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Help with grand jetes


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Since there's a thread going on the little girls' forum about grand jetes and splits, it reminded my how hopeless my own grand jetes are. My legs seem to barely get beyond an angle of 90 degrees to each other, and I certainly dont get anywhere near that floaty look. I have the flexibility and strength to get my legs in the right position (and hold them there), but not in a jump.


The teacher says "do a grand battement to the front, and then one to the back" (which I do, and it doesn't help). Or I try "jumping over a puddle" - some good imagery that helped.


I think my basic problem is that I can't move my legs fast. For instance, I find beats very difficult. I guess I have very few fast twitch fibres, and those that I have are very weak.


I know what the answer is: practice, practice, practice! But where, and how? In class, we have only a few goes across the room (once a week at most). Inside my house I dont have the space. I can try across the lawn, but am concerned about twisting my ankle on the slightly uneven surface. Or I can get into the classroom 15 minutes ahead of everyone else, when it is empty, but I dont want to do that sort of thing from cold (and the chance to warm up beforehand is not there).


I dont know if anyone has any ideas or advice - I dont want to give up on myself just yet. Actually, this just seems an ineffective bleat*, but it has been an (apparently) insuperable obstacle for ages.





*meaning like what sheep do

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As Ms. Leigh sagely advises:


Jim, how about staying a few minutes after classes to practice them? I would suggest working on some small grand jetés first, but put them in forward gear. Get the movement of the jump through the air and the feeling of really moving forward as well as upward. Then, add the extra push for more elevation and more split in the legs. When you grand battement front, keep the the movement going up and over so that the back leg can actually DO the grand battement! :)
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Many thanks for that reply - I'm sorry if putting into the men's forum made responding more difficult.


I'll try and snatch a little time at the end of class, though the building caretaker is hanging around waiting to lock up and I know that he's already put in a 16+ hr day... But luckily, people take a bit of time to change their shoes.


I'll work through the stages you suggest.


"When you grand battement front, keep the the movement going up and over so that the back leg can actually DO the grand battement!" - this is the feeling I get when its going well - if only it happened more, and to a greater extent.


Many thanks for your help,



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Don't worry about a thing; Ms. Leigh and I have things all worked out so that if a technical inquiry like this one comes in at a time of day when I'm at the museum day job, she covers with sound technical advice. Being an administrator can be like being Queen Elizabeth, declared an "honorary man" for the purpose of visiting a mosque!


To add a bit to the solution, why not try imagery? I've found that thinking of the word "leap" if I need to make a particularly long jeté helps me. Your keyword will probably be different, but use what works!

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Well, after class today I did go across the room a dozen or so times while people were changing shoes, and it feels better already - and I've already done more practice than in a normal couple of weeks. So many thanks for that advice,



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