So, I missed class the other day because I was on location in a fancy hotel altering rocker clothes for a music video shoot-
And boy gum, if I had a nickel for everytime I’ve used that excuse I would have, like, fifteen cents or something.
At least this time I had a desk and a chair, wasn’t, like, hunched over on the couch, setting the sewing machine up on the coffee table or anything.
Anyway so of course when I got back to ballet class there were all these new exercises- of course- out of nowhere- how does he always manage to so that?
Including The Fun-est Thing Evar!!!!
It’s similar to the Petipa #1 exercise, which you can read about here if you wanna,
But instead of being all slow and dreamy it’s fastfastfast!
Here’s what we do:
We all line up in the corner.
Smirnoff explains to whoever hasn’t done it before (me), that this is a pahh swee-vee exercise. Although to me it looks exactly like a bourré. I will have to look this up in a book. Google is just confused by phonetic spelling.
Smirnoff tells us that we must step four times for each count of music. So that’s sixteen times each measure. And he wants to hear it! He wants us to really push the floor with our half toes so he hears: patpatpatpat(one)patpatpatpat(two)patpatpatpat(three)patpatpatpat(four)
So the music starts, and it is Way Peppy-er Music than the Petipa music, we rise up on half-toe during the intro, and then patpatpatpat for two measures, that’s eight counts, that’s thirty-two pats, that’s Really Hard Work, while we look up to our right hand, arm arched up in third like a ballerina, other arm drifting behind in second, not tense with all the effort going on in our lower bodies, and then when the third measure starts we slice downward with our right arm toward the left corner and then bring it sharply around and overhead and bending back and and all the way around full circle and then repeate! Two circles in the measure! And it’s so fast and your arms are so powerful that they whip your body around!
You whirl all the way around in a circle on your half toes!
Which is a total surprise the first time!
Like, I whirled and then stopped and was like, ‘woah! Was I supposed to spin around like that? Without any stepping?’ and Smirnoff must’ve looked over and seen the freaked out look on my face because he called out, “Yes! Yes My Dear! You must let your body follow your shoulders!” and then it was like, aha! He’s doing this to get us to move our shoulders!
He’s got this thing about how we (me) (ok and one or two other girls) don’t move our shoulders, which, like, strikes me as both funny and totally impossible, ’cause, like, of course they move. Right?
Anyway, he’s convinced that all the young whipper-snappers teaching ballet these days only teach the legs, and that when he dies no one will ever move their shoulders again.
Which is sad to think that he worries about that.
But nice to think that his solution is to teach, so he puts the information in us, so it’s not lost to the world.
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