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Ballet Talk for Dancers

finding your centre

Guest kella

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Guest kella

I was jumping around in class yesterday....doing a plie in second and later 5th and then using my feet to lift into the air (honestly if someone could tell me what this is actually called I would feel greatful :lol: )


And I was looking at myself side on in the mirror while i was doing this exercise in 5th position and I realised how messy I looked. There was nothing graceful about it :green: I was leaving the floor correctly....just not landing well


Has this got something to do with finding my centre at all? If it does, how do I find it ?


It would be nice if I looked less like a scarecrow and more like a dancer :innocent:

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Different systems/teachers will have different names for this, but I believe you are referring to what could be called either temps levé, pas sauté, or soubresaut. What exactly happens when you land? Do your shoulders more too far forward or back? Are you off-balance? Do you make a loud "thump" sound when your feet reach the floor?

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Guest kella

I think i was leaning forwards a bit, but generally just wobbling around. Also, I was worried about landing back in 5th aswell, it wasn't really easy - so I probab;y not paying attention to keeping my tummy in and up and having a straight spine etc :innocent: I was so busy trying to keep up with the class that it just looked messy/sloppy.



Any advice?

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Keeping the abs pulled in and up and the shoulder blades pulled down is very important. In terms of landing in 5th, don't worry too much about how it looks from the side (no one looks good from that angle) instead, focus on keeping your turnout muscles (especially the gluteus muscles) engaged and the thighs rotated. Also make sure that your feet aren't "rolling" in.


Editing to add: When you land, that's the time to really pull your shoulder blades down and make sure your shoulders are directly over your hips. It may feel as if you are leaning back a bit, so glance in the mirror to make sure your back is straight. If you are going too far back, concentrate more on your stomach muscles and less on the back. It might take several tries to find the appropriate balance of abs vs. back muscles for you, and while you're working on that don't worry about jumping high--just get off the ground enough to fully point your feet briefly.

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In addition to Hans' excellent advice, try teaching yourself to jump by using two barres. This can be done by standing in a corner where two wall barres converge, or by placing a portable barre alongside a wall barre. In the corner, stand with your back to barres and jump using using your arms to support you. Do NOT do it FACING the barre or barres! On parallel barres, just stand between them and use your arms. Demi plié in your best 5th position, push through the feet into the air, lower slowly, going through the feet again to cushion the landing, all the while keeping your body upright. Remember that a jump is a REACTION, not an action. Push down to go up, lift up to come down! Resist upwards as you go into the demi plié on the landing!

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