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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Horizontal speed prior to high jumps


Dick

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Hi,

 

I have been working hard recently to achieve a double saut de basque, paying most of my atention on the vertical impulse into the jump in order to achieve maximum height. But what about the horizontal speed; how critical is it to perform high jumps? I realize that up to now, I was plainly walking into the jump instead of picking up long running steps. Is there some sort of energy transfer upon takeoff from horizontal speed to vertical impulse?

 

DIck

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A story about this step:

 

The first time I did one of these, the ballet master asked me, "Can you do a double saut de basque?" I said, "I don't know, nobody has ever asked me to do one before. How do you do those?" He said, "Just do a saut de basque, and instead of going around once, go around twice." I said, "Okay." I've been doing them even to this advanced age ever since. I guess my point is that if you can do a single, you can do a double. Just go around twice. Unless you're just skimming the floor, you've already got enough elevation. And incidentally, you CAN do a double saut de basque just off the floor. You just have to turn wicked fast!

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As my balance and centerdness improved generally, I found I was able to do doubles.

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I’ve never done (or tried) a double saut de basque but can confirm Mel’s statement. Having started ballet late in life, my jumping ability was substantially decreasing with each passing year. But at the same time my turning ability was increasing (as per citibob’s comment) so I wound up being able to do a double tour (a cheating one, not a real one) though I was barely off the ground.

 

From strictly a physics point of view, during a jump you do try to convert horizontal momentum into vertical momentum. It occurs through the foot putting force into the ground and the ground returning it right back. From a technical point of view just think plie.

 

Having said that, it seems to me that jumping in ballet really isn’t much about height, but rather things like basic technique during a jump.

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There is a book on dance and physics which explains the energy transfer quite well - I don't have the exact reference but you should be able to find it on Amazon. It looks into all sorts of physics related to dance.

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Knock- Knock

 

"Physics and the Art of Dance" by Kenneth Laws

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  • 1 month later...
Guest TheBalletGuy
A story about this step:

 

The first time I did one of these, the ballet master asked me, "Can you do a double saut de basque?" I said, "I don't know, nobody has ever asked me to do one before. How do you do those?" He said, "Just do a saut de basque, and instead of going around once, go around twice." I said, "Okay." I've been doing them even to this advanced age ever since. I guess my point is that if you can do a single, you can do a double. Just go around twice. Unless you're just skimming the floor, you've already got enough elevation. And incidentally, you CAN do a double saut de basque just off the floor. You just have to turn wicked fast!

 

 

Oh man though. so true. you do have to turn almost faster than wicked fast. :)

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