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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Soutenu turns


katielovesballet

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I never really learned soutenu turns, other than briefly in an open class I took once, and I'm having trouble doing them quickly enough. The half-turns at the barre are fine, but the problem is the kind where you tendu a la seconde and then do a full turn (I don't know if there's an exact term for that?). I can do them slowly, but if I have to go faster my feet get all tangled up, so I end up losing my balance and just scooting sloppily around. Are there any specific things to focus on to turn faster?

 

I know technique questions are hard to answer on the internet and ideally I'd ask my teacher, but my current teachers only speak Spanish and I probably wouldn't be able to understand the response :wacko: Thanks!!!

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From Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique"-

Soutenou en tournant:

This turn appears to be occurring on 2 feet. Most of the weight however, is on the front foot during the turn. Only at the end of the turn is the weight placed back equally on both feet.

 

Practice the 1/2 turn first in the centre. Maintain rotation and proper ballet stance. Practice getting the plié, relevé to 5th correctly first. Then work on the 1/2 rotation keeping your weight over the front foot allowing the feet to pass from 5th right foot devant to 5th right foot derriere. Then work on finishing completely around to where you started not transferring the weight until the turn is complete.

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From Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique"-

Soutenou en tournant:

This turn appears to be occurring on 2 feet. Most of the weight however, is on the front foot during the turn. Only at the end of the turn is the weight placed back equally on both feet.

 

I'm so glad to hear this because I always thought I was doing them wrong because my weight was mostly on the front foot during the turn and only "equalised" towards the end of the turn. I really need to buy that book!

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What I thought of immediately was the traveling type on the diagonal, not sure if that is the type asking about but.. a comment I've come across from several teachers when getting tangled in doing these with speed is making sure to hit fifth before starting the turn. Can't really get the weight over your leg if start turning too soon. Once behind, it just gets worse until you end up starting facing the wrong way :wub:

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Isn't soutenu turn the kind of step that appears to be too simple that you don't even think about it, but very few student do it right? But when it is done right, it is very pretty though!

I just had a private session working on soutenu turns. And I was struggling to find a balance between turning before hitting a tight fifth, or close in a tight fifth but with too much a jumpy feeling... It is HARD!!! Still need some work on that...

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We were taught to bring the leg that is in tendu straight up to a sous-sous, then quickly turn, making sure to spot and use your arms (they go from second straight up to fifth, helping with the momentum). Spotting really helps.

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We were taught to bring the leg that is in tendu straight up to a sous-sous, then quickly turn, making sure to spot and use your arms (they go from second straight up to fifth, helping with the momentum). Spotting really helps.

Same here, and only recently (at dance camp). The teacher made a point of getting to the fifth sous-sous while still facing en face, then whip the actual turn around. Kind of like spotting with the whole body. The physics doesn't work out, really, so you just have to make it look that way. Sounds easier than it is, but that has been helpful to me over the last few months.

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I know that this is "improper technique," but bare with me for a minute.

Try over crossing the front foot (surpassing sous-sus) by 1" - 2". Now your legs are really tangled up, right? Now rotate/turn and untangle your legs into the sous-sus on the other side. Now you have the feeling of what your legs should be doing.... though once you get the feeling, make sure and correct the initial improper sous-sus!!! (As others have said, the soutenu turn is hard to accomplish without a tight sous-sus - an uncrossed releve 5th doesn't have enough torque).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tonight I found out I was just doing it wrong, thanks to the word "no!" being the same in English and Spanish. Oops. Not surprisingly, doing them the correct way is much easier, and everything you all said makes a lot more sense now. Thanks again for the help! :thumbsup:

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