Thinking through assemblé

We all have that one step, you know that one thing which is just so hard to communicate to your feet, no matter how much you think your brain has grasped it.

For me, this is assemblé. It just makes me feel like a baby elephant. Really ungainly.

Aww baby elephant allegro.

Aww baby elephant allegro.

I wrote here ages ago about this, and my search for some tutorial vids. I guess it goes to show how long you have to think about and sit with a step sometimes before you start to feel any progress or “click” with it.

I’m still not comfortable with them in the centre at all, but I am feeling pretty good at the barre practicing them. I think my problem is that I am holding back from my plié and into the jump so I don’t actually have time/space to “assemble” properly. I think this just is fear that I will somehow break my ankles!

I have to perform assembles as part of the exam I’m working towards. I’m really learning to love allegro, although I don’t think it is my strong suit – I am an adage girl really and truly.

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Thinking through Pas de Basque

Unfortunately this is the best I could find on Youtube, only 17 seconds-worth:

But wait!

Here is lovely We.do.ballet with a verbal break-down of the step:

Don’t over think it though, it’s just a quick: prepare, quarter circle, hop onto it, step through.

They can come from the front or back.
-tendu fondue front
-quarter ronde de jambe to the side
-your legs out to the side, imagine you are already half way through a glissade and finish the glissade (toward the tendu foot) closing the old standing foot front).
-chase forward to tendu back. (alternately you just bring the closing leg in through coup de pied and just step forward… depends on what’s given)

But don’t over think it. It’s a lovely step when you just let it happen

 

Amazing, right? Like having your own personal instruction manual!

I need words to help think things through, even when the thinking is in my body, as in dance. Perhaps this is why my favourite teacher is very vocal, with a hilarious phrase for just about everything to boot. Port de bras over to the barre? Swim with the dolphins!

 

I just don’t get assemblés

 

My brain gets it – brush jump, brush jump.

But my body just doesn’t understand!

Normally I can get by on mimetic action before I’ve really got my technique down and get a feel for a step.

But it’s like my body is just slack-jawed and uncomprehending.

I’m going to Youtube chain a whole load of vids to see if this will help something to click.

*Edited after having a search*

I think the two vids below are possibly the most helpful I can find, because they are nice and slow, and show the whole step from start to finish a number of times. I can’t stand those HowCast-esque things that take two minutes to introduce whoever it is and then just show you a step in bits. Rubbish!

Reviewing the above, I think I am getting the basic movement of the step, however it just doesn’t feel right and when I watch myself in the mirror it looks ungainly. I think I have been unsure of how far to brush out the working leg, and I can just bet I haven’t been keeping my spine and trunk as straight and immobile as in the vids! Also I have been unsure of when precisely to jump with the standing leg. Funnily enough I think part of this is the name of the step putting me off – I haven’t been able to connect what I’m doing with “assembling” the feet together.

I’ve only just really gained confidence in the petit allegro – it really has taken me this long to jump without waving my torso around or leaning or whatever. In the last few weeks somehow its clicked and I’m having loads of fun being springy. It great to see your feet really point and extend whilst you’re in the air isn’t it?

Oh and Re. Glissade as in the video above – THAT took me far too long to get my head around. First of all I thought it was called a glissande (sounds like a shampoo) and I thought it was a change of weight from one foot to the other. And I had no idea the plié was the main thing going on in there. Stern Teacher goes Where’s your plié? I’m like it thought it could sit this one out?? Not realising this was the part of the Little Jumps section.

So that has been my YouTube research presentation. My findings indicate a number of points that are causing my body to go “Assem-blehh??!”. Thank you.

Pirouette Update

Just wanna let y’all know – I’m turning really clean HALF p’s!

F’in A! What an Amazon!

This post here over at lovely AB (which I reblogged) was a huge help in helping me think through my pirouettes. I’ve gone from My pirouettes are a problem, I don’t know what to do about it, to The feel of a clean half is wonderful and really enlivened my centre work.

Just need to keep building on it and figure out how to get the rest of the way round now!

 

Plz help a reader with her Pirouette Problem!

Excellent hive-mind help for a dancer with pirouette worries! Similar problems over here – I am yet to truly get my pirouette, too. I do think confidence is a big issue. And starting off with quarter-turns is not a technique that’s been used in my classes. Give it a good read all you pirouette over-thinkers!!

Adult Beginner

Got this email from a reader.
Let’s called her K-boom.
K-boom needs pirouette help, you guys.
K-boom says:

“I’ve been taking classes seriously for 2 years, 2-3 times a week. I am the ONLY person in my class who cannot do a pirouette. I can balance in passé, spot etc. but I cannot do even one turn. Its gotten to be a “thing.” Two teachers have said its all in my head since I have the requisite skills but its getting ridiculous. I mean, I actually felt like crying from frustration in class last night. The more I practice, the worse it gets. Basically, what happens most of the time is I “fall” out of the turn when I get halfway around. I have also fallen on my ass more times than I care to admit. I am hoping if you make this a post, lots of people will write…

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