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Passe - front or back?

Guest Leigha

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I took a ballet class at a new studio last night. She kept correcting students whose toe was slightly behind the leg in passe. After class, she told me that she was taught to passe in front of the leg. If your toe is behind the leg, according to her, you are sticking out your behind.


I was always taught to passe behind the leg. How were you taught? Do you know which one is "right"?


p.s. I do checcetti (sp?) although she doesn't have an exact method she teaches.

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Leigha, several different positions are commonly used for a passé. The position itself, the retiré, is generally taught at the outside edge of the front of the knee, as in the basic pirouette position. In a passé the leg, technically, passes from front 5th, to the retiré position, to the back 5th, or back to front. Some people will move the toe to the back of the knee on the passé under, and then down, but I find this an unnecessary move. When you do a pirouette en dehors, for example, one should not turn in one position and then change the position on the way to the 5th or 4th landing position. It's disruptive and not efficient, so I see no need to do that.


However, there is a retiré position at the back of the knee, which is used in poses and even in piqué en dedans pirouettes, and choreographically in other pirouettes. So, it is a valid position which much also be learned. Bottom line, advanced dancers should be able to correctly place the toe wherever the teacher/choreographer wants it! :D

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That is a very good answer!! (do what the teacher wants) Yes, we were doing pique turns. So maybe that is why some people were putting the toe behind the leg.




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Piqué en dedans turns are always done with the leg in back, except in the Danish school, where they use the cou de pied front position. However piqué en dehors turns are done with the leg in the same plae as regular en dehors pirouettes.

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except in the Danish school

or in the RAD method, where you have the choice (front or back of the knee) in a piqué turn en dedans... But commonly, it's usually at the back of the leg.

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