We first did assemblés in ballet a couple of weeks ago. This is a bit unsual: our class has been going strong for two years now and I understand most teachers expose their students to the horrors of assemblé early. Our first teacher, M., favoured the jeté and never taught us assemblé at all.
When Birdie first had us try assemblé, I expected to get it within the first lesson, like most jumps. I didn’t. I wrote a blog post complaining about it, expecting people to tell me it’ll get better and assemblés are easy, really. Instead, accomplished and professional dancers all confirmed that assemblés are actually difficult.
This made me slightly disheartened to try them again, but we didn’t do any in class for the following weeks. (And I couldn’t be arsed to practice at home.) Next time we did assemblés, they suddenly… worked. Last week – my third time doing assemblés, like, ever – Birdie asked me to demonstrate them for the class.
What the actual what?
Apparently, I was doing a good job of bringing my thighs together in the air – the actual assembling, if you like. I jokingly suggested to my classmates they grow some larger thighs so they don’t have to travel so far. (The gym has put massive amounts of muscle on my thighs and I haven’t bothered to lose body fat.) That got a laugh, but now I’m thinking there is some truth to it. A strong quadriceps helps you jump higher and strong adductors, which I’ve been training since physio last summer, close the legs faster.
Other than that, I’ve got no explanation for this bizarre assemblé progression.