Arriving home from class this afternoon I discovered that today is National Dance Day. Ok, if you say so -- I did my part!
As I've observed before, some days things just seem to work better than others. Today turned out to be a good day, where things that I would have expected to be difficult to impossible turned out to be manageable.
One sequence was sauté arabesque, step, grande jeté, and repeat. As several classmates observed, this is a tongue twister for the feet. I had trouble with it at first, then I watched one of the folk who had the timing right and the next time I tried it it worked. More or less. But I really didn't expect to get it at all.
A much longer combination, with numerous turns and transitions, appeared impossible at first. After we all marked it a couple of times, the instructor asked "Does anyone have questions?" and one student answered "What is the combination again?" We all had a laugh over that, but I'd say that fewer than half of the class had any sort of grasp of the combination at that point. To my surprise, if I stopped thinking about it, I could do most of it.
This combination also included an attitude turn, which I and several others hadn't done before. The instructor described and demonstrated the turn a couple of times as we tried to follow along. I was trying to figure out what drives the motion ("what's my motivation?" :-)) since it lacks the leg movement I've come to believe drives pirouettes, so I tried it. To my shock I went right around like a top. All the way around. The instructor stopped whatever she was saying, pointed at me and exclaimed, "Yes! That's right." Well knock me over with a feather. Now I'm going to have to re-examine my pirouettes cuz I'm clearly doing those wrong -- they're taking far more effort than they should, especially en dedans.
Oh, and I had another of those "in balance" moments today. This one was 1st arabesque on demi-pointe on my left foot. It took a few seconds to find that perfect balance point, but once there I felt like I could hold it indefinitely. Probably not, but that's how it felt.