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Ballet Talk for Dancers

two technique questions -- double piques and point


pleiades

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I've started trying, at my teacher's urging, to double my piques. It's not pretty. In fact it's so pathetically ugly that I'm actually losing my balance. My singles are fine, but when I double I either run out of momentum and land facing some obscure corner of the room, or throw myself off balance. Admittedly it's only been three classes worth of attempts, but I'd welcome any advice.

 

Also, I've been trying to figure out why in the heck it is that I have absolutely no fear of pique arabesques on pointe, but pique releves to passe/retire frighten me. Clearly my apprehension is making them harder to do, and I'd be grateful for advice in this arena as well.

 

Thanks!

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All I can say is that you do double piqué turns by doing a single and then not stopping. :angry: What I think is happening to you is the "flinch" reflex. You know that you need more momentum to go around in the double, so you put more force into it, but then at the first spot, you collapse as the ballet gremlin in the back of your mind goes, "EEK! double!" Stay upright and aligned during the whole thing and you'll be fine.

 

The only thing that I can think of for the other problem is that it involves a change of weight. Make the change confidently and completely and your problem should go away.

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2 things I've been told / noticed:

 

--One teacher says that the way they teach double piques to the youngsters is to have them do single piques veeeeeeerrrrrry slowly.

 

--I am just learning to do double pirouettes, and the concept of a double spot is in my opinion really very different from a single. My biggest problem is

remembering to do the first spot and then hold steady for a moment before the 2

second spot, if that makes sense. Lately if I can do that, the double works.

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Thank you both. With regard to the piques I think you're right -- as soon as I think 'yikes, I'm going to see my spot again before this is all over' everything goes south. I also think I'm thinking that I have to turn farther than I really do , if that makes any sense. Finally, the few, actually make that two, times the double worked I concentrated on pulling up and staying pulled up.

 

Finally, vis a vis the piques vs. passes, I'm thinking that it has to do with the fact that a pique steps out into space, while a releve just goes up from the same place.

 

Can you tell that I need to intellectualize everything!

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:lol: That's great, pleiades! Can you tell why it's often easier for pre-teens to learn this sort of step? They don't think, they just do! The Balanchine statement embodied!

 

And thank you for keeping your location updated! :angry:

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well, I think piques are EASIER than releves for everybody -- and a pique to arabesque is hte easi\est of all, your weight is distributed over your leg like the pole that tight-rope walkers carry, it's ver y easy to stay in hte middle of that... a pique to passe is harder, and a releve to passe is harder than that, because the leg you're GOING to be standing on changes its length in a releve, whereas in a pique you've stretched it out already, you know how long it is, and hten all you have to do is STEP on it to get on top of it.....

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Guest karenfixe

You brought up a good point about the differences in pique arabesque vs. passe releve on pointe. The arabesque may feel better not only because you're 'stepping' into it, but also, once you're placed, you're there. The releve's could provide some anxiety - especially if you're jumping up onto your releve rather than rising up. If you're using so much force to where your foot leaves the floor, than you're not going to feel very secure.

 

Also, make sure your shoulders are down and back while your ribs are in. I've found that the slightest adjustments payoff huge! :angry:

 

Good luck!

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Guest grace

koshka, i am posting this as a teacher to say 'thank you' for the idea of doing a single slowly, to help learn how to do a double. i have never heard this idea - or thought of it - before, and i have one student at the moment who could be helped by it. so, i'll try it out, this afternoon - thank you! :angry:

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Don't thank me--thank my teachers. One of them told us that by way of telling us why it's sometimes useful (and harder!) to do really slow piques.

 

I think that day the class might've had quite a wide range of levels, with some just struggling with piques at all and others wishing they were faster.

 

In adult classes where I go they don't really "teach" things like double piques systematically to adults--there just isn't enough continuity in the classes to do stuff like that. One has to decide to start working on something and just ... work on it, asking as needed.

 

I do really notice how teachers teach a lot more now than I did when I was taking class as a kid.

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