About Me

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Saturday!

Dear dance diary, it's Saturday...and I went to pointe class. I love to dance on pointe, but first I had to take the advanced technique class, which is right before. I had not been in this class for a while and since the same combinations are repeated all week, I was a stranger to the center, and the teacher put me in the first group, as luck would have it.
So, the barre was pretty usual. Tendus, flex, point, plies, ronde jambes, not too bad. I concentrated on my form, especially the arms, and watched my back bends, to try to make the shape of an arc, not just bend at the waist. When I did plies, I tried not to "sit," although my hip flexors sometimes did not cooperate. Also, I tried to point my toes and keep my legs taut.
Then in center, as a result of this diligence, I felt more balanced and actually turned quite well. Placement is so subtle but so important. I once studied with a dancer from Argentina who barely spoke English who used to always say this, that there is just a slight difference between doing something and doing it correctly, and the difference is in the line. An elegant line, he would say...I used to watch him, especially when he would mark his grand jetes and other jumps, telling us to pause in the air. He just blossomed like a flower, and looked so happy up there...
Well, we did tendus in center with promenades and developppes and then pirouettes. We did turns from 5th to 4th; then we jumped: 1st, 2nd, quatres. Then the grand allegros: echappe, trois, pas de bourre over, glissade pas de chat, cinque, pas de bourre, poses en tournant. Then we did pique arabesque tour jetes and turns en dedans. I asked the teacher after class how to releve better when turning to the right, and he said I should be more forward on the standing leg. Then I watched as various students practiced variations for auditions. One young teenage girl was really sweet and a knock-out dancer who did double turns with emboites and then more double turns in diagonals. Another teacher who was watched commented that she should lift her arms slightly higher, but told her she looked great. A dancer is born...
The pointe class was full of young 13-14 year old girls and a few adults. I recognized a girl there from Joffrey Academy and we chatted after class for a while. The Joffrey students are very polite and nice. So we did some releves without shoes at barre and worked our metatarsal arches, then we put on our shoes and did parallel releves and then releves in 1st, sou-sous, passes, and various pas de bourres. We ended barre with pique arabesques into the barre, falling back, and then pique arabesque again. I still have trouble keeping my arabesque leg straight. The teacher said to really use our thighs or we will fall over with bent legs. Also she said not to "pump" the releves and plies, but to push the floor with our heels.
In center we did pique forward to sou sou, little developpes so that we transferred our weight back. I was doing this incorrectly until the teacher said to be sure to go through 5th position each time before moving on. Then we did arabesque piques along the barre. The last part of class was some more exercises. In center standing parallel with our arms parallel to the floor, we did plies and releves, bringing our arms down with each releve, and trying to balance. Kind of like in Pilates class. It's hard for me to balance on demi-toe, still. I must work on my ankles. Then we did releves in parallel on one leg, holding onto the barre, and then some calf stretches. Everyone curtsied to the teacher after class.
Then I went for a swim. I was so tired but once in the water, I felt new strength and did my laps. I was happy just walking through the water and relaxing into the strength of the water, but I kept going and it was with satisfaction that I finished my workout. I remained in the steam room forever...

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