Mnemonic The Third

Continuing in a series that I hope I will come up with many more of, I dub these—
Great Mnemonics For The Ages!!!
These are (so far three) little memory tricks that I have thought up that seriously worked, immediately and permanently.
For me.
Hopefully they’ll work for you too, Gentle Reader.
Here they are:
From back in 2010, for remembering which way you’re supposed to turn when you hear the words en dedans.
From 2011, for remembering which direction your face goes when you close fifth.
And all new, this one to help remember whether to close fifth in front or in back during barre exercises:
Here let’s set the scene:
Ok you’re doing tendus, right? From fifth position. Let’s say you’re doing four. When you go to the side, you bring the first tendu to close right where it started in the front, close the second one in the back, third one front, fourth one back again, and then your foot is all set in the correct location and ready to do the tendus to the back.
(My non-ballet readers, I’m sorry if this makes no sense. Please think about puppies instead. Puppies make sense.)
Ok but then when you have done your four tendus to the back and you are starting to go to the side again, you’re starting with your foot closed in back and it returns to where it started in the back, then closes in front, then back, then front again and you’re ready to sous-sou and turn to the other side or whatever.
So that’s confusing enough but then when you are doing sets of three tendus (or dégagés or whatever) instead of four, you close to the back first when you are starting from the front, and in front first when starting from the back, and that is totally confusing and I’ve been trying for years to force myself to just remember it, and people are always like, “oh it’s simple, even numbers close front odd numbers close back.” And I’m like, “but that’s only true for half the exercise then it all just goes to hell!!!!!”
I mean reals, my brain is not ok with having to suddenly think, mid-exercise, “Ok! That thing you were just doing! But now backwards! Go!”
Brain just won’t. I need an unconditional rule.
So I was thinking about the even numbers and odd numbers and how with even numbers your foot returns to its starting place first and with odd numbers your foot goes away first and I was like THATS IT!!! SQUARES!
Squares are made of four sides. Four is an even number, so squares are even. Squares are also people, who are, to quote Urban Dictionary, “unhip, uncool, unpopular.”
Just the sort of people who return home instead of going out. It’s ok, I can say that, I am one.
Odd indicates unusual, unusual is interesting, interesting people are cool, cool people go out.
Therefor: Evens stay home. Odds go out.
Right???!!!!!!
This might be totally convoluted and not make sense to anyone else, but I swear, I have not ended up feet in the wrong place even one single time since I came up with this trick.
Why does it even matter? Because it’s So Satisfying when you’re going along with the music and closing fast switch switch switch switch and you end it in right place! It’s feel so good!

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Technique and Class and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Mnemonic The Third

  1. Haha! You discovered the even/odd theorem. Not even a theory as it’s pretty proven. Congrats!

  2. Paulina says:

    Whatever helps. I have my little tricks, too.

  3. Jen says:

    It works! It works it works it works! I love this, thank you, AB!!!!!

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