2013 has seen a lot of improvement in class. This time last year we were struggling to Relevé on one leg en Pointe and Pirouettes en Pointe were terrifying. Now Relevé-ing on one leg en Pointe is almost as natural as walking and Pirouettes en Pointe are fun and satisfying when you manage a clean turn and land.
We braved a mini Swan Lake performance for family and friends which happened to be the most terrifying thing I have ever done.
I have been invited to my first UKBTMs which were fun, scary, improved my confidence and I got to meet lots of like minded ballet loving dancers.
As for watching ballet, it’s been a great year. Swan Lake in the Round watching Tamara Rojo (all time favourite and total girl-crush) was nothing short of amazing. Then earlier this month watching Vadim and Daria dance in the Nutcracker was a little dream come true. I am still in awe of how beautifully they danced and how stunning Daria’s Port de Bras was. I am completely in love.
RB’s cinema broadcasts have brought ballet closer to home and the ballerinas and I had particularly good fun watching Don Q in October, and developed crushes on Federico Bonelli while watching Nutcracker earlier this month.
So here is the ballet chart of 2013
1. Risk of No More Class. Going to ballet class every week over the summer wondering if its your last time. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on any dancer. And another reason why the arts need more investment.
2. Multiple Pirouettes. When the teacher says ‘doubles’ I freeze. Help!
3. Fourth Position at the Barre. Am I aligned properly? It feels weird in my hips and it’s the most unflattering position to watch myself in the mirror as it’s all hips and thighs.
4. Flexibility. What more can I say apart from I don’t have enough.
5. Penchés. This is leading on from flexibility. Over the whole summer I didn’t seem to go one class without being corrected on these damn things.
6. Grandma Hips. My hips are apparently the same age as me but after Rond de Jamb en l’Air they feel like those of somebody three times my age.
7. Port de Bras while in Second en Pointe. Major risk of falling backwards while experiencing extreme cramps in the feet while trying to stay up and go down at the same time.
8. Petit Battements. Just no. The word ‘spasms’ come to mind.
9. Frappé. See above. And it’s even worse when combined with Petit Battements during the same exercise.
10. Learning Pirouettes en Dedans en Pointe. A real effort at first to do these, I even fell down trying.
1. En Pointe. Literally had to wait 20 years to get a pair of pointe shoes. Sometimes I still can’t believe I dance en pointe. Very proud and very happy.
2. Rond de Jamb. This is by far my most favourite barre exercise, it makes me feel like a ballerina during preparations and I love how gentle and graceful they are.
3. Developpé en Pointe. See number 2. Pure LOVE.
4. Adage. I love a long and graceful adage, the port de bras, the balances, I could do them all day. I think it makes me feel calm like yoga does.
5. Grand Jeté en Tournant. I always favour turns over jumps but I love doing these. And they gave me my first ballet injury one day I was putting that much enthusiasm into them. In fact, the last class before Christmas I got completely lost in them and almost fell flat on my face remembering that the next step was not another Grand Jeté en Tournant.
6. Pirouettes en Pointe. I love! Ultimate ballerina moment, especially when performed in attitude.
7. Plié and Port de Bras. The most simple barre exercise but a time to really think about improving arms and positioning.
8. Turns from the Corner. Whatever the combination, it’s a chance to put all that effort in and pretend you’re La Nunez in Don Q.
9. Entrechat. A surprise entry, considering I don’t like jumping!
10. Bourées. You get to pretend you’re in Swan Lake.
Happy New Year!