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Rond de jambes and pirouettes


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Spend some time on the rond de jambes outside of class, doing them very slowly and really feeling one leg working against the other leg.



I just saw this on the young dancers board and I am wondering what exactly is meant by feeling one leg work against the other??


Also if I can add one more turnout question..

Im finding it very difficult lately to get my retire leg turned out in en dehors pirouettes. I find it very easy to keep it in en dedans though. I almost feel like when I first bring my leg up to retire (for en dehors), I find by the time I get there, my body has already turned somewhat and thus my leg is almost parallel! Whereas with en dedans, it seems as though since Im turning away from my retire leg, I can really feel and hold the turnout. I try getting to the retire position as quickly as possible (hoping to get there before my body has turned), but I find that the faster I try to get to retire, the more off balance I throw myself! I also broke it down and went back to balancing in retire from 4th demi, and I dont have a problem there, but as soon as I add in 1/4 turn, in turns the leg! I dont think I used to have this problem, and it seems to get worse the more I work on it! Any advice?

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I hope one of our Teacher moderators will come along later (US time) to give you the expert answer, Sashinka, but as an adult student, if I were given correction, I'd be trying to think about the oppositional forces working in each leg to turn my hips outwards. I'd try to remember to brce one leg against the other.


Ami gave me a tip here ages ago about rond de jambe jete -- to think of the legs as two swing doors opening outwards. I find that really helps!!

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Awww, thanks Redbookish! I think often, both at barre and centre, we get so caught up with the 'working leg' that we forget to consider the 'standing leg' or 'standing side'. In reality, both need to work, and often they are both working equally as 'hard', if that makes sense. If you're totally focusing on one leg moving and turning out in rond de jombe, it means nothing if the other leg isn't also aligned, turning out. This will help keep you strong as well - so, for example, your working leg can't pull you off centre. I don't know if that makes sense. For the pirouette, it's the same thing, both legs need to turn out, but here it is much more noticeable in the gesturing leg, which has to keep turning out within the structure of your body for the turn. Some people find it helpfull to think 'knee back' during en dehors pirouettes. I don't like this because often one pushes the knee open with the foot against the leg as a type of fulcrum, and the foot becomes sickled. But to each their own!


I'll be quiet now and let the teacher-moderators spread their wealth of knowledge! :D

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You have both done very well, Redbookish and ami! :D


Here is another way to think about the legs working against each other, Sashinka. Hold a rubber band or a piece of elastic with one end in each hand. Pull only one side, and see how far you get. Then pull both sides. As you will see, the equal and opposite reaction of the elastic is clear when both sides sides are worked. It is the same with the legs, as ami said, because in order to use the maximum rotation and stretch, while one leg is busy rotating en dehor or en dedan, the other leg and side of the body needs to be busy going the opposite direction.


This will also help the pirouette en dehor, as you can think of the retiré leg as going out, or away, and the turning leg, even though it is going in the same direction, as resisting against the other leg. I prefer to think of leading with the retiré knee, but of course that only works if you can make that relevé quickly enough without throwing yourself off. The delay in getting the leg to the knee is what causes it to turn in, but you have to learn to do it quickly without using a motion that throws you off center. Since you can do it without the turn, I still think the only way to accomplish this is to practice taking that relevé just a little bit around the corner, maybe even less than 1/4 turn, until you can do that in a correctly rotated position. Then increase it very slightly and work on that for a while. It will come, be patient! :wink:

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Thanks everyone, for the great imagery and advice... it definately makes more sense now :D


If only application was as simple as comprehension :wink: . Ah well, off to practice!

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