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Ballet Talk for Dancers
hlambers

Dealing with discouragement

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Ludmilla

Hi - i am not an expert, i want to say first off -- I am a student. But, I do feel there is a simple explanation for you:

 

The pirouette from 5th (example, Right foot in front, in 5th position), turn to the right lifting Right leg to Left knee, landing the turn with the Right foot ending in back... This is a pirouette en de hors. This is, following your line of thought, the first pirouette from 5th i would say, that is taught. An important point, too is that the preparation for this pirouette en de hors from 5th is Right arm in first, curved in front of you (I apologize if my terminology is not 100% correct, but am fairly confident that this information though, is correct), and the Left arm is out to the Left side in 2nd.

 

Starting in that same position of the feet - Right foot in front, 5th position, Left foot in back, turning to the Left, lifting the Left leg to the Right knee is an en de dans turn. The preparation for this en de dans pirouette from 5th is Left arm in front of you in 1st; Right arm out to the Right side in 2nd.

 

In other words both ways are "proper" as your note above asks. They are simply different turns - one en de hors, the other en de dans, which determines the arm positions, direction you turn in, which leg is the working leg, which is the supporting, and which foot lands in front or back.

 

Please don't feel "crazy" - the en de hors vs. en de dans turn concept just takes time and considerable experience to become very familiar with but I see you are on the right track, since you realize that indeed you have seen, and there appear to be, two categories of pirouettes from 5th - both correct -- just different!!

 

I hope others will comment and perhaps clarify better, especially the many experts here. :)

 

If I as a student am not allowed to make these comments here, please feel free to delete or disregard! (Needless to say if I am incorrect I'd be very interested in knowing where I've gone wrong...) -- :blush:

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hlambers

Thank you! I should have clarified I was talking about en dehors. Sorry! Didn't even think to specify.

 

BUT, now that you mention it, I think one of my teachers is teaching en dedans incorrectly then...she taught us kind of like a fouette? We'd start in 4th....omg I'm so confused now.

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Ludmilla

hlambers - this is where my background would not be sufficient to say more on this.

I did want to add though (because as we know in ballet a simple question can be complicated to really explain fully) :grinning: -- however, when doing a series of pirouettes from 5th: en de hors as an example - again Right foot in front/5th and you turn to the Right: if you are doing a series (so w/ your pile... up, down, up down and so on) your Right foot comes down in the front in 5th between each turn and the final one in the series, your Right foot ends in back.) -- again anyone, experts, etc feel free to correct me.

As to your comment about the fouette..... it sounds as though she was teaching you fouette pirouettes from 5th..... Very difficult indeed! I have no knowledge about that advanced turn, (except I recognize it when I see it being done), :cool2: so I hope others will step in and comment -- Good luck though - and still, pirouettes (regular, "vanilla" pirouettes from 5th) to me are one of the more difficult basic moves that I am still working on to do better -

Anyway it sounds as though you might want to ask your teacher about this further, so that you will get the correct information, about the particular turn that she was teaching (but experts here will probably know what turn is indicated from your comments) - Anyway just a thought...

Take care,

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LaFilleSylphide

Dear hlambers,

 

your teacher is not teaching you incorrectly. There are many ways to do a pirouette en dedans and en dehors. By no means do preparations have to start from 5th or 4th, and in some schools of ballet, an en dedans turn starts right from 4th snapping straight into passe retiré (toe to knee in otherwords). Other schools will teach you that you must first extend your working leg to second, before it snaps into passe retiré (toe to knee). That is my preferred way, as I feel personally that I get more momentum for doubles and triples. I'm sure it doesn't really matter and that it's mental for me!

 

Don't think right turns and left turns or when you start from different preparations, or start combining both turns in the same combination and different directions, you'll get very confused. Just remember, en dedans: the foot your standing on - its heel moves forward. En dehors: the foot you're standing on (we call it your supporting leg) - its heel moves backwards. Now you can start combining pirouettes, piques, lame ducks, and flick flacs with no problem if you remember those rules!

 

Another very helpful thing to remember - if you pirouette en dehors from 5th, your foot closes back when it's finished (unless the choreography/teacher demands otherwise). If you continue to turn from 5th non-stop like the Kitri Castanet/Tavern variation, then it continues to return to the 5th FRONT until you end turning. That push from 5th front naturally will propel you en dehors.

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hlambers

Cool. Thanks everyone. It's good to know my teacher isn't teaching incorrectly, ha. I'll just have to remember the respective "right" way to do it when I'm with each of my teachers. I guess that's the downside of dancing at two different studios with two different styles.

 

I don't know if you guys have encountered this, but one thing that's consistently frustrated me with adult ballet training in the many studios I've gone to is how they just kind of throw things at you and you slowly work on the details from class to class. I remember when I was in ballet class as a kid, we'd devote a whole barre to tendues or a whole centre to tour jetes, so we'd know from the get-go every single step involved in the movement. I guess most adults would find that boring, and that's probably not everyone's favorite teaching/learning style, but man, I'd like to see that some day.

