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Class Notes, 03.03.2020

I can read … most of this, anyway.

My penmanship is in “pretty, but not terribly legible” mode today.

“May +/ or August”

Possible masterclass dates.


We did a lovely cambré, and after recovering I left my ribs a little too open and my sternum in a bit of a high release.

This does not improve one’s turns or one’s balances … Particularly not à la seconde.

Notes about back leg turnout (mostly relevant to barre and things like tendus, poses, etc—not helpful for turns, particularly):

  1. Recover it all the way*
  2. FAVOR it over front leg**

*I tend to be lazy about bringing my back leg fully into turnout when I close to fifth, because my specific combination of mild hyperextensions and huge calves makes it a bit more of a chore than is usual.

**By “favor it,” I really mean actually think about it. My front leg will take care of its own turnout reliably; I need to work on the back leg.

“Bring your tailbone (fouetté to arabesque).”

A lot of us were guilty of finishing a simple piqué fouetté without really bringing the pelvis with us today. I was over of them at least half the time.

“Hunger Arinn & Sefter Plié.”

This actually says, “Longer Arms & Softer Plié,” but you know. Looling for spit, etc.

“& still bring your head.”

It is always a good idea not to leave your head behind. This is especially true in ballet. That thing is heavy, yo, and since your brain’s in it you can’t just, like, take it off and leave it by your water bottle.

“Gliss no change x2, jeté pas de bourré x2, jeté assemble enrechat quatre x2.”

Mathematically speaking, I should really clarify that combination with some parentheses:

“(Gliss no change)*2, (jeté pas de bourré)*2, jeté assemble (entrechat quatre*2).”

I actually did this petit allegro right a couple of times. I mean, it’s not that complicated; it was just fast.

I’m getting better at keeping my legs under me so I don’t gallop off with myself (or over myself).

Anyway, that’s it for today’s class notes. My rehearsal notes are mostly about character development, since we’re mowing through Snow White wow effectively and I actually have time to think about that at this point.

One Fracking Awesome Penché Is Worth It

Mostly good class again today; the kind of class that would have been mind-blowingly good a year ago.

The highlight was the first time of JMG’s usual adage, during which I executed literally the best Penché I’ve ever done, ever.

It was just like, “Down, down ,down, ohai that’s like 5:55[1] penché there, recover like it ain’t no thang…”

  1. Technically, since the supporting leg is the hour hand and stays on the 6 regardless, it would be a 6:55 penché, but that doesn’t read as well.

First run left, though, I lost my rotators and had to put my leg down for a sec. None of the rest of the penchés were anywhere near as good as the first one.

Honestly, though, that one penché—the one that tells me I can penché like a boss if I keep my waterfowls in a linear array—was worth it. It was one of those moments that feel exactly right; the kind when you know even before everyone tells you that you’ve executed a difficult thing[2] beautifully.

  1. Penché is funny. You start learning it really, generally speaking. You then keep working on it foreeeevvvvvarrrrrr, because it’s actually rather hard to do really well.

T and … Crap, I just realized I have two Ts amongst my ballet peeps. Okay, so T1 and T2 clearly benefitted immensely from Curran’s masterclass. Now I really wish I’d taken it. Oh, well: I’ll pick their braingz about it later.

Little by little I’m feeling my progress. I notice new things in my body every single class right now: oh, I’m ever so slightly too far over my hip in piqué arabesque; oh, I’m throwing my head back in soutenu turns (no surprise there); oh, I’m putting waaaaay too much force into adagio turns; oh, I’m losing touch with my pelvis during tours lent.

This all makes me really look forward to Lexington. I have no idea what we’re learning in variations this year, but I feel so much more ready than I did last year.

Anyway, time to go mow the lawn and so forth.

Rep Class Again

Rep/Rehearsal went well tonight. Our piece is coming together. I continue like it. It’s not difficult, but it’s pretty (and I get to show off my floaty jumps and my extensions, so that’s nice too).

We’re adding a second weekly rehearsal session for the next few weeks so we’ll have time to nail down the rest of the dance. It’s something like 4.5 minutes long; we have the first 2 minutes set.

BG counts the music per phrase, which results in some completely wack counts (there’s a phrase that counts out to 7 beats because of some rubato and a caesura; it’s one of those moments in which Vivaldi goes, “HA! You thought this movement was over, BUT IT’S NOT!!! PSYCH!!!”).

Took class beforehand also. It went really, really well. My brain, my arms, and my legs were all working at the same time (will wonders never cease?). Turns were good; petit allegro was fine … even when BG was like “No Big Arms Because This Is Petite Allegro.” Which was basically a correction for me.

We were a big class in a tiny studio, so there were lots of zig-zaggy combinations. I’m down with that. I think they’re good for getting us to STOP FREAKING THINKING SO MUCH (which was basically the theme of tonight’s class). You can’t freak out about OMG LEFT SIDE INCOMING if you’re constantly zig-zagging back and forth between left and right.

Also, BG made everyone do contretemps, and I actually lurve contretemps, so it makes me happy that now everyone knows how to do them. Or, well, everyone who was in class tonight. Not, like, the whole planet.

The weird part is that my left side has suddenly decided to be better at turns and at jumps that have turns in them. No idea why. It just is what it is.

Oh! And today, in killer class, the billion and fifteen chaînés I have done in BW’s class paid off. We used them in a combination, and it just was like, “Oh, chaînésno problem.”

So it was like, “Pas de problème,” and not “Pas de problème.”

…Which is officially the most linguistically arcane and nerdiest pun in the history of my puns.

So apparently I no longer hate chaînés. I am, in fact, forced to admit that I kinda liked the way they felt today.


In other news, I am now under obligation to make a video. I was marking a piece of choreography while transporting my giant water jug, my towel, and my notebook across the room, and T decided that I need to shoot some video with the giant water jug.

So I’ll probably sort that this weekend, because the idea sounds hilarious, and so totally typical of me. I am forever doing turns with a towel in my hand or jumps with a water bottle because I start thinking about the choreography and forget that I’m carrying things.

And, of course, should said video actually arise, I shall post it here (and on My Tiny Pathetic Insta Feed).

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