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Jumps and plie

Guest prokofiev

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Guest prokofiev

Lately I have been having a hard time getting my heels down and really hitting an elastic plie when we do long repeated series of sautes, changements, echappes, etc. in class in center. I start off passably, but the longer we go, the less enthusiastic my heels are. (Yes, yes, I know this wreaks havoc on my body, not to mention being horrid technique; it’s quite the opposite of what I ought to be doing as I tire!) :(


Naturally I’m working hard on this in class, and working on careful plies at home. Given that I have cement floors (eek!), is there anything else I can do at home to improve those landings/take-offs as I fatigue? (I don’t have such a big problem with height or pointing my feet once I’m in the air, although both would obviously be immensely improved were I to execute the whole jump properly.) :angry:



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I hear you!


I think that everyone has this problem if they jump for long enough to wear themselves out. When you get tired, many aspects of your technique will falter.


For me, I find that this improves when your overall stamina improves. In short, you need to engage in many jumping combinations that take you just to the point where you are too tired to keep your heels on the floor, and then stop, recover, and try again.


The more classes you take where you have this opportunity, and the number of times you do it in a given class will determine how quickly you build up your stamina.


Also, engaging in an aerobic exercise program outside of class helps. I jog, but that is not ideal for dancers, since both jogging and ballet are high-impact. Biking, fast walking, or swimming are better options.

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Well, in jumping, if the music is fast enough, your heels will not touch the ground no matter who you are. In my own instance, when I feel I’m getting behind the music, my heels will not always touch the ground.


The answer is usually pretty simple—don’t jump as high.


I’ve always thought that the simple jumps that begin allegro was really something of a misnomer. Though technically they are jumps, I think it is better to think of them as foot exercises, that is pretty much ignoring the jumping aspect and concentrating on what the feet are doing. Think of rolling through the feet, massaging the floor with the feet, and only getting about one inch off the ground. Sometimes thinking of going down in plie rather than jumping up, helps also.


As with most aspects of ballet, time also works a certain magic. Ever so slowly you will get better just by taking lots of classes.

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Guest prokofiev

Ahh, yes, those points help quite a lot! Thanks!


You both mention stamina and classes... "yup" is all I can really say to that... I've been taking 3 to 4 1 1/2-hr. classes a week for a couple of years now, but I just was put into the next level by my school and am now panting in the back row... so I was hoping for some catch-up ideas.


Garyecht, what you've said makes a lot of sense. Foot exercises! :P I'm going to try your ideas in an hour when I go to class and I'll let you know how it goes. (Today I have my toughest teacher... changements, here I come!) :huh:




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One thing to remember is that you should only use as much plie as you need for the jump in question.


A small jump does not require a huge plie and you'll exhaust yourself using a plie deep enough for grand allegro during petit allegro.


What counts is not how deep it is but the quality of the plie and the rebound effect gathered from it. :P

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Guest prokofiev

Yes... not too deep, but still elastic... good point... one more thing to think about! Ahh, ballet...


Well, the problem partially solved itself, :P as my teacher this afternoon slowed things a bit and built in several separate demi plies into the petit allegro combinations. It was the first class I had with her and she was quite precise and deliberate about every detail, just to get the whole class on the same page (as I was not the only new student to the group).


I'm really quite excited about my classes this fall, as I'm sure you can tell, but I'll save all that enthusiasm for the buddy board.


Thanks for the help, and happy plies to all! :huh:



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