Tendu Hard

Today was the last jazz class before the summer break. Only three people showed up, the rest being on vacation/at a party/working late/too damn hot/abducted by aliens (delete as applicable).

The good thing about a really small class like that is that the teacher gets to see almost every mistake you make and give you tailor-made corrections. You can learn a lot in such a class. The bad thing is, any illusions of grandeur you might have take a massive hit.

Today, I learned that my tendus suck. My ballet teacher always instructs us to push the foot out «through» the floor, meaning in noticeable contact with the surface. My particular illusion of grandeur in this case was that I had mastered this art to perfection. Which is an asinine assumption for someone who has been doing ballet for all of four months.

So today, my jazz teacher, Y., told me to point my toes during tendus. I did. She told me to point them some more. I tried, failed and was like «I have reached the limits of this feeble mortal shell that is but a vessel for the mad dancing skillz of my soul.»

Or maybe I just said «But they just won’t point!». You’ll never know, will you?

And then Y. was like, «Nonsense, you’re putting weight on them.»

And I was like, «NU-UH!!!»

And she was like, «Yes, you are.»

And I was. It was just the weight of the leg itself, but it was still weight. I tried doing a tendu with the weight completely off the toes, but still pushing them through the floor and they pointed like a boss. It was pretty hard on my leg muscles, though.

This is a lesson I learn time and time again in every dance class I take: if it’s easy, you’re probably doing it wrong.

3 thoughts on “Tendu Hard

  1. “… If it’s easy, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

    Alas, too often true! It always seems as if, in ballet, as soon as something gets easy, there’s some additional level of polish or sophistication that can be added.

    If I polished my silverware like I polish my ballet, there wouldn’t be any silverware left!

    On the upside, learning to apply the polish does grow easier as your nervous system adapts to the unusual refinements of ballet.

    Also, the four cramps can eventually be overcome (mostly, anyway!) through a series of strengthening exercises. The simplest: lay out a towel on the floor, put your heel on one short edge, and use your toes to scrunch it towards you. This will help to strengthen the muscles under the arch that support your point, among others, and can be done almost anywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s why ballet is better then silverware! And no burglar can steal it, either. On the other hand, you can’t leave ballet to your grandchildren and showing it off to your guests really depends on the guests. I like the comparison! 🙂
    Thank you for the exercise! I will do it! I should’ve thought of it myself: a doctor once prescribed it to me when I was a flat-footed kid and it helped a lot. I need to compile a compact exercise regimen for the summer in the next few days, this will definitely be a part.

    Liked by 1 person

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