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barre order


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I recently found a new studio that is closer to home and that (so far) seems to challenge me more. Classes only started last week, but I noticed at the first class that the order of the barre excersises was quite different than I was used to. This instructor teaches the Checcetti method (sorry about the spelling!) which I am not terrible familiar with. It got me wondering, do different techniques tend to have characteristic orders at the barre? I had a hard time doing many things up to my full ability because I don't think my body was fully prepared. For instance, we did 2 sets of demi and grande plies, and then did a set of developes with "leg on the barre" stretches. Then we went back to tendus, tendu degage, rond de jambe, etc. I didn't feel my muscles were up to developes before I even did a tendu!

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That is indeed a very unusual barre order, buglady, and one with which I would strongly disagree. Stretching on the barre and developpés come much later in the barre, following things that work all the joints and muscles involved and prepare them gradually to begin extensions.

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Sounds to me like the very old-fashioned Cecchetti where things started with grand battement, and a few stretches that you mention. I always felt this led to "thunder thighs" and wasn't a good idea. Apparently, this was the nineteenth-century way of doing things, as notebooks from French classes that survive show this kind of barre progression, as did Bournonville, which was just transplanted French, to a large extent, anyway. In my opinion, barre should work from the ground up, gradually working to warm up the body from the lower parts to the higher ones.

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I agree that the order doesn't sound entirely logical for the purposes of warming up the body gradually. If you like the class otherwise, however, you could just get there early enough to do your own exercises (tendu, degage, etc...) before the beginning of the class.

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Yes, Luna, that is my plan. Other than the unusual barre progression I liked the class very much. The instructor gave many corrections and she explains things well. I also liked the general pace of the class and some of the visualizations she gave. And it doesn't hurt that the class is only 20 minutes from my house! I have been driving over an hour to get to my old studio.

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I guess I'm spoiled--I could walk to my studio in 15 or 20 min.; of course I'm usually rushing home from work with just 5 or 10 minutes to change before class time, so it rarely works out that can take the pedistrian option. I wish I did have the time to walk--it would be a gentle way to get the legs warmed up even before plies!

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