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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Back foot in fourth position


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Recently in class I was not sure anymore about the position of the back foot in 4th. We did echappés at the barre and I started to think about it. I was told to watch the position of my foot when on demi or on full pointe because of my kneeproblems (esepcially no winging with weight on the foot).


I asked the teacher and she was not sure. She told me that right technique would be totally on the platform but once the fourth is big, the back foot starts to sickle. With small 4th it did not seem to be a problem. So we came to the conclusion that I should do a small fourth and be on the platform (for the sake of my knee).


But what would be right? Does it depends on style?


Thank you for your answers!

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A few of my teachers said that the back foot does not necessarily go straight, fully on platform in a wide fourth - that to AVOID sickling, you are more on the big toe than on the full platform.


If you look at photos of professional dancers in fourth, the back foot appears to be almost on the edge of the box, just on the big toe.

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Ok. Echappé means escaping, so both legs have to escape from the center of the body. I suspect you are moving your back leg and not your front leg, or, not moving both legs equally. This probably stems from not quite enough control over rotation, and not enough lift-off.


Go back to basic concepts and try it again.


Your weight should be over your big toes en pointe not matter what. That's the proper technique. Think of the feet as shaped, not winging, because winging means a foot that is not completely pointed.

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Thanks for your answers.


I guess there was some language confusion from my side :shrug: : I do not have any problems to stand in fourth position and my echappés are totally fine. I just wondered how it would be in a perfect world, where dancers have perfect turnout and perfect feet, in perfect pointes and on perfect floor.


So, as I can read between the words: Weight over big toe.

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