And then sometimes This happens

Ok so we’re doing temps lié.
Gentle Reader, I frikin love temp lié.
Slow music, slow exercise, done in the center to practice shifting weight and moving gaze and letting the light flash off different planes of our body like diamonds, as Smirnoff sez.
Other people call that flash diamond thing “epaulement”.
Other people have no poetry!!!!!!
Anyway, so if I were to look up the translation for temp lié, it would probably be like “linked time” or something, but that is Boring!
The Adult Beginner translates temps lié as short for “Time Liason”.
As in, Time is having a flirty moment.
As in, The Future runs up behind The Past and smacks it right on the ass and then runs away laughing and The Past whoops and yells “Oh no you dihn’t!” and chases after and catches The Future and they smooch and run off giggling.
Ok so anyway, we’re doing the temp liés. We always start with the simple one with the glissádes: face the front corner of the room, feet in fifth position, slide the front foot forward while leaving the back foot behind until your weight is fully on the front foot, then point the back foot and then slide it in to meet the front foot and close fifth. The turn to face the mirror straight on, slide foot away, shift weight, point other foot, slide it in to close, turn the body to the other corner, slide, shift, point, close, face the front again for the last glissáde series. Then we do them backwards.
Meanwhile our arms are doing some really stylized and graceful stuff, and our heads are following a specific pattern where sometimes we look at our hands, which is a good time to say, “hello hands! I love you!” and other times we look at the audience, which is really the mirror, and Gentle Reader, if you are a ballet teacher and you teach adults and you want them to stand tall and believe in themselves that they can really do this ballet thing, have them do temp lié and make sure they really look at themselves in that moment when they’re in croisé with the back leg pointed and the audience arm in second with the arm away from the audience curved up in third. Like, tell the they have to look ’cause its the rule. I mean I guess it really is the rule. But anyway, that moment is gorgeous. And a surprise. Surprise gorgeous.
Ok so we do the simple temps lié, then we do some that involve a developé, and somehow after developé-ing to the side and then bringing the leg down into a wide second plié, I get stuck.
Didn’t leave enough power to shift my weight over to the right foot. I’m stuck. Right there in the middle of a wide second position plié. So, whatever, I give myself a little shove-off from the left foot and woah, bad idea, balance seriously compromised, keel back, wind-mill the arms a little, overcompensate, butt pokes out, nearly fall forward, lurch over to the right foot, stagger up to standing, get arms in the right place, and think, “Yes! Totally no one saw that! Stay cool, Adult Beginner!” just as I happen to make eye contact with Best Girl, who has obviously seen the whole thing and, like, is turning purple with the effort to not laugh out loud.
She whispers, “Smooth” and I totally crack up.
And she does too.
Then we go to the corner for chainé-nés.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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11 Responses to And then sometimes This happens

  1. mladen says:

    now, i really enjoyed this one.

    talking about temp liés, in the moment i meet my eyes with the mirror, Leslie Nielsen is the person i recognize there (sans the white hair). so naturally, HE’s the one with the constant balance problems, peculiar weight shifting and general panicky moves.

    i hope he deals with the problems soon cause people don’t find butchering temp liés funny any more, i’m just saying…

  2. Jeff says:

    Ha, nice. Yay, I love temps lié, especially The Moment. It’s all very, wow, I really am dancing ballet now. For real real!

  3. Alienor says:

    Great post, and so true! (And I nearly lol’ed in the office at the end) Love temps lié.
    For me, The Moment starts a little earlier, when you open your arms from first position into the pose and step forward. It feels like an opening of my whole being, a moment of expression and sharing with the (imaginary) audience. Wonderful.

  4. lalatina says:

    lol XD great post!

  5. Nellie Dean says:

    I love temps lié too! It’s one of the few steps that *always* feel good even when they go slightly wonky… they’re gawjus with open fourth line arms too.

  6. Lovelovelovelovelove this! And we’ve (coincidentally) been doing temps lié all night!

  7. Krisztina says:

    Hey, I just started ballet two weeks ago, bern encouraged by you in part, and in our secondclassever, ee learnt this step, and it was just as you described it, i feel and look like a ballerina now!!! it’s amazing!

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