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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hopping down from pirouette help!!


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I've been working and working on this. On the left foot, I come down smoothly from pirouettes - even doubles. But on the right, the one I broke in summer 2006, I hop down.


I've checked alignment, plie, hips, turnout, checking where my weight is - I've adjusted each over and over and nothing seems to work to stop me hopping down from demi-pointe pirouette.


What have I missed???

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My favourite saying to myself during pirouettes is one I got from a teacher in my youth:


"up! UP!"


(add extra 'ups' with additional emphasis for additional turns!)


Have you tried *ending* the turn up and then coming down?


Actually, do you have any sense of why you are hoping? Too much momentum, getting stuck 'up', etc? Sometimes we hop at the end to slow down momentum -- remember to turn out your 'standing' leg/side!.

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If you just do a relevé to the pirouette position on that leg, can you then roll down without the hop?

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I can do a good roll-down if I'm not turning. As a matter of fact, I've resorted to practicing without turning to see if perhaps it was confidence or balance or the "up" that Ami was talking about.


I have no idea why I've started hopping from pirouette. I didn't have a lot of this problem till fairly recently, actually. There's no pain in either foot or anything, and my turnout's been much better lately, since I've started taking more classes and working harder on it.


The only difference I can think of, now that I think of it, is that I've lost a lot of weight over the past few months, and, according to all my teachers, my overall shape has changed significantly. Do you think my center of balance has changed so significantly that I now have to "re-train" the body? Am I hopping for now, till my body learns where it should be?


Terribly frustrating, at the moment.

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Sorry, no idea. If you can do it when not turning, then you have to be doing something when you are turning to take you off your center. But you have a center when not turning, according to what you said above. Therefore, the weight issue does not appear to come into it. If you are doing exactly the same thing when you relevé to turn that you are doing when you just relevé, it should be working. So, evidently you are not doing the same thing. It needs to be corrected by someone who can see you.

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What is your working leg doing as you come down? If it drops at all, which it could potentially do only when you are turning, the whole of you will wobble. If you haven't been thinking about this so far, try bringing that leg "up to come down" -- especially if you're landing in 4th or a lunge. It's a slight difference (like everything in ballet!), more of a "feeling" than a true course correction, but I find it works well for me personally.

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Thanks Gav. I'll give that one a try. What I'm trying now to do is to do the "hold in releve at the end" before coming down and seeing how that helps. No luck so far but it's early days yet.


I'm wondering if it's subconscious lack of confidence on that foot. It's the stronger one, now, but did have a bad break in 2006.

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Since you are not hopping in a simple releve, try taking it to quarter turns, if you are not hopping in quarter turns take it it to half turns.


Start your quarter turn so you end facing the mirror. That way you might be able to get a look at what is happening.


My other question is are you hopping down when you finish the pirouette in 5th, 4th, or both?

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Mostly in fourth, only very occasionally in fifth.


I'll do the quarter/half thing and see what happens.

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"I'm wondering if it's subconscious lack of confidence on that foot." When I began reading your first post, I was thinking this very thing...and then you said it. It is not an unusual occurrence to hesitate and protect after an injury. You broke your foot. That's a big deal...Just try to feel some patience and take it easy on that side (singles) for a while. Eventually, you will regain your confidence.

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I thought about this this weekend...


I'm wondering if maybe you are taking to much force into your turn.


I came up with something else you may want to try.


Try landing your pirouette up on demi pointe in 4th position. This may help retrain your foot not to hop down.

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Try landing your pirouette up on demi pointe in 4th position. This may help retrain your foot not to hop down.


I'll try that and see how it works. It's a cool idea!

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Serendipity, I have had a few breaks and bad sprains on one foot/leg/ankle over the past couple of years and I personally struggled with the same thing... perfectly centered in a preparatory balance but hopping down from pirouettes. My teacher brought it to my attention and suggested I was 'babying' the previously injured foot. She then went on to point out that the other one was in fact my weaker foot, as I had gone through a great deal of physiotherapy and muscular strength-training on the injured side. She also pointed out that although my tendons and ligaments (which are already naturally loose) may have been stretched and therefore feeling less supportive, bone is stronger post-fracture. For me, that was enough to change things.


I still have a bit of fear doing certain things (turns, grand jetes landing on that foot, etc) but I find that doing one-legged releves and eleves in the center as well as holding a retire on demi for as long as I can really help me. ToThePointe suggested landing your pirouette up on demi in 4th. I've never tried this in fourth but always do it in 5th because most of my teachers like us to show the retire position, slide down with control to sous-sus, and finish. Harder than it sounds, but it makes for a beautiful 'clean' look.


Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another idea for experimenting:


A couple of days ago I was hopping about in my pirouettes. Teacher have been shouting "up up up" all through the enchainment. Then she said to me think of the supporting leg drilling into the floor as well as pulling up.


My issue that class was that I was in a studio I hated (slippery wooden floor) with shoes I hated (soft blocks) which created a lethal combination (ultra slipperness in all things attempted in the centre). So all class I was having this fear of falling off.


Until my teacher said "drill into the floor", I tried and it worked!


Well it worked once right at the end of the exercise and then we moved on so I couldn't try more.


(Didn't work the next day though :sweating: But my body has been so unpredictable god knows how I'm ever going to be consistent in pirouetting! Anyway....)


Fish :D

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As I put on the "june toasts" thread, one major area was identified today - stamina! Apparently, I can't stay up because I can't actually STAY up. While I can do releves till they're coming out of my toes, actually just staying up there in coup de pied or passe' hurts after just a minute, no matter how pulled up I am or whether my weight is properly placed or not.


Very interesting, this bit.


There are other problems, that I knew about but couldn't figure out what to do about, but this one was not one that I had even considered. Had a private lesson and we worked on balance, which was in my wish list of things to work on. She had me first balance in coup de pied on one foot, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, and tried for four. By the time I got to the "try for four" my leg was exhausted! Then we did the other one. Then first one in passe' then second one, similar. No stamina!! That's just so weird.


I can understand why I can do the releves but not steady balancing, though. One allows constant "relaxing" or "changing" of the muscles in the calves, while just staying up is the same muscle, forever and anon. At least now I have more of a focus on what to do and can do it, whether in class or not. :)


If I can put it all together before the end of our intensive (before the August camp), then I'll be one happy person! LOL!

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