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Scuballerina

Chip in another auestion, if you all dont mind. In sissone de cote, which one is over, which one is under? I know one must be leg from front close in back, and vice versa, but alwYs forgot whichone is which.

 

Thanks!

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Balletprincess

Just keep practising..stay determined,you can do this x

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silkmaiden

Scuballerina - for sissone de cote, you are travelling towards your supporting leg and the 'over/under' refers to the working leg. So for example, if you were in fifth (right foot behind) and were doing sissone de cote over, you would be travelling towards your left and your working leg is your right, hence your right foot would swish out and land in front.

 

If you wanted to do a sissone de cote UNDER and started in the same fifth position (right foot behind) you would travel to the right because your left leg is the working leg and would swish out and land in the back.

 

It's easiest to remember of it as over = working foot ends in front, and under = working foot ends in back.

 

Now the pas de bourree rules COMPLETELY muck all of that up and I always get them mixed up! Like how a pas de bourree under the feet actually go back-side-front and pas de bourree OVER goes front-side-back. It always messes me up.

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Ballet Bunnie

Just adding on to the dance journal idea -- definitely write down at least 2 things you have done well that day. When I first started my dance notes, I would only write down stuff that I had problem with, which ultimately made me felt horrible about myself. When my teacher learned that I was getting discouraged, she asked me to let go of my "I am Miss Perfect, and I am not allowed to make any mistakes twice" mentality, and write down at least two things I've done well each class, and, most importantly, JUST DANCE!!!!

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Laschwen

Our own Major Mel once said something here that I remind myself of when doing pirouettes because it was helpful to me. He said, "You have every right to be up there" so go for it...or something very close to that.

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jd29

Reviving the thread to ask (again) so advices. I already post my feelings on the buddy board, not asking for advices. So here I go how do you deal with discouragement. I got pointe class (1h30) every week with upper level young ladies. I got there twice, and even the 2nd time was a bit a "less worst" (I know it's not grammatically correct but I haven't found any other expression similar to what I want to say).I really feel out of place (even though the young ladies are nice) and awkward most of the time. I tried my best in class but at the end, I mean after the class, I just feel like what I've done was crap and I felt so discouraged. I have another pointe class (adult only mixed level from beginner to me so advanced beginner/intermediate) on saturday in which I have done really well each time, exercise are easier (mostly slower more than easier movement). The wednesday teacher is nice and hasn't said anything, so I don't even know if it's that bad or if she sees that it's going to be better..., or if she just sees that i'm not used to those kind of exercise but she sees potential, I don't know.

I just feel lost and discourage how do you deal with that, talk to the teacher about it ? I just keep it up and do my best ?

If you have encounter similar situation, how have you managed that ?

thanks for your help !!

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Redbookish

JD, learning new things is just HARD. I think you may already have a method for helping yourself, though, in the way that you have noted that in your second class, you were less bad ... (I'm sure you weren't bad at all actually!) - so could you do a littlery or journal time, and write down a set of small, achievable goals to work towards? And measure your progress?

 

Learning is HARD. And it's never a smooth line of progression - it goes by leaps forward, a plateau, feeling you're going backwards, then another leap forward. My formative ballet teacher said once in class "It's when you're falling over your feet that you're learning."

 

So record things. Write down where you noticed improvements, and where you noticed concrete things to work on. Little things. Don't expect huge changes, but record your journey. I'll bet that if you do that, and look back in 6 months' time, you'll see progress!

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jd29

I'll try the journal ! Oh boy, yes it's hard ! But I find it harder in the mind than in the body. It's even harder when you fall from being the top of the pointe class on saturday to the very bottom on wednesday ! (With a good barre on pointe on tuesday in the middle) (like big fish in a small pond, small fish in the ocean kind of thing).

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iceberg*lover

I've discovered that what red bookish says is true, I can have a class where everything I'd going great, then the next time it all falls apart. I take an adult beginners class that I've gotten very comfortable and confident in, but I've started an adult mixed level class at another studio that is much harder. After the first class I was almost in tears. But I went back, and noticed that barre was a little easier the second time. So I'm going to look for a positive in each class.

 

I like the idea of a notebook. I'm going to need a dedicated dance bag soon! I usually just grab my slippers and water and go.

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Redbookish

We are life long learners - and I'd always rather be a small fish in a big pond. But yes, sometimes that is VERY hard. Especially if you're very accomplished/expert in your day job.

 

In fact, I keep on doing all sorts of forms of dance because it stops me from getting completely big-headed, as I get more senior and experienced in my career.

 

I also think you have to work out why you dance. I'm heading for 60 in a couple of years, and my body feels the stresses more and more. So I'm increasingly aware of the preciousness of my time to dance. I can't take ease of movement for granted any more, and I have a sore Achilles at the moment which means I can hardly point my foot without 10 minutes of a warm up. So I have to know the other reasons I dance, because I can see how I'm starting to lose part of my facility in dance (not that some things were very good 20 years ago!).

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