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Ballet Talk for Dancers

The Venerable Split Leap


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Surprised to find no previous topics addressing this, at least that I could uncover...


Anyway, I have been working on attaining at least a decent execution of this, one of the less complex ballet tricks of today's dancer. I feel I have both adequate flexibility (front splits only an inch or two from floor) and strength (above 90 developpes), however putting them together for this jump has been a curious endeavor. I can't seem to get my legs into their full extension after the switch part, even though they have the flexibility. Does anyone have any advice on how they made this jump work for them? Mind you, I feel like I'm very close to getting it, so I think it's just something with my form or take off that I can't figure out otherwise. Any thoughts, or if I've been too vague, any further info I can provide?

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What are we talking about here? Is it the grand jeté à grand écart, or a pas de ciseaux (the jazz dancers' "switch leap")?

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i think jazz dancer switch leap. Bruce Marks put one of these in for each of the men at the end of Continuo a Ballet he updated for Ballet West last season. As you can imagine, It was highly frusterating for those of us without extreme extension :(

He did something that confused us at first. I think generally people do the switch with their down stage leg ending in an efface line. He had us use our up stage legs to end in a croise line. It felt akward, but after viewing pictures I like the idea.


I'd say think small, big as you leave the ground and think about the motion of your legs. No one sees the first part you only have to hit the picture on the second line. and if you can get the opposition in the leg that is not dominant you can achieve the look where those combined forces of momentum pop your hips up a little higher to give you a flat look.


this was my attempt.


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And in this step, it is particularly important to make the jump both high and long, and that the two factors be balanced.

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yes, it's the jazz dancer's one. I think I'm thinking about the switch too early and it's sacrificing some of the power of getting off the ground long enough. I'll work on trying to make that first jump bigger so I'll have more time and momentum to complete the step...

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