Maybe I’ll just take the stairs.

Little pnuemonic device a lá Smirnoff:

“My Dears! There is a difference between elevé and relevé! You cannot use the same word for both actions! They are different!
Elevé, you go up right away. Like an elevator. You push the button, you go up.
Relevé, you push the button, and first you must go down to the basement and then you go up! Down in plié, then up!
Understand? Yes! Now lets get to work.”

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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19 Responses to Maybe I’ll just take the stairs.

  1. Paulina says:

    This reminds me of a flamenco workshop, where I took the intermediate and the advanced class. In the advanced class the teacher insisted on including ballet jumps in his flamenco choreography. At the end of the third hour I was exhausted. I did all the steps, but when the third jump came I thought: no, I am just staying down here on the ground… after almost three years the teacher still teases me about that whenever he sees me.

    By the way, have you seen this?

  2. Nadine says:

    Mnemonic. :)

  3. MM says:

    And now we have a new euphemism for plies. An added bonus!

  4. smartass says:
    That is the page I look up everything because the little movies help a lot. And the English pronounciation of French terms are quite hilarious (at least for those who speak French).

  5. Élever means “to raise a child,” which you AB are rapidly becoming an expert in.
    In teacher training we had it drilled into us that “relever” is the only correct term in ballet for leaving that nice safe place with our feet firmly planted on the ground. Whether you plié beforehand is immaterial. (Though when we rise up without a plié, I usually just say “slow rise.”) Similar to the cambré, which means “arch” – we’re taught that you can cambrer derrière (backward) or de côté (sideways) but impossible to cambrer devant (forward) because that shape is not an arch! So we just call it “forward bend.” It was great to get so many of these vocabulary terms straightened out for us in training :) Though there was more than a little pressure during written exams because we had to get the French spelling perfect, accent marks and all! – otherwise, malheureusement we had points taken off :(

    • It makes sense that the word would refer to the action of rising, not the action or lack of action that takes place before the action. If that makes any sense.
      I’m glad Smirnoff gave us the elevator example so I at least know what he thinks he means.
      When in Rome!

  6. Dear AB, a quick question for you – does Smirnoff have a strong accent? When I read something he said in your posts, he always sounds like one of those communists from cold war movies, you know?? Am I being disrespectful here? The man knew every ballet star in the world! Shame on me.

  7. Choufleure says:

    Oof, I just finishing reading your whole blog backlog. Just, awesome! I’m sad I’ve nothing left to read now, can’t wait for your next post! You’ve provided me with countless hours of giggles and allgoodthings : ] Also, you totally inspired me to take a class and I’ve one booked for next Wednesday. So excited/nervous! I’m going to read your first class stories now. Thanks! xxx

  8. Minna says:

    Could you share your weekly ballet schedule? :)

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