Category Archives: supplemental instruction

Ballet Intensive, Day 3

Last night, conditioning class was tough —Ms. A2 opened with a gentle warm-up that lulled us all into complacency, then whipped out the most-demanding Pilates workout I’ve done to date.

I spent the brief break before technique class pacing the studio to keep my muscles warm; between that and the flexibility work we did in conditioning, I had increasingly awesome turnout throughout barre and good extensions. I’ve been remembering to stretch my piriformis, which has been helping with my splits.

Double turns were reliably on tap for turns and terre-a-terre (a lovely waltzy thing with sweeping ronds) and I had good entrechats during petit allegro, although I had to battle muscle memory to keep from doing a similar combination we do frequently at home.

I might overturn my ruling about triple turns tonight, because I’d like to tune them up for variations, if I can.

After the second break, we ran Albrecht a bunch of times, then revisited our duo, then returned to Albrecht.  We’re now really polishing both. I substituted contretemps where I’d just been stepping over myself in one passage and added double turns where they fit, though if we perform the duo, I probably won’t do them unless C does. We are, after all, supposed to be mirroring of one-another, not show-boating!

Albrecht-wise, since I now have the opening pose-step-chassée-cabriole-assemblée-Sissone sequence down, I’ll see tonight if I can work double cabs in. I’m still not 100% sure I can even do them reliably, but it would be awesome to be able to pull them out on Saturday.

I should also figure out how I want to finish Albrecht’s variation — there are some options. Right now I’m doing a turn from fourth to second to the knee (which I think I should finish effacé but with my shoulders opened back to stage left, since that would leave me facing our imaginary Giselle, for whom I’m theoretically doing this entire dance?).

I plan to watch some versions of the variation on YouTube and collect some ideas.

Mr. J got my arms sorted on a part of Albrecht’s variation about which I’d somehow confused myself and improved my tour-to-the-knee (a definite in the duo and an option for Albrecht), which I’d been doing awkwardly — tour, land on two feet, rond de jambe to knee. He demonstrated it and I realized that it’s cleaner if you pick up the leg that will be in back before you land the tour.

I also want to see if I can swing a double tour before I go home — I had a respectable 1.5 last night, which is progress, although not incredibly useful.

Ballet Squid Chronicles: In Which Your Humble Blogger Hoses Up His Ballet Schedule By Getting A Job

I am now officially a Supplemental Instruction Leader.

For those not familiar with the concept, SI is sort of like a formalized study group for a specific class led by a peer who has done well in the class in question.  The SI Leader is there to facilitate, organize the process, and keep stuff rolling along.

Being an SI Leader is a great opportunity for people who are interested in teaching (not least because it provides a chance to see if you’re actually at all suited to teaching), not to mention a fantastic way to review challenging material from a class you’ve already taken.  That’s a big win-win for me.

The only drawback?

Scheduling.  (What else?)

Predictably, the class for which I’ll be leading the SI session A) is early and B) overlaps with M/W morning ballet.

This means I’ll be taking on some wacky alternative ballet schedule this semester (I’m thinking W, F, S, S) in exchange for the chance to enjoy the heck out of revisiting Behavioral Neuroscience and help some other students out along the way.

It also means getting up at 5:45 or 6:00 in order to be at school to lead an 8:30 AM group.  In the long run, this is a good thing, as it forces me to get up earlier than I otherwise might.

It also means that, in order to catch to 7:15 bus to school, I’ll be out on the bike on relatively low-traffic roads (today, I opted to take the bus the whole way for Reasons).

In other news, I’m still planking along, but have given up on trying to make movies because we’re doing dynamic planks right now and it’s seriously hard to talk and do those (and 2+ minutes of me planking while staring at the camera just sounds boooooooring). 

I did make it 2 minutes and 11 seconds yesterday, though!

So that’s it for now.  I’ll be posting my original Behavioral Neuroscience SI resources here for anyone who either leads “undergrad brain-class” SI or just likes brains and might enjoy them. 

First two should be up soon!

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