Corrections on my Technique

It’s very frustrating coming to the realization that my inability to do certain moves on pointe stems from my inability to do them on flat. It seems like a no brainer, but it hasn’t dawned on me until today.

For example: chaines turns. These are probably one of the hardest things for me to do on pointe, even more difficult than pirouettes and pique turns (which are still pretty difficult). Today, I was trying to practice my pointe work and I became very frustrated. So I decided to try these same moves on demi-pointe. When I tried to do chaines, I couldn’t even go in a straight line. How can I expect to do these on pointe if I can’t even do them on flat?!?

Chaines and pique turns are something that usually gets glossed over in regular class at my studio. How do they expect us to do these things on pointe if we never practice them in regular ballet class??!!? It’s very frustrating to me that I’ve just now figured this out.

So now, instead of working on my pointe work, I have to start all over from the beginning, practicing these things on demi-pointe,especially chaines. I’m not a strong turner to begin with. Because my technique with these turns is still sort of shaky on flat, when I try to do them on pointe, my technique completely flies out the window.

Also, I tried filming myself doing certain moves today. Yuck!! I was very disappointed with what I saw. Part of what I filmed was on pointe, and my yucky technique and appearance can be explained by the above rant. But I also filmed myself doing pirouettes and saut de chats on flat and they still looked gross!! Ugh.

After watching myself do pirouettes and then watching people on youtube do pirouettes, I have discerned certain problems and corrections to give myself. One, in my preparatory fourth position, I’m letting my butt stick out and totally releasing my core. Not only does it look bad, it’s not giving me a good firm starting base. And after watching videos of other people who are good enough to do many pirouettes on youtube, I realized there’s this strange first/second position that they all go through that I think I was leaving out. When I tried adding it in, though I didn’t pull off a double, I felt better on balance. I also have to remember the correction one of my teachers gave me a while back: think of the working leg as doing all the pushing and the standing leg as going straight up into the balance. That’s all a pirouette is, is a turning balance.

As for my saut de chat, it’s mostly related to my flexibility. It wasn’t a very split-y saut de chat buts that understandable considering I can’t do a split. But also, my legs weren’t straight – even though they felt straight. I think that’s also related to my flexibility. Because I’m trying to extend my legs to their maximum extension, its hard for me to straighten my legs fully. The only solution to that is to get more flexible. Bleh. I wish I could’ve been born with natural flexibility.

I need to get back into using my foam roller. Since I’m stuck at home all day during the summer, I really have no excuse not to use it. And possibly, by the time I leave for college I could have my splits. I feel like having the flexibility to do the splits could really help my dancing. Nowadays almost all really good dancers can do the splits.

Hopefully I can improve my dancing. I really want to become great at ballet. I want to reach a preprofessional level, regardless of whether I’m going to be a professional or not. But today makes me realize I still have a long way to go.

I’ve been contemplating ways to maximize my ballet training in college while minimizing cost and I think I’ve settled on a solution (depending on how my time works out in college.) My first year, I could take the non-major dance classes OSU offers. If I like them, maybe I’ll stick with them, but if not, here’s what I can do. As much as I hate it, I’m going to need to get a job in college. And I can save some of my money I make from a job and use it towards ballet classes at an outside studio that will have more intensive training. And I can also save some to use towards the summer intensive the studio here does (that I can’t take this summer because of finances.) I haven’t told my parents about this grand plan, but I think it’s a pretty good idea.

I just worry about having a social life in college. There are so many things I want to do in college – how much to do I want to sacrifice to better myself at ballet?? I keep telling myself that no one ever became great without sacrifice.

There are just so many unknowns right now with time and work load that I won’t know about college until I get there and get in it.
I’ll just have to wait and see.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. classicalballetteacher
    May 24, 2011 @ 16:53:20

    Hi dear. Just read this article and thought of your blog. Now here’s a late beginner!

    http://www.dancestudiolife.com/2011/05/higher-ed-voice-education-transformation/

    She is focused on contemporary and modern, but she has obviously found a fulfilling path in dance.

    Reply

  2. Deb
    May 24, 2011 @ 18:07:11

    For some advice you can always check out Dance Informa. It’s the industry’s online dance magazine and news service and it always has fresh articles on techique, auditions, training, health etc. It’s a great resource for the dedicated dancer and it’s free. Visit http://www.danceinforma.com

    Reply

  3. Sandie
    May 26, 2011 @ 13:46:52

    good luck and stick with it!!

    Reply

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