Friday, August 23, 2013

Pros, Toes, and the F-Bomb

Ballet season will be starting soon, and professionals will be heading back to their studios. So, where are they now? They are taking class with the variously challenged adult ballet students at my studio. What is it like taking class with a real dancer? Well, humbling. I certainly won't be dropping down in to those perfect splits anytime soon, or kicking in to a high and strong faille* with total grace and ease. On the other hand, watching some of our more advanced girls alongside the pro gives you a real appreciation for how far you actually can go as an adult recreational dancer.
I also felt good about doing my fondues on flat rather than demi-pointe because she was doing it as well.

PS: we spent our full hour of pre-pointe last night at the barre. You might think that doing a whole class of relevés would be easier than normal, but you'd be wrong. In fact, I think my feet hurt more than they ever have. Apparently my teacher recently brought home a copy of the Pointe Book and now she's all excited about trying out the exercises it recommends. I can't imagine how the girls on pointe are feeling today, I was on demi-pointe and I feel like a train wreck!

* this word is usually pronounced "fye-ee" in ballet but "file" in most fabric situations. I bet in France they don't say it either way! In fact, I just looked it up! I was right! Check it.


  1. Haha wow I'd love to take classes with "real" dancers. My dream is to become professional choreographer and next spring I'll apply to various dance academies and your post really made me realize that I can get accepted as much as the other candidates even though I haven't actually studied dance in academical level :) I don't know if that made any sense :D

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  2. Isn't interesting when an instructor reads a new book, or an article in a magazine, or sees a performance, and suddenly the familiar routines are swept aside in favor of something new.

    I don't know what happened to trigger it, but today's barre was full of pas de cheval steps, singly, in pairs, and en croix.

    I've also had classes where pros have dropped in. Last week half of the school's company dancers took barre with our Beginner II class. This morning one of the Intermediate students arrived too late for her own class so she joined ours. It's very instructive to see how the steps you're attempting to master are really supposed to look.

    1. Recently we got "I just took a master class with someone who has inspired me to CHANGE THE ENTIRE PORT DE BRAS for waltz turns! Good luck with that!"

    2. Like all entries re pre-pointe class. Something I drool over, and probably won't ever be able to do. Especially at my "studio". I should just be grateful I'm getting anything ballet-like I guess.

      Great entry!

    3. never say never! The hard part is that (at least at my studio) you have to take three weight-bearing classes per week to qualify for pointe. It took me a little while to build up to taking class that frequently.