so forth). I’ve been leaving my body behind, which has been forcing me to make extra weight-changes in petit allegro and putting me behind the count.

    Evidently, my jumps aren’t actually slow anymore (EF said they’re actually quicker than a lot of my classmates’); it’s the extra weight-changes doing me in at this point.

    So in addition to continuing to work on solidifying my supporting leg, this week I’ll be concentrating on bringing my body with me when I jump (something I need to think about in general, really; I do this on grand jeté and saut de chat as well).

    Anyway, he spent several minutes working with me in on this, and (of course) I thanked him profusely. He takes a lot of time with me: fixing my arm at barre (which needs doing with alarming frequency; it’s better than it was, but it still likes to drift too far back and lose its shape and so forth), tweaking my jumps and turns, and so forth. I really appreciate that, as a great deal of the ground I’ve gained has been the direct result of these fine-point corrections from my instructors.

    It’s also nice to know that I’m not invisible in a gigantic advanced class — there were a billion of us today (even adagio required two groups).

    After, I went to juggling class, in which I managed a new-record-for-me 27 cascades, then worked my choreography a bit in Open Fly. I think I’ve solved the last of the timing problems (added a sissone to arabesque; not 100% sure it works with the music).

    And now I’m at home, writing this, contemplating lunch, and preparing to undertake a cleaning binge as a way to keep myself from just obsessing about tomorrow’s audition.


    Notes, References, and Asides

    1. Sadly, I can’t find a proper source for this; if it’s from etsy, I want one! OMG I FOUND IT!
    2. Sadly, after next Saturday, we won’t have him again for a while, because the regular season and so forth take off again next week, and he has So Many Responsibilities.
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