CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  Born2dance [ Sat May 26, 2001 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Questions!

Ok--i have a few questions as i look back on ballet class today. First, I have my semi-new pointe shoes, but they always fall of--any suggestions. Also, when doing pique turns, my teacher told me that I pick my posse up too high--but I don't feel it. I understand what I am doing but not how to fix it. When doing fuetees, my teacher said that I dont keep my leg level, it goes all different heights and once I fix that I will be fine, so--any suggestions? And(sorry for the length)-I am very flexi, but I dont have my middle splits. I go as far as I can and when I "roll though" I have them at 180(lying on my stomach)-any tips to trnasfer to sitting up? How do you do grnade battemes en pointe in center--i have soo much trouble with them. Lastly--I have touble with leaps on the left side. My back leg will go up but not my font. My teacher said that I am not developing--I understand what she means but I thought I was--suggestion? Sorry about the lenght and THANK YOU

Author:  Basheva [ Sat May 26, 2001 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions!

Born2Dance - let's see if I can take your questions one at a time:<P>In a regular pirouette the passé/retiré foot should be at knee height. Either at the front of the knee or across the back of the knee - depending on the pirouette. When you lift your passé leg - stick it on your knee and <B>feel</B> it there. Really feel it there.<P>If your new pointe shoes are falling off - they must be too lose - have your teacher check the fit. If they are coming off your heel you can secure them on by sewing elastics from either side of the pointe shoe heel around your ankle. Your teacher should be able to show you how to sew these. You can also sew a loop of elastic inside the heel of the shoe and loop your ribbons through it - to hold the shoes on.<P>Fouetté - your teacher is right - the leg has to stay at one height front and to the side. Don't try for any great height - start out at about 45 degrees. Sometimes if you are making the relevé onto pointe and kind of jerking your body - that will make the leg bobble around. You have to relevé using the strength in your foot and your plié, not jerking your body.<P>Grand battements in the center on pointe: This is really a test of your alignment. Remember whenever you do a grand battement - in the center - at the barre - on pointe or flat - it MUST NOT affect the rest of your body. That will really show up on pointe in the center. It is a test of everything you have learned - alignment, placement, control, strength. Try it without a tremendous kick at first. Watch yourself in the mirror - <B>nothing</B> should move except your kicking leg.<P><BR>Everyone has a better side for leaps - just like everything else. So that is the side you pay special attention to. Use your plié, work on the preparation for the jump - that is every bit as important as the jump itself. <P>What happens when you lay with your legs in the air and what happens when you are sitting in a split are two very different things. When you are lying down, gravity is helping you. When you are sitting your legs/pelvis/hips are also supporting your weight. <P>If your teacher says you are not developing, I think that you need to have a quiet conference with her. Ask her what she means and what you can work on. It is not enough to say your are not "developing" - as a teacher she needs to help you and tell you what you have to work on. <P>Also you as a student, and she as a teacher, need to know that a student doesn't develop all the time - it's usually by fits and starts. It is not an even process. Sometimes it seems months go by without any progress and then, suddenly good things happen. So don't get discouraged. <BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited May 26, 2001).]

Author:  nancy [ Sat May 26, 2001 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions!

Born2Dance, did your teacher mean you weren't developing as a dancer, or did you use developing with reference to your front leg in a leap? If your development as a dancer is the issue, then Basheva has given you a great answer. If you are talking about a developpe of the front leg, as in a saut de chat, then we need to consider that. Could you please let us know?<P>For feeling your passe, I tell my students to really kick themselves, or to make themselves black and blue. Not that I really want them to hurt themselves, but if you can feel that passe, as Basheva says, you will be able to keep track of it. <P>For grand battement on pointe, I tell my students to feel their weight right over their supporting foot before they kick. That seems to help some of them.<P>Other suggestions to keep from losing your pointe shoes, in case you already have elastics on: try wetting the heels to keep them from slipping off. Or even tightening the drawstrings a bit, if your shoes have them, may be enough to keep the shoes from slipping off. But just tighten a bit -- you don't want to irritate your tendons or heels.<P>For fouettes, you may wish to practice preparations at the barre. If you can set yourself up so you are looking at yourself head-on in the mirror, you may be able to see your roving leg, and retrain yourself to keep it level.

Author:  Born2dance [ Sat May 26, 2001 4:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions!

Sorry, I did mean developing in a grande jete not as a dancer--as a dancer my teacher has been really really supportive.

Author:  Basheva [ Sat May 26, 2001 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions!

Born2Dance....I am sorry that I misunderstood you.<P>There are two versions of the grand jeté - one kicks through with a straight leg to the front (grand jeté) and the other comes through with a developpé leg to the front - we always called that a saut de chat. You may call it something else. (Some people call a saut de chat a large version of the pas de chat).<P>But whatever you call it, in the big leap in which the leg comes to through to the front with a developpé , which most people, including me, think is easier, feel that knee pointing upward and then extend from the knee. Think about the knee rather than the leg - that might help.<P>You might also be working to turn it out too much as it comes through in the developpé.<P>But you have to understand that one side will always be better and/or more comfortable.<P>

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