November 15, 2010

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. - Robert Schuller

Ballet is hard. Even after thousands of tendues and plies and practice it doesn´t really get any easier. There are always new things to learn, and old stuff to improve upon. For instance in today´s intermediate class we did this new move, I hope I can explain it right: jump from 5th, the front leg opens into seconde (same arm up), and you do a quick ronde en l´air as you come down, followed by pique (with same front leg) arabesque in effacé. And repeat. Hmm.. I really need to work on these explanations. 

Anyway, it was a new combination for me, and I just couldn´t figure it out. Am I supposed to do the ronde while still airborne? Is that really possible? If I do the ronde on landing, then what was that first jump? Sissone ouvert? Again, I´m over-thinking the steps, when we should already be doing them. Our teacher does explain, but she can no longer demonstrate full out, and I´m a visual learner.  To confuse myself further,  I´m reminded of another jump I´ve seen in Balanchine´s Nutcracker.. I think it´s called "gargouillade", but there you do the rondes with both legs, and simultaneously. Must try that sometime. But I digress. We repeat the exercise many times, and I´m doing something slightly different each time. I really hope we are doing this combination again next class so I can get another go at it ( or closer to). 

Ballet is full of these challenges, and I love it, even though I sometimes get frustrated. I suppose it´s all part of the learning process and dancing and life in general. It´s what makes it such a rewarding experience and just plain fun. With ballet, you are never over and done!


  1. I liked that combination too! New teachers are always fun when you get to try a bit different things. I also hope we'll do this combination again! I also liked the failli's in the end. And the attitude & pas de bourre after the big jump was actually the most challenging part for me...

  2. I almost forgot about that! Yeah, the big jump into seconde (side split, IF I had the flexibility) followed by pose attitude! I was just so relieved to land safely, that I kept blacking-out on the rest of the exercise.


To That Special Ballet Teacher

To that special ballet teacher, who not only teaches you about technique, but helps build your confidence, nurtures your inner artist, ...