Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

1) loose knees and balance in sous-sus

je danse dans ma tete

Recommended Posts

Hi guys! I have been away from the forum for a long time because I have been too busy taking ballet classes :shhh: We are on summer break for a couple of weeks now. I have two questions that I really need your help with:


1) I have a bit of hyperextension and maybe slightly bowed lower legs as well (the bowing only can be seen if I let my knees go all the way back). I have solid balance in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th relevé, but when I have to "snatch" the fifth relevé into sous-sus, I can only hold it for a few seconds before I start to fall over. I can hold it for a bit longer if the arms are in 5th en avant than if they are in 2nd or 5th en haut. :lol: My teacher says the feeling is that the front and back knee are using each other as braces, leaning against/getting support from each other. *I* feel like my front knee pushes my back knee too far back if I straighten (not hyperextend) and if I let my knees be a bit looser, I feel wobbly :o

I have loose ankles too, but I don't think that is the issue as I have learned to control them quite well.


2) Has anyone who is NOT a natural turner gotten pirouettes from 5th? I always want to lift up my back leg into retire and go the other direction! When I do go in the right direction I feel like the turn happens too fast and I don't have enough time to passe my leg, so I end up with the wrong foot in front. Does that make sense?


I would appreciate any advices on these issues, as my teacher wants me to try a higher level but says these are two things that I MUST be able to do before she will allow me.


Thank you so much!



Link to comment

I'm certainly NOT a natural turner, I suck at every kind of pirouette (if we do not count pique turns as pirouettes) and the only pirouette I can do is left fifth ones!


I usually get confused about which leg to lift and which direction to turn when which foot is on the front; but when I do left fifth I do not get confused because I have a mind solution about that. I think like "To which direction do I turn the best? Left. Which foot is more solid on releve? Right. Then I will turn on my right foot, to the left." But simply working at the barre really helps. Though I still cannot keep my balance on right fifths =/


Especially, when you practice pirouettes at the barre, if you try to end it with holding your passé (not landing on fifth as soon as you finish, holding your balance) it really helps you to fix your "which foot to front" problem. It sure did help with mine...=)


I wish barre could help with 4th position pirouettes too =(

Link to comment

Your flexible joints are keeping you from being able to achieve what you are asking because they need some strengthening in the muscles surrounding the joints to support them so that you can control them. Make sense?


You have to not allow the front knee to move the back knee, but you'll have a difficult time with that until you gain the proper strength. :grinning:


Check with your teacher for suggestions, and read the sticky on proper alignment up at the top of this forum.

Link to comment

how to remember to turn to the front foot side? :grinning: Just make sure you put your preparation arms right. 3rd position R front if you want to turn to the right. Open the front arm to 2nd then whip the other arm inward, there, you get your pirouette.


I find it easier to balance with arms in 5th when doing double pirouette from 5th position. Arms in 1st somehow slows my turn. I don't know..


Link to comment
...Open the front arm to 2nd then whip the other arm inward...




I'm very interested to see teachers' take on this - some teachers explicitly tell me not to open the arm to 2nd before bringing the other arm in, while others don't seem to bother.


Is this a stylistic difference? Or something else??



Link to comment

dentist- are you closing both arms together as you turn?

Link to comment

Thanks for the replies. Clara76, that makes perfect sense and I will read the alignment thread. Thanks!


Skyish- I think we must be twins! I love pique turns too and they are the only turns I can actually do, except (on a good day) pirouette from 5th with the right leg supporting. Are you a natural jumper like I am? Grr, I guess we cannot have it all, right?

Link to comment
how to remember to turn to the front foot side? :( Just make sure you put your preparation arms right. 3rd position R front if you want to turn to the right.


Yes, Dancing Dentist, this is what I do. And, to answer Clara, I bring both arms to first as I turn. We've been working on en dehors turns from 5th and fouettés in one of my classes, and for both, my teacher has given me a specific correction about using the leading arm with the working leg in this way.


But this method gets a bit confusing if you're doing en dedans turns from 5th :ermm: There's a difficult turn -- for me, anyway -- and I love to turn.


But I understand the difficulty. We did en dehors turns from 5th last week, and I hadn't done them for some time (well I've been off with injury for 4 months!), and I was surprised that this relatively easy turn "felt" hard! I think in the past I've found it "easy" because in most graded syllabi, it's the first pirouette you learn. And I was taught it as part of the centre tendu combination, and also "continuously." This is quite fun -- you do a set combination of tendus to second, then relevé retiré, then pirouette. Then you just keep doing single turns, coming down into 5th after each single turn. You really learn to "snatch" up into the relevé retiré each time, and if you get dizzy or start to flag in the turns, you can just do the relevé retiré without the turn. For me, that exercise gets me turning and gets the "feel" of the exercise. But it's not good -- for me anyway -- for control :blink: . I get a bit like a windmill -- which is fun, but not very precise or calm.


So the exercise I like to have for precision -- although I find it very difficult -- is doing very controlled en dehors pirouettes from 5th in quarter, half and then full turns. Something so simple is also very difficult (for me!) and yet I know it's helping me get the technical control and precision I need.


This is just my experience from class & what helps me -- I'm sure the teachers here will have more expert things to say!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...