Wednesday Class: Look At Those Goalposts Go!

First, I’d like to point out that while “Look at noun go!” is idiomatic, it still sounds hella awkward to my ear in this context. I really want to say, “Watch those goalposts go!” but that doesn’t have the same cultural sense. Maybe I should’ve written: “Those goalposts — look at ’em go!” Or … well. Whatevs.

Anyway, today marked my first Killer Class since before I departed for Burning Man, and while it was predictably a slog because, while well-rested, I am also not quite on form(1), it was also objectively a pretty good class.

(1) I should probably note that I’m really talking about a difference in fitness similar to that in cycling, in which “Fit” and “Racing Fit” are very discrete states.

That being said, I felt like I got through pretty well. Well enough, in fact, that I finished class aware that, once again, the goalposts are on the move.

I took it easy and, for the most part, kept my extensions relatively low today — but I also realized that no longer means working at 45 degrees. 90 degrees is sufficiently comfortable avant and à la seconde to qualify; arrière it’s pretty much the default. It didn’t feel like any trouble to work an from an extension avant or arrière through fondu coupé through développée à la seconde just above 90.

A little of this is a question of strength, but mostly it’s a question of knowing how to use my body in a way that, not too long ago, I didn’t. That, in turn, I owe to really good instruction.

A year ago, I was fighting my own body for higher extensions, and it was largely a question of not knowing how to get there. I knew I was supposed to keep my hips level and that the working leg should be lifted from behind by the same muscles responsible for turnout; I just didn’t actually know how to use my body so those things would happen reliably. Thus, I tended to devolve upon using my quads to lift my working leg.

Anyway, using the right set of muscles has become, essentially, automatic. I no longer battle physics and physiology every single time I work in extension. Pretty cool stuff.

Likewise, even though I was feeling a bit draggy by the time we got there, petit allegro was better than it had any business being. We did:

Echappée, changement, changement, soubresaut,
Echappée, changement, changement, soubresaut,
Glissade avant, glissade arriére, glissade a côte changée, glissade a côte changée,
Echapée, echapée, entrechat quatre, entrechat quatre.


Glissade, jeté, temps levée, temps levée
Glissade, jeté, temps levée, temps levée
Balloté, balloté, balloté, fouetté
Cut under to sous-sous,
Tombé, pas de bourrée,
Glissade, assemblée

(2)Technically, this was sauté fouetté.

These aren’t difficult combinations (though maybe Me From One Year Ago might disagree?), but both offer ample opportunity for leg-tangling (also know as pas de bébé girafe, a subset of the extensive group known collectively as pas de problème … yes, that’s a pun).

In neither case did I fumble into Baby Giraffe Mode (even though I kept forgetting that the ballotés were coming and doing that thing where you think, “Oh, yeah!” and then do the first too one fast to make up for lost time.

This all compares favorably to where I was a year ago, or six months ago, or probably even one month ago. I just tend to forget, when I’m in class basically every day, that I’m actually making progress.

That said, this habit of checking in with myself and making progress-based comparisons also made it abundantly clear that I’ll need to get my core back together again, since I spent way too much time working swaybacked.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m pretty much back in the swing of things, ballet-wise, though still decompressing otherwise.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. 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 2016/09/14, in balllet, class notes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. a class note this week: Lisa has picked up on me being a man, having big quads, and a big arse, but not being able to fly. Moar speedstrength is required. So today’s gym workout has gained a jumping phase. I have discovered the jump-squat; it’s like a (light) squat but you jump.

    Hint: pull the bar down on your shoulders. Or you may get a nasty surprise.

    • Oh, dear. You might want to ice that. OTOH, hooray for speedstrength! I look forward to further reports of flight training.

      Also, I might have to try that. I have a pretty good jump, but one can never have too much jump, yes?

      Also, Company B does class in ankle weights … and a weight vest (presumably so he doesn’t just flat-out hit the ceiling; that boy can JUMP). The first time I saw him in class, he had a gillet over the weight vest and I was like WTF IS WRONG WITH HIS RIBS???!!!

  2. Pas de problème, ha! I have to remember that one. This way, you can progress from a step being your pas de problème to it being pas de problème at all. Brilliant!

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