Sunday, January 2, 2022

Fixing my turns

One of the things I've been struggling with is inconsistent turns. When I'm fresh I can do clean pirouettes in either direction, on either leg. As I tire my turns get sloppy, with turns standing on my right leg almost feeling as if my leg was collapsing under me. I've been struggling to understand exactly what is it I'm doing wrong and not having much success.

When I arrived for class Wednesday, I found one of the regulars from the Beginner II classes I often take was taking advantage of the holiday week and joined this daytime Advanced Beginner class. A few weeks ago, I'd observed that she was having trouble with her turns because she wasn't keeping her knee completely straight. Seeing her reminded me of the correction I'd received recently that my knee wasn't completely straight when doing a piqué arabesque. Maybe I was doing the same thing during turns when I was tired?

The first time through the pirouettes exercise, I began to experience the usual problem: I was falling out of turns I'd done cleanly earlier in the same class. To test my hypothesis, I decided to go all out. Or up, in this case. Rather than concentrating on keeping my balance during the pirouette, I focused on getting as high on my hip, knee, and foot as I could. Not exactly a jump, but a full stretch, working against my perpetually-tight hip flexors.

And it worked! Well, sort of. My weight wasn't properly centered over my standing leg, so there was a bit of lean to my turn. But I didn't have that sensation of my leg buckling under my weight. I'm looking forward to seeing if this is repeatable.

Sadly, I don't think I'm going to be able to test my hypothesis for a bit. With the spike in pandemic-related infections in my area, I've decided to take a short break from classes. I am vaccinated and have received a booster, but I also have some risk factors to consider. I'm probably just being paranoid, and I'm hoping this latest wave passes as quickly as it appears it has in some other countries.

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