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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fouetté ronds de jambe en tournant


swantobe

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I really struggle with these. I seem to leave my leg out in 2nd too long and end up turning in 2nd for half the turn; I just seem terribly uncontrolled in these in terms of the working leg...It seems my fouetté action is a mess :huh:

 

Are there any exercises I can do to work on this issue specifically? I'd love some "step-by-step" exercises that help me to build up to the turning. For example, our teacher suggested standing at the barre and practicing the fondu devant, leg to second, whipped in to retiré, with a relevé in the supporting leg (so no turn) and done at the barre to help prevent any leaning that might occur. I can do this exercise, but once the turn is included, I lose it again. My problem is not so much with the turn but with the whipping in of the leg during the turn.

 

I'm not sure if it makes any difference but although I usually turn better to the right, for some reason I am more controlled when doing fouetté turns to the left (possible, my right leg is stronger for the multiple relevés?).

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Perhaps you are overdoing the "whipping" part just a bit??? :sweating:

 

As far as right and left turns, strangely enough there are some turns we do better to one side or the other, even if we are basically more one sided. However, it could be that your right leg is stronger for the relevés. So, in that case, work on multiple relevés on that left foot, without the turning, to build the strength. :huh:

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It feels like I'm not "whipping" at all though! As in, my leg seems to get stuck in 2nd en l'air and doesn't come in quickly enough.

 

(Sorry, my use of the word "whipping" above was just meant to emphasize that it should be done quickly :huh: )

 

As for turning better on one side, I will practice the multiple relevés on my left foot, thank you.

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My problem is not so much with the turn but with the whipping in of the leg during the turn.

Perhaps taking a step back and isolating the action to retire would help. From retire on demi-pointe extend the leg to seconde in fondu and releve' back to retire eliminating the action of the leg of demi ronde de jambe devant to seconde. Focus on the coordination of arm and leg arriving to first (arm) and retire (leg) at the same moment you arrive at the apex of the releve. The coordination of the arm arrivint to seconde at the bottom of the fondu seconde is also important. Coordination of the movements is where I see most students struggle. I do not teach the leg to ronde de jambe into retire from seconde position by the way. I teach a linear path of the leg from seconde to retire.

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Thank you for the responses.

 

gcwhitewater - thank you so much for that exercise suggestion. I think that's exactly what's happening to me - the co-ordination just isn't there. I will definitely try the exercise you suggest as I think that will help. And yes, we also do the linear movement from seconde to retiré.

 

gav - no, I haven't tried that in the centre, but that's a good idea (and one you would have thought would have dawned on me earlier!)

 

I think that the height of the working leg during the demi grand rond de jambe and movement from seconde to retiré might also be a factor in this - I think I am lifting my leg too high. I know everyone is different, but teachers, what is the optimum height for the leg in these turns (I mean when it is extended) - 45 degrees?

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I think that the height of the working leg during the demi grand rond de jambe and movement from seconde to retiré might also be a factor in this - I think I am lifting my leg too high. I know everyone is different, but teachers, what is the optimum height for the leg in these turns (I mean when it is extended) - 45 degrees?

 

If your leg is too high then yes, it will be throwing you off (unless you are SUPER DUPER strong!) I would usually encourage students to aim for somewhere in between 45 and 90 once they have the action established, and probably more towards abouth the 60-70 degree mark. But, working at 45 initially may be helpful to aid you with correcting the action.

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I find that 60º works very well for keeping the leg at one level from seconde to retiré. If it is higher it either comes to too high a position or has to lower slightly. Lower than 60 it would need to lift.

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I'm definitely lifting my leg too high then, especially to the side. Thank you for the advice, I'll aim for 60 degrees in future.

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swantobe,

 

What are you thinking about in regards to your upper body? I find that the use of the upper body in consecutive turns like fouettes, etc., is even more important than in 'one off' turns. The coordination of the arms, noted above, if done right, engages your back in torso in ways that should assist/control the turn. I'm not being very articulate now, I know... but I hope this makes some sense...

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Actually, the torso, especially the back muscles, need to engage, or motivate, the arms. The arms do not create the turn, but they do help to control it if they are working correctly.

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My apologies Ms Leigh for not being clear- I meant what you wrote, just stated it a bit backward.

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Have you tried your teacher's exercise away from the barre, but still without turning?

 

You get five stars for that answer gav!!!! :blushing:

I too have been battling with fouette turns and in my general web search yesterday I came across a video which demostrated exactly that and low and behold would you believe it, it does work :yucky: . I am not suggesting my turns are good, but I can at least do them slowly (literally one at a time) and at least the action is correct although my weight being very back and a bit of instability is not helping, but that is a different story altogether.

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You say that when you do the training exercise without the turn, you manage it well, but once you add the turn it goes wrong. What this shows is that you are doing something with the turn to throw you off kilter. Your body needs to stay straight over the supporting leg during the turn. If you are indeed lifting your leg too high that could be part of the problem, but also as you whip it in, you may be moving your torso off centre and then in order to start again you have to re-align yourself. Look at the best turners - they don't move their body at all, and the movement of the leg is almost disconnected from the top part, which remainis still and straight. Think of a spinning top - when it is spinning straight on its point it carries on turning - once it starts reeling all over the place, you know it's ready to stop! Hope this helps!

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What are you thinking about in regards to your upper body?

 

This is probably part of the problem, I think, as even though I feel as though I am taking my arms (torso etc) with me, my teachers tell me that I leave my arms behind a bit, sometimes. This is a correction I have received for general turns, not specifically in relation to fouetté turns, and I think that this might help to answer some of Hamorah's question to me. I think I am probably off kilter a bit and this is probably worse in turns where I am going up and down (flat, demi-pointe, flat, demi-pointe on supporting leg), instead of a double pirouette, for example, in which I stay "up", if that makes sense.

 

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice.

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