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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fouettés


Guest Kerri

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Guest Kerri

I'm kind of a beginner at ballet, and I was wondering if anyone had some helpful tips for fouettés. Mine look terrible, and I'm kind of starting ballet late, (I've been taking other types of dance for a long time.) and I'm trying to catch up to the other girls my age. What can I do to help me with these? It seems like I can't keep my balance while doing them. I also seem to bend my back a bit. They just don't look like they should, any techniques you use to help you??

Help is appreciated!!

Edited by Kerri
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Welcome Kerri to Ballet Talk 4 Dancers. I am sure you will find some very interesting and helpful information help you grow in ballet. Please make sure you explore our website to familiarize yourself with the vast amount of information available.

 

As for fouette's, the best advise is to leave them alone for a awhile. Fouette is an advanced step in ballet, not one to attempt when you are just starting out. As exciting and tempting as it may be to learn steps quickly, in the end it is more beneficial to the ballet to student to slow down, be patient and wait until your body is more prepared, physically, for more difficult movements. I am assuming your teacher is aware that you are interested to do fouettes? Speak with your teacher to see if perhaps you could study consecutive turns from 5th position to help you stabilize your body, rather than fouettes. Once you are able to do these turns consistently well, fouettes will be not as much of a challenge. If your teacher does not know you are working on fouettes, maybe it is best not to be doing them at all for now.

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I am an advanced dancer and I still can't do fouettes very well!!! Do you have any suggestions for me to improve them? I would greatly appreciate it! The most I think I have done is about 8...on flat. Thank you for your help!

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dance91, read the post above yours, the part about consecutive turns from 5th. :wink:

 

Dancers, please realize that one needs a certain amount of strength in the legs and feet, abs and back, and that pirouettes need to be pretty solid before even thinking about fouettés! Also, it takes time to build up the number even after you start learning them. If you have a solid relevé and good pirouettes, spot well, and understand the movement of fouetté and the coordination to make it work once, then after that it is a matter of time and PRACTICE! BUT, be sure you are practicing them correctly. You do not want to build in bad habits, like turned in legs, sickle foot, swimming or spastic arms, etc. :o

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I thought I might share an exercise that was very helpful to me in learning how to do fouettees. When I was just learning to do fouettes, I went to a summer program where they taught “preparation fouettes”. At first I was pretty cynical and thought it was much too easy an approach. But when I returned to my home studio in the fall, I discovered I could do 24 fouettes without difficulty. Before the summer, I could barely do 8.

 

Basically, in the center, we did a ronde de jambe en l’air exerecise. We started with rounde de jambe, ronde de jambe, ronde de jambe, quarter turn. Then we moved on to half turns and finally full turns. It sounds strange (and I thought it so at the time), but it really worked to improve my fouettes. Once you are able to do 16 fouettes, it means you have the coordination and it is just a matter of practice in order to do more. I hope this is helpful!!!!!

-Whitney

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Guest lowedancestudioroxmysox5

Fouettes are very difficult to do you must be able to do decent pirroettes before you can do fouttes. If you are really determined to do fouttes, a good excersize is:

 

At the bar start in fifth then releve to passe (passe your outside knee), then bend your bottom knee while you extend your knee in passe, in front of you. Next bring your leg to a la seconde, then bring it to passe and turn around one time to face forward again.

 

Start off this excersize slow, then when you improve, try it a bit faster

 

-Jenna

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I can actually do quite a few fouettes. I don't know how many exactly, but I am starting to realize a problem. After about 16 turns, even if I spot, everything around me seems blur. I try my hardest to keep my spot, but I get too dizzy. Got any tricks for this predicament?

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The same problem happens to me because I do not plie as much as I should so I gather too much momentum and spin out!

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I tend to get dizzy after about 16-20 fouettes also, but I get less dizzy when I spot in the same place and plie straight to the front between each turn. Yesterday (my 16th birthday :D ) in class I did 24 fouettes (wanted to do more, but we had to get out of the way for a second group!) and threw in some doubles, so I was really happy about that! Also, it helps a lot to start with a really solid pirouette to get on top of your supporting leg right away. It's a lot easier to do a high number of fouettes when you don't have to correct your placement and balance on the first few turns. But Major Mel is definitely right, practice practice practice!

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My fouettes we 'just okay' until I finally realized the truth--you have to practice them very day, or every day you danced--and not only on your stronger side. If I take classes and we don't work on our fouettes, I will stay behind and do them on my own ,or with another dancer. A lot of time another advance girl or a pro will stay to be supporitve. I aim for 32 and sometime do them well. I never stop until I've cleanly don at least 16 on each side. I had to get tough with myself. I wanted the result-both en pointe and on flat-and I had to go the extra mile. This is a very advanced turn. Now I'm working on Italian Fouettes. Once you learn to do fouettes well, you don't get dizzy and feel very 'smooth'. It's so hard when you're struggling, but once you do them decently-say, at least 8 or 16, the feeling is very exciting and seems 'natural'.

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I don't have any trouble turning- I LOVE to turn! I've done 32+ fouettes, but they look skewed... like my torso is all crooked. Any exercises for that? Because I can keep my leg at 90 degrees, but I have A LOT of trouble keeping my torso upright. ANY help would be WONDERFUL! :)

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