Lyda picked up a piece of chalk end drew the rectangle again on the floor. This time to introduce the effacé position. We already practiced en face, de dos, en profil, and croisé direction in the previous lesson. When standing in the croisé direction you can be in the croisé or the effacé position. The fundamental characteristic of croisé is the crossing of the legs. The effacé, in contrast, is with the legs open. It’s all about looking at the mirror to understand how the position looks.
Lyda made a game out of it, she uttered the name of the diverse positions, and we made the moves. To get accustomed to the positions. “En face croisé, de dos, en face effacé,” and so on. This went on for a few minutes.
In the Thursday lesson, Lyda put white tape on the floor of the studio, one stripe for each of us. And we started practicing the tendu, moving en avant, derrière, and à la seconde. Without the barre. These movements implicate holding the balance, and I liked this. Balance is a crucial dimension in ballet. So every day I practice at this, using common everyday movements. When I put my shoes on, I pick up a shoe from the floor, hold it in my hands, stand on one leg and elevate my other leg, putting the shoe on, first the left, then the right. Incorporate the ballet basis movements in your daily life is what Lyda advised us. That’s what I try to do. So when brushing my teeth, I do the demi plié, when picking something up from the floor I keep my legs straight and bend forward to pick the thing up.
We keep on moving up, I guess, doing more exercises in the center of the studio.
Lyda stimulates us to practice at home. Use the Santa Claus period of the year she exclaimed. Ask Santa for a few gifts, like a mirror, a short piece of stair railing, maybe you can hang a small length of stair railing on the wall, and voilà you have your own barre. And ask for tape to make a stripe on the floor.
The motto is: Build your own little ballet studio in one of your rooms at home. And practice. Every day.
We practiced the pas assemblé. It is one of the basic movements for the development of the jump. But it is fairly complicated too.
Stand in the 5th position, right foot front, demi plié, with a sliding movement draw the left leg to the side and with the toe of the extended foot reach the second position on the floor. Then with the right foot which has remained in plié push off the floor, extending the toes during the jump, left leg still in second position in the air, then both feet simultaneously, return to the 5th position in demi plié, left foot front. From this plié, the movement is repeated with the other leg.
The assemblé becomes a little bit more accepted in my system. But I have a long way ahead of me to make it a firm jump!