Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sickled Feet, a Halloween Treat

This evening's class started off silly, due to the presence of one of our sillier students. So when our instructor said something about not wanting to see any sickled feet, I remarked that "sickled feet" sounded like a Halloween delicacy.

Ok, so you really needed to be there.

We had a couple of new students. In this case I think "couple" describes them appropriately. My guess is she's had a fair bit of ballet training, as she fit right into our class, and I overheard him say that he's had experience with jazz and tap but it didn't look like he'd done ballet before.

In the center we did a mix of old and new combinations. I'm really starting to get the hang of some of the older ones. After jumps we learned a new one: from fifth croisé, three chassés, the third blending into an assemblé with a turn to the other corner, echappé to second effacé then to fifth croisé, and two changements. Repeat as space permits. At first I had a lot of fun with this one: it has a bouncy flow, and it's short enough that I could remember it easily. After several repetitions, though, I got tired and started flubbing steps.

One correction we got was that we weren't straightening our supporting legs enough during turns. To see what she was talking about I tried a couple of piqué turns where I focused primarily on keeping my standing foot as stiff and straight as I could, with the rest of my body as upright on top of it as I could. And what do you know, I pivoted around the ball of my foot like I was on a turntable. I tried it again and got the same results. Turning the other way on the other foot was better than usual, though not as clean. If that's all I got out of this class, I'd call it a success.

With only three minutes left in the class I thought we'd do reverence, but no, she wanted to do yet another combination. It was a simple mix of sauté arabesques and "hops", but I was too brain dead by then for it to register. I botched that combination but good every time I tried it, and I'd be hard pressed to describe it now.

After class I asked what the step we'd done Saturday morning was. The instructor said it was an "emboîté", which is French for "boxed in". I had to search through GWW for it because I couldn't approximate the spelling well enough to find it online. I'd originally written that it was a half-turn piqué, but later started thinking it resembled chaînés more. I think the proper term would be tours chaînés emboîtés. It's a series of quick half-turns on demi-pointe with a distinctive pricking movement of the feet, which is why I thought it was a piqué. Here's a link to an absolutely horrible video that shows the step nicely (combined with some pirouettes).

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