Petite Allegro is Not My Jam

There are many things in ballet class that I absoultely love.  I love jumps, and balances.  I love barrework (mostly!).  Unfortunately, the things I love tend to be the things I do well and I tend to dislike things that do not come as naturally to me.

Petite allegro falls in that category.

As many of my fellow ballet students know, petite translates to “small,” and allegro is translated as “quickly” and is generally referred to in ballet as motions in which one or both feet beat in the air off the floor.  Thus, petitie allegro is ballet code for “small, quick jumps.”  And I am NOT good at it.

Let’s call a spade a spade: I’m tall and busty, and nothing I do is small.  I can do quick (sometimes), but only if I’m very comfortable with the movement, or else “quick” just translates into awkward and sloppy.  Every class during petitie allegro I feel distinctly ungraceful.  Oh, and much too bouncy.

Lamenting my horrid soubre sous and changements, Gorgeous Ballet Girl (who is similarly tall, but infinitely more graceful and lovely) suggested to jump just a  little higher.  We have big feet, she said, and to get them pointed we need more air time.  BRILLIANT.  So I’ve been trying to jump just a  little higher (while still keeping it “small” and “quick” – kill me now).  It helps, but I’m still awkward as a baby giraffe standing up for the first time.

I’m TRYING to take small steps, I’m TRYING to move my feet quickly, I’m TRYING to be light and graceful.  But honestly, during petite allegro, I’m just thankful not to be falling over my huge clumsy feet flat onto my scrunched up frustrated face.

. . . Can we please do grand jetes now??

4 thoughts on “Petite Allegro is Not My Jam

  1. Lol. I love petite allegro (well all allegro really) but I recognize your pain. It helps (me) to think NOT of getting feet pointed and legs stretched on each jump, buy to jump BY pushing through legs and feet. Anyway, we don’t all have to love everything 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve been told multiple times to “use your plie!” between jumps, so this makes sense. I’m guilty of trying to get to the next one before finishing the one before – but it’s just SO FAST!

  2. I used to adore petite allegro when I was younger, but nowadays not so much (mostly because I keep getting impact-related inflammation/injuries in my feet/ankles because our floor isn’t sprung). What helps me, though, is to not over think it; to just move. I find that if I’m thinking about the steps too much, I completely lose the quickness and fluidity of it all, which seems crazy, but works (for me).

    What also grates my cheese about petite allegro these days is that I have several teachers that want us to REALLY jump (high), or REALLY move (travel), and my past training was all about keeping everything small and under yourself, so its like opposite land.

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