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Ballet Talk for Dancers

women learning men's steps


ConstanzaElisabeth

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Why is it that steps like tours en l'air and pirouettes a la seconde aren't emphasized in female dancers' training? We do them occasionally but not as thoroughly as male dancers. I am taking men's class this year and the exercises we do in there have helped my dancing immensely, plus it helps to be versatile for choreography and such. Just wondering.

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You have a very good question/observation here ConstanzaElizabeth! :blushing: There are many movements in the classical vocabulary that are catagorized as female or male steps, sometimes for reasons of strength and/or for choreographic reasons. That does not mean that a female student should never do them though. Likewise, male students should also learn to do the female vocabulary. Generally speaking however, there are physically differing stages of development for the female student and the male student. Often times steps are introduced at different times.

 

Young ladies do need to study more diligently movements such as tour fouette, pas jete en dedans entournant (pique turns), Pas tombe tour en dehor (degage tour?), consecutive turns from fifth for the simple reason that these movements are used choreographically more often in the female Repertoire. Whereas for young men, double tour en l'air, grande tour a la second, and enumerable allegro movements such as double saut de basque, cabriole with a double beat or revoltade are more likely to be used in the male vocabulary choreographically. I have known many female dancers who do excel in these more difficult "male" movements. There are professional female dancers who often prefer participateing in the male company class that tends to emphasis these more robust movements. You are not alone! :wink:

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And if you ever get to dance the polka in Ashton's "Façade" you do a double tour at the end of the dance. :wink:

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