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 Post subject: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2001 10:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 126
Location: USA
I am really struggling with echappes to fourth position. My echappes to second are improving, but my fourth position seems so closed. I can do it at the barre, but in the center my feet are too close together in fourth. I also have trouble with sous-sous in the center, in that case getting my legs pressed close enough together. I have a tendency to throw my weight backward when springing up to pointe and this may be the problem, or perhaps it's a strength issue, or a lack of courage. I know what it's SUPPOSED to look and feel like (from my occasional successes!), but it's not consistent. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2001 10:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Sissonne - there are several issues here.<P>In doing sous-sous in the center getting your legs together in fifth - it would be helpful to know what kind of knees you have - hyperextended? slightly bowed? <P> Someone with a hyperextended knee might have difficulty. I can also see that there might be difficulty if you are slightly back. In fifth position you need to be directly over the center of your feet.<P>In the fourth position - are you really over the platforms of the shoes with straight knees? This does mean that you need an adequate arch to your foot. Sometimes those of us with less of an arch, have difficulty in opening out that fourth position sur la pointe.<P>Consistency takes times - as does strength. And courage - well, that is a constant battle - LOL. Ask yourself - what is the worst that can happen? Surely you won't fall down from a sous-sous or an echappé. <P>When you do either the echappé or the sous-sous - visualize, place, plan on your body being in the absolute center - between the legs, equal weight on each leg/foot.<P>Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 126
Location: USA
Thanks for your speedy suggestions, Basheva!<P>My knees are probably slightly bowed (it's hard to get them to look straight) and I do have a flexible arch (though I was recently told that I may need a shorter vamp because my shoe seems to bend in the wrong place for me). I will keep working on placement and a suggestion that I try to "scoop" up into sous-sous rather than "jump". <P>I definitely have courage issues at one of the studios where I take classes - there is a new floor this year. It is a highly polished wood that the modern dancers seem to love, but is like a skating rink for pointe. Though we are allowed to use rosin (IF they have any that day) pointe shoes seem to either stick or slide depending on where you are in the room. It's very frustrating for us ballet types. I tend to be somewhat more successful at the other studio which has a vinyl-type floor, and I don't tense up with fear.<P>BTW everyone, how many years did it take you to find the "perfect" pointe shoes? :-) <BR>LOL!<BR> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I know exactly how you feel about the floor that you describe - I have unfortunately danced on many such floors. It is frightening and that can truly affect your dancing.<P>Another thing that might be affecting your sous-sous closing tightly into fifth - is your turnout. If you have a slightly bowed knee - as I do - the knee shouldn't be a problem - not in my experience, anyway. But turnout could affect it. <P> When you are in fifth sur la pointe, looking directly into the mirror you should see "two heels and one toe/pointe". If the turnout is not quite there, then the feet would not fit together quite as sharply as you like.<P>Having a shoe with an incorrect vamp size can definitely affect how your foot works and any given shoe can affect how your foot is "thrown". Even shoes of the same size and style can do that differently from shoe to shoe.<P>The perfect shoe? surely, Sissonne, you jest - LOL.


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 Post subject: Re: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2001 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1278
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Sissonne, just one comment related to the scooping up in sous-sus. It sometimes helps my students get that feeling if, as they demi plie, they really feel the bottoms and tips of their toes in their shoes (I know, some days you can't even feel your toes in there, right?...). Then apply slight downward pressure to the tips as you scoop up. It's like the toes are initiating the scoop. Does that make any sense? Maybe it will help.


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 Post subject: Re: Echappes sur le pointe
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2001 10:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 126
Location: USA
Thanks, Nancy! I'll give that a try. Visualization really makes a difference, doesn't it?<BR>


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