Tag Archives: cabrioles

Pardon me, did I stumble into the company girls class by mistake?

That’s how today’s open class felt when I walked in.

Basically, there were about 14 company girls and me, and they included probably the top two or three remaining girls in the company, the ones who will dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella this season.

A few years ago, that scene would have seemed really awkward. But since company kids make of the majority of the classes I take during the regular year, it almost seems like the norm, minus the two or three company guys who have departed for bigger and better things. Having them in class has helped the comfort zone a bit, along with an occasional, brave older recreational soul, male or female.

Of course, being the lone non-company member means having to keep up with their level. I didn’t expect Deb W., our teacher, to teach down to my level, and she didn’t disappoint. It was tough, but I thought I kept up with them pretty except when we did tendu quises and cabrioles to the back. Those are things I understand in theory, but can’t quite get my body to cooperate.

It least when it comes to cabrioles to the back, my timing and range of motion seem to be a little bit off. As for tendu quises, I understand the concept, but they were a mess in a combination that also included sissones.

But still, overall, I felt I had a good class. My pirouettes were cleaner today. And my second attempt on turns from second (the sort of male variation of fouettes, which the girls did) were the cleanest I’ve done in ages.

And the most important thing about class is that I felt so much better physically and mentally after we were done. I’m loving this week of class and look forward to closing it out with a class from Mrs. O. on Friday.

Given the makeup of the classes this week, I am wondering about the number of guys who will be dancing with the company this year now that the regulars I’ve danced with have departed. I’ve had a camaraderie with them, especially two of the young professional guys.

We’d occasionally go out and get a drink after rehearsals, classes or performances. They made it a whole easier for an old guy who has found himself in classes with amazingly talented girls who are about the age of his daughters.

To the girls credit, my presence has never seemed to bother them. They’ve always been nice and encouraging. And in classes like the one we had today, they seem to push me, too.

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Eight jetes, four pique turns in a circle (spotting required) …

One of the things I did not miss from taking Monday morning open ballet class?

Mind is Mush Mondays.

That is what happens quite often to me with that morning class right after working the night shift back-to-back days at the little ‘ole newspaper designing pages.

When it comes to that first morning class of the week, my mind is mush, as was the case today.

It doesn’t matter that the class is the easiest of the classes I take. If it’s Mind is Mush Monday, I’ll be sloppier in the open intermediate class than I will be in the advanced classes on Wednesday or Thursday, or the company class on Saturday.

It doesn’t matter if the combinations are somewhat easier, although Mr. O did throw in a few wrenches today: Hence the combination that led to the title of this post. My jetes are sloppy enough on good days. And pique turns in a circle are always an adventure, even on good days.

On Mind is Mush Monday, my ability to do a double anything (much less pirouette) seems to go out the door completely. My ability to do turns stayed in bed while I crawled my butt out to do ballet.

And complicating matters … we were required to do cabrioles from the back during the grande allegro combination. That is a skill that continues to elude me. To the front, no problem. To the back … ugh.

I tried to come up with a solution. Get more elevation to give me more time to beat it (see Saturday’s post, worked for assembles’)? Nope.

Shorten the range of motion (and therefore cut down on elevation and shorten the step)? Nada.

I will get them one day.

Just not on Mind is Mush Monday.

On the positive side? It’s Mr. O’s class. We got to move.

We did more “Fosse-like” steps. Didn’t quite achieve that tendue moment during the step, but I think I was getting closer the more times we did that combination (as was the case with a few of the combinations today).

As much as I wish my mind wouldn’t betray as much on Mind is Mush Monday, I’ve come to realize this simple truth:

Mind is Mush Monday is better than No Ballet on Monday.


Amazing triple cabriole

Just backing up my claim of the athleticism of ballet. Suddenly, the cabrioles I can do during grande allegro aren’t that impressive.