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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Daughter needs help with split jump


NutsaboutBallet

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I am posting on behalf of my 12 year old dance daughter. Despite dancing since 5, and having all 3 splits for several years, she is still having problems getting her front leg up in a split jump! Although her grade jete is beautiful, the problem with the split jump continues. She claims no discomfort and the problem is on both sides-whatever leg leads. Any suggestions? :blushing:

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"the problem with the split jump continues. She claims no discomfort and the problem is on both sides-whatever leg leads. Any suggestions?"

 

Are you discussing a ballet split jump or a gymnastics split jump? For gymnastics, the best method is using a theraband and doing them. Then take the theraband off.

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I was speaking of ballet. But what do you mean exactly by"the best method is using a theraband and doing them. Then take the theraband off. "?

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If she can do a good grand jeté, then it's just a matter of elongating the jeté by continuing the forward movement until the back leg is able to raise higher than the front leg. There is nothing in the ballet vocabulary called a "split jump". A grand jeté, or a grand jeté with a développé (sometimes called saut de chat), can be executed with the legs in a full split position, when the dancer is technically strong enough and has enough jump and stretch in the legs to make it. But they have to be taught how to take the jump not just up, but up and forward through space, because the back leg must be able to extend all the way up to match the front one or beyond.

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There is nothing in the ballet vocabulary called a "split jump".

 

 

That is why I got confused and thought maybe she was referring to a gymnastics jump. However, the theraband method I use for my gymnasts is to tie the theraband around the feet/ankles and have them do split jumps. Then, when they take it off, there is quite a difference.

 

Please keep in mind that the muscular training for the two disciplines is very different.

 

 

Edited by moderator to place the quote in quotes! :unsure:

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The jump I was referring to is"saut de chat". Are there any exercises we can do at home to improve this situation? I am having a difficult time imaging the theraband technique. Like one end of the band is tied to the foot/ankle and the other end is???

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One end of the band to one ankle and one end to the other ankle. A plit jump in gymnastics is a jump into a full split landing back in plie. The theraband works against the legs splitting as easily.

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I don't think I like the idea of that exercise for ballet at all, sorry. It scares me. Gymnasts go up and come down, making a split. That is not the way a grand jeté or a saut de chat works.

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Which is exactly why I asked originally if it were for gymnastics or ballet since she used gymnastics terminology. Otherwise I wouldn't have jumped in.

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No problem, balletnast :wink: I was just concerned about the use of the theraband in working on this, at least for dancers.

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*knock knock*

I was recently watching Willy Burmann working with one of the young men from NYCB. He kept saying something to the effect of "you're leaping before you're leaping", meaning that the guy wasn't fully using the back leg to get a good jump. Mine were always like this, too and I think I've finally fixed them. I was putting my body weight way forward of the leg I was jumping off of and leaving my hips behind--so there was no chance that I'd really get the force needed. You need to almost think of keeping all your weight back in the preparation, with the hips staying forward, so you're solidly on the leg that's going to push you out and up. That way, the front leg has the freedom to go up.If you're already forward of that leg before you even jump, it's just not going to happen. You'll jump "down". The preparation is key---with a nice deep plie on the leg.

 

I practiced them by doing a whole bunch in a row. Leap, step, leap, step, leap.... You can build the right feeling for them them way....by the second or third, you really start to fly :lol:

 

Hope this is clear enough.

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