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Hideous glissades and assembles!


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Ok....my arms are getting nice...my back is looking good and I am overall improving. I am even remembering my combination of steps better....but no matter how I practise, I cannot do a pretty glissade assemble combo. I look ungainly, I can't get enough height in there, I don't seem to be sprightly or quick enough to plie and then straighten my legs properly before plieing again and overall it's a mess :wink:

Others in the class seem to find this easier than I....any advice would help a lot.

I hope that I am not forever destined to be inelegant in my movements.

I can do a nice saute arabesque and even a decent sissonne! The little quick steps leave me confused and like I am a dancing leprechaun!!! :unsure: !

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  • rlyons


  • luceroblanco


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Glissade: it means to glide. There are two ways of doing it depending on which school you are. One way is two leg landing in the same time, the other way is one leg land, and the other leg slides into fifth.

Assemble: Have you tried one leg in plie, and the other leg tendu to the side, and then jump using your plie leg, and try to close the two legs in the air? If that doesn't work, then instead of doing the jump, you close the two legs into each other into a releve (there's no way that u can do it in bent legs this way....). And remember the assemble come from your butt and hips~ A teacher joked saying that assemble are ######-amble to remind you that you need to use your gluts when doing them!

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Everybody is different, but my recent epiphany came when I realized I had to plie much more deeply at the end of the glissade, if I was going to A) close in fifth without crossing over, and :wink: get any height on the assemble. It's conter-intuitive, but (for me at least) a deeper plie gives more time in the air, and thus more ballon.


Still working on actually doing it, of course - knowing and doing are not the same thing!

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I don't know if you've done this, but try thinking about the verticality of movement. Glissade and assemble move up and down in those sorts of petit allegro exercises, they don't (really) travel left or right. Once your energy is travelling in the right direction -- up, rather than side-to-side -- you should gradually be able to jump higher.


As for the plie in between jumping steps, I suspect you'll just have to keep practicing that gentle "bouncing" sort of motion. As you do this, you can think about being in constant motion, rather than settling into any position (whether at the depth or top) within the plie.

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A glissade that lands on two feet at the same time? I'm sorry, but I have never heard of that, Ballet Bunnie. A glissade moves from a dégagé in demi plié on the other leg, upward and over to a demi plié on that leg and then sliding the second leg into that demi plié. It means to glide, and it is done with no jump at all in more adagio-like work, and with a small jump in most allegro work. In both cases it goes up and over the hill, so to speak, but the allegro glissade can go totally off the ground, whereas the gliding glissade does not leave the ground with both feet at the same time. But, to my knowledge, there is no glissade where both feet land in 5th at the same time. That would be an assemblé.

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Thanks everyone so much for the advice and feedback. I feel that this is one of those things that maybe DOES just click one day with you, kind of like what Olddude says.

Gav, that is great advice too...I think I AM thinking too much of moving to the side for the glissade rather than up. It is the bane of my ballet class at the moment..I just dread us doing this combo!

I will keep practising though! :D

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How are your tendus? I think the key to the assemblé is really about your tendu. (Same for battement). Yesterday in my class (beginner) I was a little bored and so I did look at what was going on with some of the students. Usually I'm not looking at anyone else and I'm struggling to hang on--but this was an easier class than usual for me. Anyway, I noticed a lot of feet coming off the floor and toes being placed in position. These were beginners so there is plenty of time to correct them, but I remember when I started I was doing that. Except I didn't realize I was doing that. It was not until my ballet teacher of the time came and squatted down and actually guided my foot across the floor did I realize what a tendu was. She had shown us but I hadn't understood. I've always had a good assemblé because of it. If you can't brush the floor in tendu, you can't do it in jette, battement or assemblé. I'm not saying that's your case but it might be something to look at that might help.

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How are your tendus?


Good point, Luceroblanco but actually, I think they are pretty good and I am also fine at the brushing the floor. I think one of my main problems in not feeling I have time to plie, straighten the legs, then plie again before assemble....it all feels too fast for me. My legs seems to move slower than other proples...not sure why....any ideas on that are most welcome too! :D

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Not sure if I'm correct in this but wouldn't the plie at the end of the glissade be the beginning of the assemble? You wouldn't need to straighten up and then plie again to go into the assemble, would you?

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Have you tried keeping the glissade small and dainty; that way it may be a little more controlled? Then you can end in a nice plié ready for a more powerful assemble.


I agree with gimpydancer that I wouldn't expect to straighten and then plié again.

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Not sure if I'm correct in this but wouldn't the plie at the end of the glissade be the beginning of the assemble? You wouldn't need to straighten up and then plie again to go into the assemble, would you?


Yes...I think so...glissade is plie, straighten, plie and that goes into the assemble...still to fast for me though!

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Try thinking of the glissade as a landing in fifth. I've found this has helped me a lot of in petit allegro work. ie..


Instead of thinking, plie, glissade, plie, glissade etc...

Just think fifth, fifth, fith.


In other words, the only purpose of the glissade is to land in fifth plie. It's a linking step and should only serve to set you up for whatever comes next.

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I think that it's sometimes a question of repetition. I'm bad at petit allegro, and I've found in a normal class that we don't spend very long on petit allegro anyway. The result is that we are often finished long before I feel familiar with the combination, and I end on the 'bad note' of failing to complete the combination. We had a substitute teacher once who would not finish the petit allegro section until I had managed it all the way through at least once, and it made a big difference. Way more repetitions, and a sense that I could do it, at the end.

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It took me years to get glissade-assemble down so don't despair!


I also do the "pony-tail" check while doing it. I tend to get too "bouncy" for my glissade (it's more side to side than up and down). My pony tail shouldn't bounce in the glissade but should for the assemble as that is more up and down. :D

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