Saturday, 18 June 2011

Pirouette en dedans and en dehors

You'll have noticed by now that regularly posting on my blog is not my strong point. Largely this is because I am not really interesting enough to tell the internet things about my life. Everyone else is more interesting than me it seems, and someone else has always already said what I was going to say, but more eloquently.

But despite that fact, I shall keep my blog, and every now and again, write the odd post (and I mean odd), just to catch you out.

Today's is because we learnt something brand new in ballet yesterday, which I wasn't expecting to happen since I'm retaking the beginner level course.

We did pirouettes en dehors. Usually we do them en dedans, which is FAR easier. You would never believe it. It's difficult to explain the difference to the uninitiated. I know this, because I had to read a whole bunch of things myself before I really understood.

To do a pirouette en dedans, you are spinning away from the working leg. This means if you are standing on your right foot (on your toes of course), with your left leg raised in passe (left toes just under right knee), then you should be turning to the right, with your right elbow leading, in a clockwise direction. En dedans means "inwards". Your left knee, the raised one, is coming inwards, towards your body, in order to turn. When you do a pirouette en dehors, it is different. If are turning to the right, you stand on your left foot with your right leg in passe, so that your right knee is leading - you are trying to push your leg outwards and away from you in order to turn. En dehors means "outwards" hence the different names for the pirouettes. Another difference is that en dedans, the working foot starts behind and winds up in front, while en dehors, it starts in front and ends up behind.

We've been doing our en dedans pirouettes from a lunge-type stance in fourth, so that you have the momentum of your left leg coming forward to passe as well as your left arm coming from second to first to help you go round. This means that although you might not turn very elegantly, and you might over balance part way round, you nearly always have the momentum to go a full turn. However, en dehors, you start in fifth, so the only momentum you have is the arm coming from second to first. The first couple of times I barely managed a quarter turn. It was horrible. I just didn't get it. Pirouettes en dehors are all in the mind guys. You need to use every muscle on the left side of your body to turn. Its just that you don't get to move any of them very far. It's strange. But yes, the fact that I worked this out, means I managed a rightwards pirouetted en dehors! And then I did another one! They were by no means brilliant examples, but I went all the way round and put my foot down behind and didn't fall. Then I tried a third one and came down of demi pointe a bit funny and hurt my ankle and scared it away. Turning leftwards was never better than a quarter turn at the moment, which is hugely frustrating. But its like a whole bunch of things, you have to learn it separately for the left side and the right side. Hopefully I'll get there. We'll see how it goes :)

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