Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why Are The Barres Always Gone?

     Today my Intermediate Ballet class finally started back up. My student Jenny (name changed) is back and when she walked in, I was so happy to see her! She is 20 and an adult beginner. She took my class for about 2 months before we had our studio's first annual winter show. Because she came in so late, but determined and passionate, we had quite a few long rehearsals, going as long as three hours!

     Today started like most have, with floor stretches. Ouch, that hurt, as I haven't been stretching nearly as much as I should have been. I do floor stretches and barre with her, so that she can follow the combination. I introduced an ab routine. I have yet to smooth it out, as today I basically jumped into it, but I am going to make a regular routine to some faster, catchy song. Since we were just back after a month and a half, I went easy on her, but the ab routine will be more difficult next week. I was just doing it on the spot today.

     After that, I went to start our regular barre session, but looked around and discovered the barres have been, once again, removed from the room by the owners of the studio next door (the two rooms were one studio before but has been split, literally down the middle since new ownership took over our side). This barre thing is really becoming a problem. I mean, it's BALLET. Barres to ballet are like bananas to a banana split. We could do it in center, and we did, but as she's still relatively new, I didn't want to do that to her already. She's still building the foundation and it's much harder to get used to everything with also having to worry about balancing everything in center.

     We went through plies, tendus, degages, battements (for all of these these, the arms were altered for center), and rond de jambes. After that, I skipped our developpe/enveloppe combination because of time and also, I wanted to teach a few new things. I showed her frappes, with the working foot flexed in between. We spent some time going over singles, and then I showed her how for any even numbers (when to the side/in second), you put the working foot to the original direction and then the opposite vs odd numbers, where you put the working foot to the opposite from where you came first...and so on. This took some time. We did singles, doubles, and triples.

     I also taught a new (to her) combination with fondues and glissades. It's fondue en croix and then the second time to the side, leave the foot out, glissade away, glissade back, returning the outer foot to the back to reverse the whole thing. The second set of glissades returns the outside foot to the front to sous-sus to turn and do the other side. In this case, we had no barre, so I had her skip the sous-sous turn and we instead just did the other side.

     Because this all took so long, and we only had an hour, we then skipped across-the-floor and I instead worked it into learning the first section of the dance. I explained degage walks, as we do them to start the dance. I added some funky arms (basically, flexed hands, with eppaule), as the music is a funky French song. Then, we did a few degage walks with more fluid arms and prepped to go into two side pique arabesque steps. We did all of this basically across-the-floor to practice/learn then worked it in with the music, traveling forward.

     I then showed her emboites. I gave her a quick tutorial, but as time was running slightly over, we will work on them in more detail next week.

     I am so thrilled that she loved my choreography so far. She actually smiled so huge and said "Oh my god, I LOVE it!" This is a great start to this season. I'm so excited!

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