Like Devo sez, you must grip it.

Ok so before I cold-busted my ankle, I took a basic class at BDC.
And there was a neat moment where I got to enjoy what is for me an unusual perspective: the view down the barrel of a portable barre.
In my regular class back home we use wall-mounted barres- unless the class is really really full- and then that one horrible rickety portable barre comes out.
That portable barre sux.
Teacher is always careful to put two people of equal-ish strength on either side of that portable barre, otherwise one good grande battemont and the whole thing will keel toward the stronger dancer and it’ll be Unscheduled Bonus Partnering Class OMG.
So anyway, here is what you see when you stare down a (well balanced, non rickety) portable barre.
Hands every which-a-way!
The people on the other side are facing you, which means you see the back of your hand, the front of the next girl’s hand, the back of the next hand, front back front back all the way to the vanishing point far far at the other end.
Man hands, kid hands, arthritic hands.
Lots a nail polish in varying degrees of pink and chipped.
And, coolest, all the variation in grip!
Everything from thumb-wrapped-under-the-barre-white-knuckle-grip-of-death to that two-finger tap-tap thing you do when you’re looking for your balance.
Best of all, my favorite, which I saw all up and down the barre, was the grip where all four fingers and the thumb are wrapped very tightly over top of the barre.
That consciously placed thumb cracks me up, it’s so like, “no ma’am! I’m most certainly not death-gripping! See, look! No thumb!”

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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2 Responses to Like Devo sez, you must grip it.

  1. carahe says:

    Oh, I see you have caught on to my portable barre tricks. I am absolutely a 4 fingers and thumb on top stealth death gripper, and in frappes, proud of it. Cause a couple really good, fast doubles and I’d be on the floor if I didn’t death grip it!

    • Ha!
      Yep, I’m on to your tricky ways.
      And ok, I admit it, I full-on death grip with thumb under the barre at least half the time. Teacher occasionally will correct this by reminding me that in Russia the barres rested within an open bracket; a good yank would lift them right off the wall. Horrifying!
      Competition is my biggest motivator to not death grip. I look from my scary monster claw to the other girls’ light-like-a-feather ballerina hands and think, oh hey, that looks nice, maybe try that!

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