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Ballet: The Hardest Easy Things

TL;DR: If you’re (still) struggling with pas de valse en tournant, balancé, or the mystery of what the heck to do with your head, don’t worry — everyone else probably is, too. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a solid double tour but still can’t pas de valse without tournant-ing into a jibbering idiot, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

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The other day, during the lull in class between barre and center, I traipsed across the floor and tossed off a random cabriole that my classmates immediately remarked upon: “That was beautiful! Such lovely suspension!” and so forth.

Even I thought it was a particularly nice one. It just felt good — high and light and easy; as if I had all the time in the world to beat my legs before floating back down to earth. If it had been on a Bad 1980s TV show, it would’ve been accompanied that cicada-like sound effect (if your sister was ever obsessed with The Bionic Woman, you know what I mean.)

A few minutes later, we did an adagio combination with waltz turns, and that’s when the wheels came off.

And I don’t mean the training wheels, either. I mean all the wheels.

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