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:lol: I am doing Cecchetti advanced I and am really battling with the additional frappes exercise at the barre

The exercise is...

two frappes in each position en croix (with normal flexed foot)

rise to 3/4

one double frappe in each position en croix (with a Vaganova or pointed foot) repeated twice

and then reverse the whole exercise.


the funny is coming with the double's..

double front is fine

double side is fine

double back is fine

but on the double to the side... my teacher sees it as if I am doing an extra beat (but badly it looks more like a twitch before the double) I feel it as an involuntary twitch? spasm? :pinch: even when doing it very slowly and concentrating very hard on trying to make sure that it does not twitch it still does it every time... any suggestions as to what could be happening and or how to stop/correct this.


Thank you

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I am by far not a Cecchetti expert, nor do I play one on TV :thumbsup: but, typically when things like that occur there could be several reasons for this:


1. Directional issues: Double starting devant will go- back/front out devant; front/back out seconde; front/back out derriere; back/front out seconde

Then reversing, it goes: front/back out derriere; back/front out seconde; back/front out devant; front/back out seconde


Slow it down and make sure you are not having directional issues


2. Core strength: If the abs are letting go (who's in charge of this??? :wink: ) then the leg can flail


3. Buttock engagement: If the rotators are not being held (who's in charge of this??? :grinning: ) then the leg can flail


4. Lift off: If the ribcage is sitting on top of the pelvis the legs cannot move freely


5. Not being completely over supporting leg/sitting in supporting hip


6. Not thinking of the frappé as a hinge, i.e., allowing the upper leg to move along with the lower leg too much

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Hi Clara


Thank you for your very comprehensive reply...


1. We (my teacher and I) dont think that it is a directional issue... the beats are with exception of the ones going back/front out seconde are neat and clear... on the back/front out seconde I seem to get a twitch? to the back before my deliberate back /front out seconde. We slowed this right down and still I got this funny twitch...


2. Core strength .... hmmm, I know I am a bit unstable at the moment... I can definitely work on this!!! :thumbsup:


3. Buttock engagement ... the thigh is still and the action is taking place in the knee only but I will definitely give this some more thought. :thumbsup:


4. "Lift off: If the ribcage is sitting on top of the pelvis the legs cannot move freely" - I am not quite sure what you mean by this???? :unsure: I am quite tall 5'9" and I have quite a long waist so there is no possible way that my rib cage can touch my pelvis, but I dont think this is what you mean.... I also know that I am not dropping the back (that I save for grande plie's :blushing: bad habit of looking down) :shrug:


5. Not being completely over the supporting leg - I will check this, this is a good possibility! :thumbsup:


6. Not thinking of the frappe as a hinge... I do know that the upper leg is very still... this was what had as confused as to why this is happening, because I am definitely performing a hinge movement and the thigh is very still.



Thank you, that is three things to think about and check... I have class again tomorrow morning where we can have another look at this.

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You're welcome! I hope something helps.


As far as Lift-off- it's my own description of what happens when you engage the ab muscles and lower back muscles and feel as though you are lifting your ribcage upwards. It's basically, just correct posture, but so many of us don't really grasp correct posture since it may not have been instilled into us as it once was.

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Great question Balletlove. I always feel like I'm twitching when I do frappes and I have never been told about all those things Clara mentioned (core strength, buttock engagement, lift off). We have been on break right now, but I finally go back to ballet class tomorrow night so I will definitely keep all that in mind.

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:blushing: Thank you Clara, I did these twice through yesterday at class and although I still need to do it slowed down (fortunately our pianist is wonderfully obliging about playing things one note at a time when needed) but I managed to do it without a twitch... I was thinking VERY hard about really standing on the supporting leg and really using the abs and really engaging the buttocks so I cannot really say whether it was any one of the three or all three, but I did it without the twitch :pinch:
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