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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Going up onto pointe


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Last year was my first en pointe, and my teacher was always saying to roll through demi and really work the boxes. Through pretty much everything we were reminded to roll.

This year I have a different teacher, who is always telling us to spring. It seems that everything is involving springing..I just got used to "really roll"ing, now I'm being told to "really spring".

Is one of these more right? What's the difference, and why does it matter whether I'm springing or rolling?


~ Snack

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Nice question Snack (and I like your name). B) The best way I am able to answer you is to say that you need to know both ways in US. One is not necessarily better than the other. They both have their uses. Different methods of teaching ask for different uses of plie/releve to pointe and down again at differing stages of development. If your teacher is asking you to work with springing up this year then spring up as directed. You might also like to ask your teacher as to the reasons why she/he is emphasising spring up at this time rather than rolling upward and downward. They both have their uses!

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Well it's a different teacher then last year, last years teacher moved, this years teacher is the studio director.

So what are the uses between springing and rolling?

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As Ms. Schneider has pointed out, you have to know both. Let's say you're doing a very legato variation, particularly from the Romantic era. Chances are very good that you will be rolling up most of the time. Now, let's say that you're doing a very quick and highly accented variation, probably from the Classical/Imperial era. It's more likely that you'll need the spring for that sort of work.

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All the more reason to ask your teacher actually. As the studio director she/he should have great insite into the uses and the hows and whys at this time in your training.


Generally speaking, Spinging up is used to bring the supporting foot under the body as it rises upward to pointe, as it must do in a jump. The coordination is the same. Once the dancer springs upward then one must spring downward. That is actually the more difficult of the two movements! B). Springing up and down teaches students to go straight up rather than shift the weight.


Rolling upward and downward is used when the dancer must move very smoothy. Rolling up in Vaganova schooling would only occur from a stretched supporting leg where as rolling down goes through a stretched supporting leg into demi plie.


There are however so many more uses of rolling up and down. Hopefully Ms. Leigh or Major Johnson will be able to help you further with the hows and whys of this important aspect of class room work.


You see as I was writing Major Johnson had already chimed in! :lol:

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And you definitely need the spring sort of relevé for consecutive pirouettes, like fouettés! B)

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So both are required, and should be known for the best possible success in different variations.

Now I want to mast the spring so someday I can do beautiful fouettés!! (I LOVE fouettés en pointe)

Thank-you, everyone, for your answers.


~ Snack

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Ive always been told to 'snatch' onto pointe; so I am kinda springing but pulling up from the floor more. Is this right too?



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As far as I can figure, snatch is a word used in RAD I believe to what in Vaganova is called spring up. Not having a background in RAD I cannot be sure though. Maybe Ms. Leigh or Major Johnson might know?


Personally, I just do not use that word unless I am grabbing something in my hands quickly! :)

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Knock knock...British RAD teacher here.


Snatch is a word commonly used in the UK. Does a 'spring' onto pointe involve leaving the floor at any point? A 'snatch' would/should stay in contact with the floor at all times.

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One would barely leave the floor when springing up and down.

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While it's not in the Ryman Dictionary, I've heard some of my RAD colleagues use the term for an extremely rapid roll-up, almost a spring, but as CDR said, it stays entirely in contact with the floor all the way through. It takes a very responsive, well-articulated foot.

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Ok. Sounds like singing and snatching are the same.

(Was bit confused as 'springing' to me means kind of jumping onto pointe)

(& I do ISTD Imperial Classical but there is no real word in the syllabus I think that describes it... hmmm..)


anyhow.. thanx.. anne :)

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Knock, knock.


My pointe teacher uses the term "whoosh" when we are going up into sous-sous, or doing echappes. It's the rapid movement of the feet and legs to get up onto pointe, but we aren't really jumping. She says when we are in fifth, we have to "whoosh" our feet together as we're rising up at the same time. Does that make sense? It's sort of a spring, but well-controlled, because the shoes always stay in contact with the floor.


It definitely is hard!! I don't have the inner thigh strength yet to "whoosh" in and out of echappes. Gotta work on that in flat slippers! I tend to jump, and my teacher growls at me. I just tell her I'm trying to dance like a Russian (don't they tend to "jump" up onto pointe?) But then I do go back and try to do it correctly.



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Wow lot's of replies.

I don't really know if it involves leaving the floor.. Can't say I've payed much attnetion :)

I don't think I ever leave the floor, since I can't imagine how that'd be possible while doing a pirouette..


~ Snack

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