It’s officially the end of Week 1 at CPYB. Today we had only one class from 10:30 to 12. Usually class starts at 9 so this was a welcome treat despite the fact that I didn’t really get any extra sleep. 🙂
Our class was on stage which was interesting. It took me about 45 minutes into class to realize there wasn’t a mirror. I mean I know there isn’t a mirror on stage but it took my dancing brain a while to register that. I’m not a big look at yourself in the mirror person anyways but it can be helpful to make sure your alignment is in check. I really didn’t mind not having a mirror, some how the empty audience served as its own sort of mirror. In the studio, we are our own audience but on stage the audience is external. This time around, our teacher was the mirror. She could stand directly in front of any of us and not worry about being in our “way” (of the mirror).
The real bothersome part of having class on stage though was the lights. SOOOOO hot and bright. But more so hot. Nathalie and I were dripping with sweat by the end of it. We had Karen for class. I really like her. She always gives sage advice as in we’re older now and need to be able to apply corrections quickly and deeply. I was pretty exhausted a few exercises into barre though. My body isn’t overly sore, not like it is when I take just 4 hours of Nailah’s Horton class (seriously that’s all it takes) but it’s definitely protesting by feeling heavy and slow. We worked on sisonnes today. No joke. They want you to jump up in fifth (like a sobresaut) and then your leg “explodes” in the air out. So if you’re doing sisonne front you would jump and stay in fifth in the air and then land on one leg in plie and the other out behind you. You really need to get some air time to do this nicely and well. I think I was trying to jump forward without jumping up first which wasn’t really working. We did echappes later like this (jumping and staying in fifth) and they weren’t nearly as bad so I have to think echappe up and then out in sisonne. Maybe that will work. 🙂
Karen told us that the difference between where your foot is in passe and where it is in pirouette is that in one it is a little higher than the other. One is in the little crook on the front side of your knee, the other is a little higher on the side of the knee. I just can’t remember which is which….. Thoughts anyone? If I think it through I’m going to say that passe should be higher since maybe it’s a little easier to balance at a higher point than it is to turn at that same point? It would be great if I had taken physics in highschool…
On a related noted, I believe it was Karen that told us when lifting the leg from the floor to passe, the passe must come from lifting the thigh first with the foot following rather than lifting the foot first.
My biggest problem is plieing deeply while in fifth position and maintaining turnout in the air and when I land. I can do decent jumps from first and second but once it goes to fifth or fourth, I don’t get as much springing power. I think I might want to take a private with one of the teachers to work on my specific issues like:
- Feeling like my thighs are in the way when jumping or trying to stand in fifth. I feel like they bang together and don’t let me get my feet where I want them.
- How to keep heels facing forward when releving from fifth (not in sous sous just straight up from fifth)
- Not keeping my weight in my heels. I’m VERY comfortable in my heels
I’m sure there are a million other things to work on as well like balance and flexibility. 🙂 I’m really, really, really glad this intensive is more than a week. Next week our bodies will be a little tougher (I hope) and our stamina a little better. 🙂
I’ve decided that CPYB is my type of place. I actually like the strict dress code. Despite my grumblings on having to find “traditional leotards” since I only owned two prior to this intensive, the dress code makes complete sense to me. If I ran my own studio, I would have a similar one. No runny tights, no skirts, no rhinestone studded leotards, etc. It can get distracting. I think it also instills a sense of professionalism at an early age and keeps class about the dancing rather than a cool leotard. The upper levels get to wear colors so that’s incentive to work hard and get there but also a treat for the dancers at that level. If you miss a class and are in a level that allows color you have to wear a black leotard till you make up for it. Good incentive to not miss class. Marcia thought this one through.
I really like that CPYB’s focus is technique. Karen explained today that the reason they don’t have a performance at the end of the intensive is because they don’t need to see what we can do, they are here to teach you to do it better. 🙂 That’s one of the reasons why I chose CPYB. I always worry about going places where there is a performance since at one point the focus becomes just looking good for the show. That’s not what it’s about for me. I want to be better for me and maybe when I am better, I’ll want to share that with others. So I’ll take technique classes 4 times a day and hope that by the end of 5 weeks I’ll be new and improved.