The title of this post is inspired by one of the most awesome bands out there, Scissors for Lefty! Go check ’em out. 🙂
Anyway, ballet for this left-handed gal has been…interesting. I’ve always been a left turner. My right pirouettes are not pretty, and recently I’ve had to actively make myself practice turning right more than left. It’s easy to practice what you feel more comfortable with, because it boosts your confidence. I can do a double on my left side? Yay! But I’m the Leaning Tower of Pisa on my right? Yikes… If I keep practicing my left and right sides split 50/50, my right turns are going to lag, so I’m trying to increase the ratio of right to left pirouettes that I do.
A few classes ago, I was doing this combination across the floor to the right that involved pirouette from fourth en dehors into a fouetté (something I’m not close to mastering, but I’ll talk about that another time) and I was falling over. My teacher asked if I was a lefty and I sheepishly said yes. He responded that everything in ballet is to the right except for solos, and it hit me that if I wanted to perform, I needed to up my right side game. It’s funny because in some sports, being left handed can give you an advantage, like in baseball, but in ballet, uniformity is often necessary so being left handed feels like a disadvantage.
So that’s a major struggle for me right now. Slowly but surely though, I will progress! I’ve already noticed that my turns have improved since January. I’ve got my spotting down and my arms in the correct position, and doubles are coming more easily on the left.
Is anyone else a lefty doing ballet or struggling with one side for pirouettes? Has it affected things like performing in shows? Let me know!