CPYB: Day 15: There will be pointe…and turnout

CPYB: Day 15: There will be pointe…and turnout

So the powers that be have decided that level B3 is ready for pointe….and by “the powers that be” I mean Marcia wrote a note on a little piece of lined paper that was then given to Re (our teacher) today. We can do pointe only on Tuesdays starting this Tuesday, July 9, with Robert Steele. This is HUGE news. I’m excited to see how it’ll go tomorrow but I just realized that I haven’t done pointe since last year at Sun King Dance Camp. As in my shoes probably don’t fit…… we’ll see how that goes. I’ve never been taught pointe by a male before. Not that I’ve had extensive pointe training…

Marcia also called our teachers and said they should work on turnout with us and that’s exactly what Re did. She’s really encouraging us to turnout from the tops of the legs rather than making us force our turnout from the feet and knees. I felt it more today in my hip flexor area than in my knees. I took my good friend to the PT today because she was having knee pain. My housemate and I have also been having knee pain. We are all forcing our turnout the wrong way. I find it especially hard to hold my turnout when releveing for some reason. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, the PT also encouraged us to turnout more so that we wouldn’t have to force our turnout. Turnout – the answer to everything. He said we might have the flexibility to turn out more but not the strength to hold the turnout so you have to work on both.

Want to know why we need to turnout in ballet? To please our king, King Louis XIV who is credited with creating ballet. Our entire bodies must face the king with maximal frontal rotation. I’m surprised he didn’t find a way to make you show him your back and front at the same time. Like a monarchy, our bodies must be controlled by a strong center with movement emanating from this center which is why we must suck in out stomachs and lengthen our lower backs. I’m loving this online class so far but it is really making me question my ballet motivation. Ballet is seen as being “European,” as reflecting Christian values, as encouraging the mind-body split. Is that the type of dance I want to be doing? Is ballet just another way of colonizing, of doing missionary work? I’ve often heard ballet to be the root of all dance. Is that just a way to propagate Louis XIV’s monarchy control propaganda? Of saying that whiter is better? Is that why I felt uncomfortable wearing my pink tights because of this “white is right” aesthetic?

I have many things to ponder and even more things to research and learn.


One thought on “CPYB: Day 15: There will be pointe…and turnout

  1. Congrats on getting graduated to pointe!! Good luck with the turnout…it’s tough getting those muscles to do what you want…but it is so worth it. It really adds a delicacy to the movements. 🙂 Thanks for keeping us up to date on your intensive…I am learning something new each time you post!


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