Friday, October 2, 2015

Another Ballet Teacher Crush

Yesterday, my ballet friend asked what I thought of class as we were taking the elevator together to leave.  I launched into an answer, and at some point (I think when I was raving about "...and did you see the teacher's extension in that moment, which wasn't high, but it was so perfectly placed and turned out"), she interrupted me to say "You have a teacher crush!"  ...And I do.

In a way, this teacher (who I talked briefly about in the previous post) has a lot of similar qualities to another teacher crush I wrote about here.  She is precise.  She corrects a lot.  The movements she gives are simple, but she is very specific about what she wants.  She has a lovely movement quality that betrays that she danced at a very high level in her career.  Let's just say she (like the other teacher actually) danced for many years at a company that I get a season subscription to.

I think her methodology makes sense with my goals and the way I learn.  I know that I have to push myself to do harder, more advanced moves, but there's a part of me that just wants to do simple movements beautifully.  Perhaps because I can do cool tricks in other movements, I don't necessarily feel that pressing desire in ballet.

Anyway, onto class notes!  She gave me a few corrections.  For example, in sous-sus, she told me to soften my front knee so that I could press my legs together.  As I've mentioned before, because of my hyperextension, my knees knock into each other in this position so that I can't really get tight.  But if I have a microbend, then it fits!  Also in sous-sus, apparently I've been getting into it by mostly moving my front leg.  She had me do it a few times to understand that it's both legs drawing together equally.  (Simple, but precise!)

There were a few things I noticed that she is very particular about.  Like, she won't let you try to get more extension or height in an extension if you are sacrificing any turn out or placement on your STANDING leg.  I feel that a lot of teachers focus on the placement of the working leg.  With her, nothing is's a very pure line.  So she would rather have a developpé to the side be more forward (like way more forward) and not just lower, than to lose rotation anywhere or have any distortion in the pelvis.

I got a compliment for one of my passés from the wrapped coupé position.

In center, we worked a lot on pulling up in sous-sus and in passé relevé.  I have a feeling that in her class, we won't be turning until the passé relevé balance is how she wants it.  In good news, mine were not terrible yesterday!

The adagio was long but not difficult.  She has beautiful port de bras, so it felt very dancey.

We did waltz turns in center, which I definitely need to work on.  Again she was very precise...when stepping to the side, she wanted a clear second, and when brushing to the back, it was through a definite first.  I also need to work on my assemblé legs feel so heavy when I'm trying to get them to assemble.

My friend wants me to take class tonight, which is with her teacher crush.  She says I'll probably get annihilated, but that it'd be good for me.  Sigh, do I really need that in my life?


  1. "...she would rather have a developpé to the side be more forward (like way more forward) and not just lower, than to lose rotation anywhere or have any distortion in the pelvis..."

    This is excellent! I have come to take this as one of the signs of an excellent teacher — one can always gain elevation and extension over time (at least, so far as one's anatomy allows), and it's a pain in the neck to unlearn poor technique.

    It sounds like this teacher takes a slow-and-steady approach that would benefit most dancers (including, and possible especially, the "flail-first-adjust-later" types like me :})!

    (BTW, I'm not sure I'm using Blogger's commenty thing right, but this is Asher over at MyBeautifulMachine/DanseurIgnoble, in case you're wondering.)

  2. Thanks for stopping by Asher! Yes, I do think she is an excellent teacher...and I've started calling her Lilac Fairy in my head because she is magic. I do think there is a point where you do have to "flail first adjust later," and everyone has been calling me out on my "can't move on until perfect" because they think it is hindering me. So I think you need both!