Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Trouble With Beats


Guest BalletBrat

Recommended Posts

Guest BalletBrat

I am having difficulty getting the beat "out". I don't have a very strong turnout and I can't seem to get my legs to go out before I beat "in". I end up with this crossing action, or as my teacher likes to call it..Chicken Scratch. Any advice on how to conquer this? :P

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Start from second position, which is how one should be taught to beat in the first place. Practice jumping from a relatively small second position, do the beat and go back to second. This teaches the legs the out/beat/out action. Then of course you have to transfer that action from 5th to still go out before and after the beat.

 

Two very good ways of practicing: 1) between two barres, like where they meet in a corner, with your back to the barres, or, if the two barres are portables and parallel, that works too; 2) In the swimming pool! :)

Link to comment
Guest BalletBrat

Thanks for replying Victoria. I was taught from second.. a long time ago. I am somewhat of a late starter, so I haven't spent a lot of time on certain aspects of strengthening. I had a good deal of trouble with entrechat quatre,and I didn't fair well on the allegro section of my exam. So, now we are working entrechat seise and of course I am having difficulty. I will work on the beats starting from second for a while longer and I am sure that will help. Now why didn't I think of that?? :thumbsup: This is such a great site!!! :(

Link to comment

Maybe laying on your back and doing some scissor kicks (like giant changements)with your legs would help too. Keep your legs as high up as they need to be to keep your abs pulled in and don't let your lower back arch. Sometimes I prop myself up on my elbows so I can watch my abs and make sure they stay pulled in. It's important to maintain turnout as well. This will strengthen your adductor muscles (inside thigh muscles which are responsible for bringing the leg in toward the body). They also really work the lower abs.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Another good exercise is to actually DO the steps while lying on your back. Use the demi plié: legs straight up in 5th, bend the knees and flex the feet, then push the legs up and open, make the quatre or the six, and finish in the 5th demi plié! :(

Link to comment

When I beat, I like to think of the opening of the legs before the "beat" as a breath (like the lungs taking a breath in and expanding) before you beat your calves together. When the calves hit together, you will experience the "rebound", which is where the "beat" really takes place. As previous posters have mentioned, beating must only open to the side, no going forward and backward with the legs which gives the "chicken scratching" effect.

Edited by Gina Ness
Link to comment

I think beating is one of those skills that only gets developed only by doing lots and lots of repetitions. It’s almost as if knowledge or corrections don’t really help that much. All the usual ballet exercises strengthen the inner leg muscles and with time and repetition, low and behold, your beats just get better.

 

I do think that doing them on the floor with legs perpendicular to the ground as suggested by lampwick is a good exercise because you can beat more slowly and pay attention to what your legs are doing should you need to and because it doesn’t stress the jumping muscles as does real jumping, so you can do more repetitions. Might be a good warm-up exercise before class.

Link to comment
Guest BalletBrat

Beats are going well these days! I have been working on them dilligently, applying all of your suggestions and feel much stronger, I think it was definatly an issue of pure strength and repetition. Thanks again for all your help! :party:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...