ballet goooooooaaaaaals! … the master list

ballet goooooooaaaaaals! … the master list

I figured I should maybe put together a page for my running list-o-goals (in addition to writing posts about them), so here it is.


Where to find some of 2017’s goals in Tarasov’s Ballet Technique for the Male Dancer. Also, my rainbow leopard lounge warm-ups lounge pants with grey-and-pink socks and red slipper-feets that don’t go.

2017 Ballet Goals

The Biggie

  • Improve Petit Allegro: speed as well as precision. Right now, I can reliably manage one or the other, but not both 😦 When I get both, though, it’s like magic.


  • Mam-Luft & Co, June?
  • Pilobolus, July
    • Aerial A and I are going together. This should be a heck of a lot of fun.
  • Lexington Ballet, July
  • Sun King, if I somehow win the lottery :/
  • There might be another one—C from Advanced ballet mentioned that she’d heard about one from some other ballet peeps, but didn’t have the details.

Steps & Stuff

  • Double tours (Tarasov, 409)*
  • Double cabrioles avant and arrière*
    • Closer than I thought, guys!
  • Perfect tombé-coupé-jeté.***
    • That’s “perfect” the verb, not the adjective. I can work on perfecting it; something actually being perfect in ballet is pretty much impossible.
  • Reliable triple turns**
  • Unreliable quarduples (or quadruples, ffs)**,***
  • Reliable turns à la seconde (Tarasov, 324)*
  • Entrechats six et plus (Tarasov, 267)**
  • Reliable Brisé et Brisé volé**
    • It’s ridiculous that I forget how to do these, then un-forget, then re-forget.
  • Balances**. All of them.
    • Everyone’s balances can always be better.
  • Temp de Puisse Cuisse** (DONE!!!)
    • Stop turning it into a funky Sissone!
  • Sissones**. Review them. ALL OF THEM.

*Essential men’s technique.
**Essential errrrbody’s technique.
***Also, obvs I know how to spell this, but the typo struck me as hilarious, so I’m leaving it.

Barre Problems I Need To Solve

  • The infuriating problem of being good at circular/grand port de bras without the barre and less good with.
  • My turns-at-the-kneewhacker-barre phobia. Seriously. WTF. This needs to go.
  • Get better at managing when the barre is too low, because it almost always is, even though I’m only 5’8″.

Specifically for BW:

  • Directional stuff (croisé, effacé, etc)+.
  • Strengthen them turnouts++.
  • Use that crazy-high passé/retiré without having to think about it++.
  • Sus-sous+++: get it to a point at which BW never has to say, “Get it tighter!” even when I’m super tired. NO MORE LAZY SUS-SOUS!
  • Effing devil turns.  Chainês. Polish these turds up until they shine, ffs++++.

+This is for BW because BW is the person who made me understand it in the first place. I totally failed to really learn this as a kid. I just kinda faked my way through.
++These are basics, obvs, but they’re sort of advanced-mode basics. BW knows I have the capacity for 180-degree turnout and a really high passe and expects me to use them.
+++BW has giant thighs and knees just like I do, so those don’t fly as an excuse with him. Besides, life is easier when your sus-sous is nice and tight. Which just sounds … kinda inappropriate, really.
++++Honestly, I really hate chainês, but I hate them because I’m far worse at them than I should be. When I do them, BW just looks … I dunno, dejected. Especially since they usually follow piqué turns, which I do LIKE A BOSS.


  • Revisit Albrecht’s variation (Giselle, Act 2). Work out the kinks.
    • No flappy hands, frealz.
    • Connect all the steps.
  • Revisit the first-act Peasant Pas from Giselle.
    • See above. No flappy hands, connect the steps better.
    • Also, no half-assing the balances.
      • They’re important.
      • You rocked them in rehearsal.
  • Learn at least 2 more solo or duo variations.
    • Probably not Le Corsaire, but I would’ve said that about Albrecht’s before I learned it.
    • Possibly Prince Florimund, Act II, from The Sleeping Beauty?
    • Maybe one of the ones from Apollo???
  • Learn at least one pas de deux.
    • This really depends on scheduling. Obviously, I can schedule myself, but I need a partner for pas de deux who dances at a similar level (or, ideally, better than I do :P). BB is a good fit, but her schedule is, shall we say, challenging. C might be a good fit, too, if she has time (and she makes me look tall :P).


  • “Work Song:” Set & perform. This hits the stage in March April! (Except it’s not “Work Song” anymore; it’s “Fade to White,” set to Anthony & The Johnsons’ cover of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”)
  • Simon Crane: Finish at least Act I. Possibly look into setting and staging a few pieces.
  • Peace: finish it, set it, and perform it.

Bonus Goals

  • Maybe revoltadeI’m not making this a primary goal because I think my goals for the year are already front-loaded with grand allegro pyrotechnics. Those play to my strengths, and I need to focus more on things that aren’t my strengths.On the other hand, if I manage to knock out my other goals quickly enough, I’ll add it to the list. It’s a skill any male dancer does well to have in his bag of tricks.

2016 Ballet Goals

  • 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
    • Check, surprisingly enough.
  • Tombé-coupé-jeté
    • See “barrel turns.”
  • Saut de basque
    • Check! Check! Triple Check!
      • Like a boss, mofos. I have one heck of a nice saut de basque.
  • Pas de Chat Italien
    • Check!
    • 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.
  • Renversé
    • Check!
    • 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.
  • Summer Intensive: attend at least one!
    • I did two—Mam-Luft & Co in June and Lexington Ballet in July.
      • I did my first triple turns and barrel turns at Mam-Luft.
      • I learned Albrecht’s variation at Lexington.

Eventually I suppose I should make a list of the skills that I’ve legitimately nailed down. Then, when I have one of those days on which I’m like:


…I’ll be able to take a look at it and be like, “Yeah, actually…? That might not really be true.”

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