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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Champagne moment


Jaana Heino

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One of the problems in my school (at least in the adult division) is that we do not get separate pointe classes, only a section of pointe in the end of class. The teachers don't seem to particularly love this arrangement, but seems it is an administratorial thing and so it continues... To counter the problem some of the teachers regularly have their upper intermediate and advanced students to also do parts of some of the regular technique class in pointe shoes. So far, we haven't done this in my classes, but a couple of weeks ago we (well, most of those of us who take pointe at this point, anyway) started to do allegro in pointe shoes, last week we did all the center, and today we had the barre in pointe shoes (but took them off for center).

 

I would rather have the separate point classes, of course, but I still, I am pretty thrilled that the teacher considers us high level enough to do this! For some reason, I consider it bigger step than any other promotion before this (like going up levels, being put on pointe).

 

It was difficult, especially fondus :whistling: and some turns, but it was not as bad as I would have thought. Zero problems with shoes/feet, too. I really look forward to doing it again! Who would have thought two years ago when I first went on pointe? :thumbsup:

 

I just wanted to share this and a BIG THANK YOU to people on this board on encouraging and advicing me. In addition to fellow adult students, special thanks to Ms. Leigh for the "Facts of life about pointe work" that greatly encouraged me to take as much classes as I did, and to Ms. DeVor for the excellent, excellent article Having A Fit.

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Guest gillian

Congratulations!!! That's such a huge accomplishment... I'm still waiting for the day that I get to go en pointe (just two or three months left!) - you must be thrilled. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh I also hate doing battement fondus en pointe.. it's sooooo heavy to rise on one leg onto pointe without any releve action. ANd I've been doing pointe for years!! what a shame.. :party:

We don't have a special pointe class too. I don't have any objection against it though, because I think my pointe work is better after my legs and feet are perfectly warmed up after a session of demipointe exercises.

 

I also want to add my own champagne moment.. I just did 26-times fouette rond de jambe on pointe today! Before today, I could only do 16. Hope I won't lose it again. Wish me luck! 32 is my goal!!

:)

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dancing_dentist, I'm confused. When I do fondus, the standing leg plies, so that as you rise to pointe it is like a releve, as in the push starts from the plie.

 

How does your teacher make you do it - fondu (plie), straighten the standing leg, then roll up slowly to pointe? That sounds horrible.

 

I sometimes get one-footed eleves to pointe, but usually they are quick, like in a frappe exercise. Still horribly difficult.

 

jayo

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I can't stand doing any barre work in pointe shoes. Lots of dancers seem to be happy with it.

 

I used to wear them for the entire center, but have recently switched to adding the shoes after adagio. Adagio had been a weakness of mine, and I figured out that I was just too darn tense with the shoes on. Maybe I'm being a wimp and taking the easy way out, but I really feel like I've made some positive improvement in my adagio lately. Perhaps when I'm a bit stronger and more confident I'll add the shoes again. For now, taking a step back has seemed to help me get better and more musical.

 

My teacher always requests a snappy tango for fondu at the barre so a quick releve would work. If a teacher gave a slow one, I'd probably just rise to demi-pointe if I had shoes on. Technically, the standing leg really should be straight before the eleve and I think my calf muscle would totally seize up if I tried to get onto pointe. I've seen some dancers who are strong enough to do this, but not the majority of people. I'm reasonably strong and advanced, and I don't think I could do it (unless the shoes were brand-spanking new). Never tried, but I think it would be really hard.

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How does your teacher make you do it - fondu (plie), straighten the standing leg, then roll up slowly to pointe?  That sounds horrible.

 

Yes, she makes us do it this way, but she also forgives us when we can't do it properly, she says herself that this is difficult. :D But she won't let us do a "softened releve" because we must do it the way a normal a battement fondu should be done. :wink:

 

Maybe I'm being a wimp and taking the easy way out, but I really feel like I've made some positive improvement in my adagio lately. Perhaps when I'm a bit stronger and more confident I'll add the shoes again. For now, taking a step back has seemed to help me get better and more musical.

 

Technically, the standing leg really should be straight before the eleve and I think my calf muscle would totally seize up if I  tried to get onto pointe. I've seen some dancers who are strong enough to do this, but not the majority of people. I'm reasonably strong and advanced, and I don't think I could do it (unless the shoes were brand-spanking new). Never tried, but I think it would be really hard.

 

You're not being a wimp, lampwick!! I also like to take several steps back if I feel like I need to improve some things. Mostly to develop more sense and musicality.

 

I can do the battement fondu on pointe the way it's done on demipointe when wearing Gaynor Minden. But I still put a lot of weight on my hand on the barre! :shhh: I still mark this as one of the "impossible steps".

:o

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Frankly, I do not love the battement fondu in technique shoes, either. It is one of my personal enemies in ballet. :D:shhh:

 

And I do not think you're a wimp, either, lampwick! I think it is very sensible of you to recognize that you need to work on certain things and not do everything at the same time. I wish I could do that, too.

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I can't stand doing any barre work in pointe shoes. Lots of dancers seem to be happy with it.

 

My teacher always requests a snappy tango for fondu at the barre so a quick releve would work. If a teacher gave a slow one, I'd probably just rise to demi-pointe if I had shoes on. Technically, the standing leg really should be straight before the eleve and I think my calf muscle would totally seize up if I  tried to get onto pointe. I've seen some dancers who are strong enough to do this, but not the majority of people. I'm reasonably strong and advanced, and I don't think I could do it (unless the shoes were brand-spanking new). Never tried, but I think it would be really hard.

 

Lampwick's just described some stuff that happens in my previous classes, which I've complained about elsewhere. The teacher sometimes liked for us to wear pointes for the entire class, but then still sped through barre with triple frappes at breakneck speed with eleves incorporated... amongst other things... and then wondered why we were all developing weird muscle shapes and tension and injury! hmph. I wonder. :D

 

When I was younger, my school was a bit more Balanchine-based, and at the higher levels pointe shoes were worn for all of class. But, it was thought about and our bodies were trained properly. We also had strict guidelines - if you did not come to the requisite number of classes one week, for whatever reason, you could not do pointe - you took class in slippers. They recognized that a few days here or there makes a big difference at that level.

 

Meanwhile, here, the majority of the classes are on flat and the one teacher just expects pointe to come as easily. It scares me when she does a class en pointe as the second class back after Christmas or so. And yes, obviously, not joining in is an option, but there are repurcussions for that as well...

 

ARGH! I'm ranting about those classes again! (Sorry - I know you've all heard me rant before, but there have been some even more interesting developments while I've been out with injury. But I'll save my breath for now...). Anyways, the whole what -to-do en pointe in class thing.... I think I've lost loads of my skill. Adage has ALWAYS been my weakness, but my previous training made me really comfortable in pointe shoes - even for petite and grand allegro, and adage. Now, I'm not as strong, not as comfortable, etc... although my technique in slippers has probably improved a bit... I don't know... I feel like it's a double-edged sword, and am never sure what to do!

 

Oh, and I'm not really a fan of battement fondu either, Jaana!!! :shhh:

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