Friday, April 16, 2010

I Can Do That!

Ballet is a series of frustrations and triumphs for me.

Turns are my nemesis. What Lynne calls "arabesque turns", which I think might be known as "pirouette en arabesque" evade me. I CAN do a pretty good classic pirouette or a fouette, both which require bent leg positions, but not consistently and we don't do them much. And I am struggling with another simpler turn right now.
Note:this is what JR can do that I can't do. On the other hand, Lynne watched me do a beautiful step called fondu (no cheese involved) this week and told me I need to teach JR to do it that way!

Two bright spots though today.
One is minor sartorial, which is I think I have finally figured out how to get my hair into a ballet bun. It's not easy with curly hair:

I am now contemplating getting some of the net used for buns.
And I am going to practice on JR.
Her hair HAS to go up for recital, which will involve skill and a ton of hair spray,
though probably some more skilled mom will do it while I am running around being stage manager.
The second achievement is a bit more significant. One of the hardest things for me about ballet is that I am not terribly flexible. For years I have struggled with the stretches we do with our leg up on the barre:
1)Leg up, other foot turned out, deep plie.
2)Leg up, other foot turned towards barre, stretch forward along the leg on the barre.
3)Turn foot out again, stretch opposite hand (left when your right leg is up and vice versa) and bend to the side, trying to touch the leg on the barre as you do so.
4)Releve (go up on your toes)on one leg. Go back down slowly. Then hold in releve with BOTH hands off the barre and high over your head.
1 is easy for me. 3 is challenging, but doable. 4 is surprisingly easy--I balance well. It's the 3rd that has been my bugaboo.
Recently, I realized that I could get my nose to my knee. And today, my head is flat down on my leg. On both sides. Even on the left, which I often find harder!
If you want to see what I'm talking about, here's a funny video from Anaheim Ballet--and if you're a balletomane I highly recommend their YouTube channel.
The guy at 1:14 is doing my stretch. I can't do the others the way those girls do it.
But I'm going to keep going!


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