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Ballet Talk for Dancers

gaining speed


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The school where I train has a very slow curriculum, so only now, 1.5 years away from graduation, our class is just starting fouette turns in the center (we did them at barre last year). And at the end of the year exam are required to do sixteen (on flat. phew! next year, however, on pointe...)


My problem is that I just can't seem to be doing them up to tempo. They are actually pretty good technically when slow. The other day my teacher had the pianist follow me when doing them and even though the music sounded funky, they felt great! However, when I attempt them at a normal speed, things just seem to get out of control- losing turn-out on the standing leg, not straightening the working leg fully during ronds de jamb..


I have a similar issue with Italian fouettes too (beginning step for me also). When doing them at a normal speed, after the develope ecarte and brushing to devant, my working leg over-crosses, with a somewhat shallow demi-plie on the standing leg, and then "swivels" to second before attitude (generally over-crossed also). However, practicing slowly I can do them correctly!- deep plie devant, releve in a la second and then fouette to attitude. I can only do a few because I lose momentum going so slow.


I really concentrate on implementing the corrections during combinations- but my body feels really out of control, I can't seem to get the right speed and dynamic. I am already getting nervous because I can't seem to do anything advanced quickly! I know I have some time before my exams.. any suggestions with gaining speed?


Practice, practice, practice?

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Besides practice, I personally find that working on speed related moves helped me a lot with speed. Although I'm sure there's plenty more, I can only think of Frappé at the moment. It took me a long time to build up speed with those. My teacher always reminded the class that strength was built on the standing leg.


Another solution that I find might be more of a "band aid" effect, where it just temporary solves the issue. But that's just making a smaller jump. I find that by jumping smaller, I can keep up more if the tempo is quick.


I hope that helps, if not I hope you find what works for you :)




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Besides practice, I personally find that working on speed related moves helped me a lot with speed.


This activity is called "practice".

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