Killer Class: Okay, There’s Your Head, But Where’s Your Arm At?

Yesterday, I was wrestling with my head in modern class.

Today, it’s back the ongoing struggle to figure out where the hell my arms are in ballet.

At barre, Killer B. reset my free arm in second again. It was wandering around a little behind my shoulder. Such is the weirdness associated with hypermobility.

I made a point of remembering how it felt where she put it, rather than trying to feel for a stretch I’m never going to feel because my body is like, “Pfft, please, this isn’t even a stretch.”

Turns were back in order today, though my spot is still kind of WTF.

Likewise, in terms of just plain strength, things are definitely improving. The turnout is back to sorting itself by the end of tendus, and I found myself adding relevé even when Killer B didn’t suggest it: the second set of grand battement, for example.

We did a beautiful adagio at center twice. I had the sense to ask a question about the arms, but then spent too much mental energy thinking about that moment and made myself a little tense on the first run. The second was better.

We talked about the weird thing we do in ballet where we make a rule and establish it soundly, then break the bejeezus out of it: so all through barre, we focused on imagining a wall that would keep our arms aligned, only to use that wall and then break right through it in adagio.

A a nice waltz/turns combination from the back and an equally nice terre-a-terre followed. Double turns are back on tap, suddenly. Triples are intermittent but kinda there; I had one in each class this weekend and one today. The thing I’m working on is pressing up into my turns rather than jumping into them, a correction I’ve now received from two different teachers in the same week 😛

(File under, “You might need to fix something if…”)

To be fair, jumping into my turns is something I know that I do, which is why I’m so very, very, very much better at adagio turns than up-tempo turns. I like to just kind of ooze into adagio turns: squeeze on up to demi-pointe and float. Sometimes I jump into them anyway, though, when I’m worried I’m forgetting the choreography.

Regardless, it was a good day for musicality. A lot of the music was from Swan Lake, and we got to feeeeel our way through the combinations up until petit allegro rolled in (then it was back to OH G-D HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE).

I’m still fighting the most annoying cold ever, so petit allegro was meh. Little warm-up jumps were fine except for the fact that I had the combination slightly wrong, so I kept having to sort myself out.

On the other hand, I felt less like dying after petit allegro than I did in BW’s class on Thursday … probably because I wasn’t the only dancer in class and could get away with hiding in the back and half-assing it. Shame on me, I guess, but on the other hand I have dance team followed by another class and rehearsal, so completely cooking my legs before lunch seems like a bad idea.



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 2017/02/15, in balllet, class notes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Press up into the turn? It’s like “brush through the floor”, isn’t it. Emphasising movement against some kind of restriction. Gravity is a choice (as Captain Marmite said) but you don’t unchoose it until you get up there.

    • I think the answer is kind of “yes”—I mean the supporting foot shouldn’t go “BOING!” basically. Which mine does with distressing frequency o_O

    • PS: I’m going to have to hold on to the idea of not unchoosing gravity until I get up there. That might help. I think right now what I’m doing is going right for escape velocity 😛

      • come to think of it, pressing up sounds like it might feel like a soutenu. but now I worry Marmite is making me look like he sometimes does, like he couldn’t possibly dance but throws out weird insights.

        then of course – OF COURSE – he goes out in centre and kills.

  2. I think they do that to keep us on our toes (perhaps literally?). Our AD Emeritus has a habit of doing that, too.

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