Friday, November 20, 2015

Faking It

Sooo there are certain things that I fake in ballet class sometimes, because I don't actually know how to do them and nobody ever explains how to?  I'm almost embarrassed to write this entry, because now you will know how amateur hour I actually am.  But I figured it's more important to be honest here than anything.

In class with (the perfect) LF yesterday, we were doing a combination in center.  It was tendu croisé devant, transfer the weight, ballet walk twice and close (maybe?  there was some plié in there I'm forgetting), reverse it to go backwards, tendu with the front leg to second (can't remember what line), turn to the other corner into a first arabesque, extend and close, sous-sus and finish.  Something like that.  ANYWAY, after we do it the first time, LF turns to look and me and says, "Okay...we need to work on ballet walks."  Caught!

Because...I have been faking it...this whole time.  I've actually been (whisper) doing pas de chaval instead of ballet walking, because I didn't know how to do it.  And nobody corrected me.  I knew it wasn't right, but I didn't know what was?  I said this to LF in an abbreviated fashion, and she said "There's no faking in my class."  Haha, LOVE LF.

So now I know how to ballet walk!  It's actually not hard once someone explains it to you.  It's almost like normal walking, who would have thunk it?

Okay, the other thing that I've been faking is piqué turns.  Teachers always just seem to tell you to just do them?  And so I've been just kind of throwing myself into them and hoping they turn out?  And I get around and whatnot, but I don't actually really know what I'm doing.  So of course we're marking and LF is basically like WTF are you doing, we are breaking this down.

So now I know you're supposed to open your arms as you turn and look to the corner before piqué-ing and turning.  And actually, piqué turns are not that bad either...when you know what you are doing!  Surprise, surprise.

Honestly, it is so easy to fall between the cracks in adult open classes here.  There are usually just too many people of varying levels for teachers to explain everything.  When LF was correcting everyone's attitude position a few weeks ago, my friend mentioned, "Other teachers will make you do attitude turns without even explaining a proper attitude position."

That's why I love my Thursday class with LF.  She will correct and explain things that other teachers just sort of ¯\(ツ)/¯ over.  A lot of teachers expect you to mimic those around you and improve.  Sometimes you figure out why yours doesn't look like theirs and you can correct yourself, but sometimes you can't and you just fake it (or at least I do).

It's helping me improve a lot and it shows in my other classes.  Like in chassé.  I couldn't figure out why mine looked kind of sloppy even though I've been doing them for a year now.  A few weeks ago, LF corrected me that I wasn't landing in a clean fifth.  So she just kept saying fifth, fourth while I went.  This Monday, we were doing chassé in class, and that teacher says to me, "That's so clear.  Pretty!"  I do love my Monday teacher, but I feel a little bit like, this could have been easily corrected earlier.

I always feel a bit...chagrined with these easy fixes.  Like how deficient am I that I haven't figured this stuff out?  I said this to the boyfriend yesterday, and he said that's what class is for.  And then he made me teach him how to ballet walk and was like, it's really not that easy!  It was actually pretty hilarious watching him, which made me feel marginally better.


  1. I totally get this, just recently I asked my teacher to go through grand jeté with me because I feel like I have just been doing an impression of one for a long time!
    I don't think you should feel "deficient" or anything like that because ballet is not normal life in any way at all! Everyone needs clear instruction in absolutely everything - even the pros get corrections in daily class!
    But I think taking different classes with different teachers as much as you can is a great way of covering all the different learning-style bases. And don't be afraid to ask questions!

    1. I like that way of putting it - "doing an impression." :)

      My objective brain knows that I wouldn't naturally know how to do this stuff, and that I'm probably not even the only one in class feeling this way, but my anxious brain sometimes doesn't allow me to be rational!