Friday, June 8, 2018

We're off to see the Wizard - and we'll do it with a pas de basque balance!

Did you know that Dorothy and her friends head off to see the Wizard (the Wonderful Wizard of Oz) doing a series of pas de basque balance?

Pas de basque is a compound step, in which one foot does a demi rond de jambe either en avant or en arreriere from fifth position and then the second leg performs a chassee, developpe, or battement degage through first position and finishes in fifth or fourth position tendu. Sometimes it will feel like a rond de jambe to glissade a la seconde to tendu derriere.

When it's a balance, we have to add a traveling step to it so we move forward on the step through and bring our derrieres with us. This is where we typically run into trouble: the movement forward and the rhythm to do so. It's a tricky series of steps but once you find the rhythm of it, it's a lot of fun.

I often tell my students, both beginners and advanced, that it's the Wizard of Oz step and that's an image that comes quickly to mind. For those of you who can't picture it or have never seen it, here is a clip from the movie of Dorothy and her friends dancing down the Yellow Brick Road. They don't turn out their legs or feet when they do it but it's the correct rhythm. If they were in ballet class, I would give them a C+ or a B- if they stretch their legs. Ha!

Happy dancing~

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