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Two (unrelated) technique questions


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Couple questions -


1. I'm struggling with rolling through my foot on saute arabesque - it ends up more of a brush than a roll followed by a jump up. My ankle's not stretching fully/fast enough, and part of that may be insufficient foot strength to get enough elevation to have the time to stretch because during quick tendus my ankles do stretch fully.


Any suggestions on exercises? Lots of one-footed releves, probably, and....?


2. My Nutcracker part includes a drop to one knee from a series of chasses. Lovely large bruise after the first rehearsal - is that just the way it's going to be, or is there something I should be doing to minimize the impact?


Advice appreciated :thumbsup:

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I don't know that I really understand your first question as I'm not sure how to "brush" into a saute. For it to be a saute, you have to have weight on that leg, therefore the saute is just squeezing your seat, holding onto your turnout and pushing into the floor rise to demi pointe stretch your legs and go.


As to the second question, whenever working on something going down to the floor my teacher always tells us to keep our weight more on the front leg than we want to, and lower on that leg while sliding the back foot along the floor. If you keep your weight forward, turn out your back leg and squeeze under your seat on the way down, that should provide you the control to avoid banging your knee. When I watch people do it, they basically keep the back leg straight, bending the front and sliding down with your back foot, until your back knee is close to the ground, then bending the knee. Your foot disperses the "down" momentum so its a diagonally down and back motion with your back leg, rather than your knee absorbing the "straight down" momentum. I hope this makes sense, and it helps some. :-)

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Ahhhhh - yes, your second suggestion makes perfect sense! I was doing the exact opposite by keeping my weight shifted back on to the leg I need to land on. Thank you.


Sorry if the first question was unclear: 'Brush' may be not be the right word; I don't quite know how to describe what I'm doing wrong, but the essence of the problem is that I'm not rolling through my supporting foot from the arabesque into the saute. I don't think my foot's strong enough to get a good push off the floor, even though one-footed releves are comparatively easy for me.

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I'm glad the second makes sense. For the first while I'm not super sure what you're describing, releves will probably help a lot, as well as making sure that you're really working the foot in the tendu - remember any jump is basically a plie into a tendu really quickly. Do you do releves in other positions (like arabesque)? Some of it might be your weight placement (just because the arabesque position can alter where the weight placement is, if you're not placed correctly). You could always add those to your releve series, and maybe it'll help?

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The problem with sauté arabesque is not having your body weight totally over the sauté leg. Move your body, the leg will come. If you lead with your leg and leave the body weight behind, there is no way it can work.

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Hmmm. I will experiment with that tonight after class; thank you, Ms. Leigh.


It sounds contradictory - like putting more weight on the leg I'm using to try to get off the ground would make the problem worse, but I think I get what you're saying. Should the weight even shift a little bit forward on the supporting leg on the saute?


rentchick3 - Excellent suggestion to add arabesque to the releves. That should help sort out my weight placement :thumbsup:

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The body weight should not be behind the leg or you can't get where you are going. An arabesque sauté should travel forward as well as up. You don't spend any time in the plié. You should already be in forward gear as you tombé onto that leg and immediately push off. Try using a little skip to get the body in motion. That helps a lot and makes the movement a lot easier and less stiff looking. Don't forget this is not about a pose, it's an action, a movement in space. :thumbsup:

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