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Tour Help


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I know that if I do tours every day they will get better but what are some exercises that will help my tours along.


So could everybody tell me the exercises they do to help their tours.


The ones that I am doing right now are: very slow jumps, tours with arms in fith, (I don't know if this one has a name so I will describe it) Do a quarter tour and a quarter tour back to the front. Then a half tour and a half tour back to the front and so on. So you tour to the right and then back to the front touring left. That one helps a lot.



Thanks a load :D




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5th position left foot front,




¼ tour to the right


Repeat three more times. Do the same to the left.


Then do it with ½ turns, then full singles. Then doubles, if you like. :D


The most important thing about tours en l'air, whether quarter, half or full or whatever - is to jump with VIGOR, STRAIGHT UP from fifth position. Those were the magic words for me, told to me by my teacher's teacher, Miss Muriel Stuart, who wrote the technical explanations in Lincoln Kirstein's book The Classic Ballet. Ever since she told me that, I've kept it until I didn't have to think about it anymore! Double tour? OK, then what?


(PS. I'm 56, and I can still do double tours.)

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(PS. I'm 56, and I can still do double tours.)

I'm 54, and can do one and a half. I'm actively practicing and learning, so by the time I'm 56 I should be able to do two, too. :lol:

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Guest Maverick

I'm 55 and thought I was gaining speed when I finally learned to keep my back straight during plie. Guess I've got a long way to go. My current tour ability is limited to "touring" the barre. You guys are amazing!

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That so many old guys can turn so well in the air (I’m 60 and can do a double if I cheat the beginning and end—one and a half otherwise) suggests to me that doing a double turn in the air is more about turning than about jumping. When I was in my young 20s, I could consistently do a standing long jump of just slightly under 10 feet. A few weeks ago, just for fun, I measured my standing long jump—a mighty 7 feet two inches—which is quite horrible and indicates that essentially I no longer have any jumping ability.


Having said that, I think the best way to improve your turning in the air is to be patient and perhaps improve all your turns in general if you want to do something specific.

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I'm 53 and my best is one and a half; clean one thow. Now wait until my spotting attempts really start to help instead of making me end up in the curtains; then we'll start to talk.



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  • 2 years later...

I wish I would have found this website sooner! A brief introduction.

My name is James I have been dancing one year I am 16 now and prior to ballet have had 12 years of martial arts. I have my double pirouette's and going for my triples, I can perform my cabriolles, I am jumping roughly about two and a half feet maybe three going straight up from fifth.

The tours have got to be the worst thing for me right now and I am not sure why, maybe someone with allot more insight can help me out. So, here it goes.


My singles, I prepare by going into su su, plie arms arms in third. I jump straight (So I think) in the air, and close my arm for the torque as well as twist my upper body.

Doing all of that, I end up falling on my sides, or on my butt.


My doubles; I prepare the same way, and I can get around, but I end up crashing forwards. I am really getting frustrated with this step.

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Hello James, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! If you like, please take a moment to introduce yourself on our Welcome Forum as well. :D


It sounds to me as if you are perhaps not holding your back correctly during the tour. You must make certain not to bend forward during the plié and as you take off and land, pull your shoulder blades down. Also make sure you are maintaining your turnout from the top of the leg as you land. Hope this helps!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Knight

James careful about torquing in tours. Not much torque is needed to do tours. I find that comming down from su-su the biggest problem is comming down straight. If you think about a pole comming straight down from the cycling and that pole going right through you. Then having to align yourself with that pole.


Of course as you get into other things you will have to change stratgeys. I did a triple tour in a show three times, and let me say the third one changes slightly in thought process.

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Tanks for the precision Knight,


Speaking of torque, where should the torque come from to initiate rotation: the arms or the feet and in what proportion if both? Watching videos of professionnal dancers, some seem to land their preparation, either su su or changement, with their feet placed unevenly, aparantly in order to draw the torque from their legs???



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  • 5 weeks later...

Dick, sorry for taking so long to reply.


As you have noticed most professionals develop some definite cheats.


Example: Turning your feet to almost face quarter way before the tour. This allows an easier rotation, however, if rotation is not your problem then this is not recommended.


To answer your question, it really depends. As each person is so different.

I could say most torque should come from your arms; while, relying on your legs to jump.

You can as I stated above, draw torque from your feet by rotating them quarter way before the tour. But again its mostly trial and error. Unfortunately as men, we do not get many chances to have other men help in person. As that is really what we need to solve these difficult issues...



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Just wanted to say thank you to all the guys offering advice - I'm still working on basics and foundation, but I am learning a lot from these posts! Keep up the good work! :hyper:

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