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Ballet 1A | Fall 2014

Gretchen Alterowitz

Writing Assignment 2with your ballet buddy (or buddies if you are a group of three), do the
following exercises and answer the following questions in complete sentences. Email the
assignment to as a Word document on or before November 3.

1. Each student should choose one concept (Use of Rotation or Shift of Weight) and
demonstrate the corresponding movements for your partner as listed here: if you choose Use of
Rotation, the movements are a developp cart devant and 1 tendu from 5th position en croix;
if you choose Shift of Weight, the movements are a developp cart devant and a temps li
en avant.

2. The student not demonstrating will observe the initial demonstration (you can do it a few
times), take notes on what you see (in terms Use of Rotation or Shift of Weight) of as well as
ideas for improvement (for Use of Rotation or Shift of Weight). You might ask yourself: what
is my partner doing correctly? What is she/he doing incorrectly? What can I suggest that might
improve her/his execution of the movement?

3. Next the observer will share her/his thoughts and give the demonstrator ideas for
improvementthis can be a discussion between the two of you. Then the demonstrator will try
to implement the observers corrections, and the observer will watch again and take notes.
Once this is complete, switch roles and go through all the steps again.

4. Upon completion of steps 1-3, the observer will write ~500 words on what you observed
initially, the ideas you had for improvement, and what you observed when the demonstrator
tried out the corrections, as well as any other thoughts or comments that occur to you.

Note: for groups of three, each of you should observe and write on one of the group members.
Please do not collaborate on coming up with corrections, just follow the instructions above for
one other group member.
Ballet 1A | Fall 2014
Gretchen Alterowitz

I observed my ballet buddy, Ashlen, demonstrate her use of rotation with a developp cart
devant and a tendu from fifth position en croix.
I believe a developp cart devant is a difficult movement for maintaining your rotation
because it is rather easy to tilt your pelvis. Fortunately, she did not hike her pelvis up to try to get
her leg higher. She was able to maintain her rotation as she balanced because her weight was
correctly placed. Even though she is demonstrating rotation instead of a shift in weight, I find that
they can go hand-in-hand. If she did not have her weight shifted over on her standing leg, then
she would have fallen over, causing her to lose her alignment and rotation. I noticed that she did
not go through her best pass before extending her leg out. She did not reach the top of her knee
in pass; once her foot touched the bottom of her knee, she went ahead and extended. She lifted
up her knee first before extending; but, since she extended early, her leg turned in a little bit.
Perhaps she was focused on lifting her leg higher rather than turnout because I tend to do the
same thing. I also noticed that she was reaching her working leg out with her toes instead of
leading with her heel. Leading with the toes caused her to turn her leg in and lose rotation as she
extended. I find myself more aware of maintaining my rotation if I think of my heel leading and
pushing forward. I suggested these to her, so she can improve her execution of the movement. It
took a couple of attempts to feel the difference with the corrections. However, her working leg was
able to reach higher and maintain rotation from fifth position to extension. She was also able to
keep her pelvis down and not wobble, but that was not a problem to begin with.
While executing a tendu from fifth position en croix, I noticed that her turnout was best to the
side and front. She pointed her feet to her fullest extent in each tendu, using her rotation to
achieve her best tendu. I could tell that she was executing this from her legs rotation because her
pelvis remained in place to the front and side. The only correction I had for her when she did a
tendu to the front was to use the floor to point, instead of coming off the ground a little. I noticed
that she was able to hold her rotation when truly pushing through the floor. She led her toes back
when closing to fifth position, which also helped her maintain rotation for the next tendu. On her
first attempt, she used the floor to execute a tendu derrire; so, I know that she could have easily
implemented the correction for her next attempt. I understand how easy it is to move from your
pelvis to tendu back, and that is the only problem I saw when observing Ashlen. She knew the
correct placement behind her, in line with her spine so all she had to correct was reaching her
leg out from a different place. I suggested to keep her alignment stacked and to resist moving her
pelvis back with her leg. She was able to hold herself up straight on the next attempt. I could tell
Ballet 1A | Fall 2014
Gretchen Alterowitz

that she was using the suggestion because her knee was more to the side; so, she did not lose
nearly as much rotation as before.
Overall, Ashlen can definitely execute these movements correctly while using her rotation no
matter how much mental and physical effort it takes. She is capable of improving as much as she
needs to. Of course, there were only simple mistakes that she was aware of, but, it is common to
miss some aspect of the movement because there is a lot to think about at all times. I have learned
what I could improve on when observing my ballet buddy, and I hope that I can perform these
movements as well as she can.