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(I post a lot, I know, but I just don't feel like there's anyone at my studio that I can ask....I am transferring to a new studio soon, so maybe I'll have someone to ask there....but for now, thank you for putting up with my questions)



The other day in class, we did a combination where fouettes were expected. I am just getting confident (not quite) in my pirouettes, so the expectation to fouette really took me off guard. I kind of felt like a flailing fish, with one leg sort of flopping out and in, as I tried to stay standing.


What is the best way to ready yourself to learn fouettes, and what can I do in my free time to help me with this? I've heard it's essentially a ronde de jamb en l'air while turning......but that doesn't seem to be helping me much.

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Take them back to the barre, and take them apart slowly. You are trying to do the fouetté rond de jambe en tournant. One way or another, you have to start from a quatrieme devant position with the leg and then carry it to à la seconde while doing a relevé on the supporting foot. The fouetté movement comes when you rapidly bring the working foot to retiré, and that causes or continues the turning momentum that causes the subsequent pirouette. In the center, the quatrieme devant actually turns into a croisé devant, but that's not much of a change.

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Mel, When you get your leg out to second, right before you whip the leg in, do you lock your hip in place and just whip the leg in from the ankle or does the hip move? I feel like it's the last bit just before the pulling in of the leg that throws me off balance.

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The hip does not move. You are probably taking your leg too far to the side. You don't 'lock' anything, you just stay placed and centered, hit the second and bend the knee.

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After spending a bit of time with my teacher and lots of checking in the mirror while trying to fouette - I've figured out that it's the opposite of what ms leigh suggested I'm not getting my leg out to second far enough. Naturally poor turn out... which is better than 6 months ago because I'm working on it but i wonder if it will ever get open enough to do a nice fouette.


Also, How high should my leg come to second before bending the knee?

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Minimum is 45°, or à la demi-hauteur. For practical purposes, 90° is the max.

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The most efficient height of your à la second position would be a straight line from your retiré position. That way the knee does not lift or drop.

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