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Giselle Act 1 Solo


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In my rep class we're currently working on the Giselle act 1 solo, and needless to say, having issues. I have two main problems: 1, in the series of hops at the end, does anyone have some tips? When I try the hops outside of the solo, I can always do them, but during the solo, when I'm exhausted, it's another story. Last time I made it about half way through before falling off pointe. It's VERY embarassing. Any tips? And secondly, after the manege (sp?) at the end I always have trouble transitioning into the chaine's at the end, especially the pique en dedans to the balance that ends the variation. Any suggestions? I appreciate the advice in advance!

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I love this solo sooo much! We learned it at the SI I went to and I have the same problems. I don't have any suggestions, but I would like to find some out also!

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The hops are just a matter of ankle strength and a lot of practice. Be sure that you know HOW to do them correctly, and then practice them. By doing the variation over and over you will build up the stamina to last through them.


The pirouettes at the end (this sounds like a different version than the one I know) just need to slow down a bit just before the double piqué turn, so that you don't have too much forward momentum going into it.

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Ms Leigh, could you perhaps describe what you mean by how to do them correctly? I'm fairly sure I am, but just wanted to check in case I'm missing something. Also, if it is a problem of ankle strength, is there anything specific I can do to strengthen my feet for hops? I would classify myself as an intermediate pointe dancer, ie consistent double pirouettes en pointe but no fouettes or the like... if that at all impacts your suggestions, and I have low arches that are moderately strong and also have improved greatly in their flexibility over the past couple years.

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Have you learned how to do hops on pointe in class? The main things are: know how to place the hopping foot, as it must not be all the way over on the shoe. You have to hold back a little bit, as you are in a plié on pointe. Practice it at the barre first; and, be sure that you are VERY lifted up out of that hopping leg! Any drop of the body weight will make the ankle cave and you come off pointe. Keep your body weight forward, but hold back on the shoe itself. (Facing the barre, rise to pointe and then do a demi plié without allowing the arches to push over like you normally would. That is the place where you need to be to hop.

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Oh yes, I've done that. I just wasn't sure if there was a trick or something I was missing. Thanks very much!

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