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cxllqhy

how to achieve ballon jumping down on the beat?

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cxllqhy

In ballet school, I somehow must have automatically jumped "up" on the beat, we used to have fast music, i used very little plie, and just relied on the feet, i was able to cope quite well with small and medium allegros. However, in the last half year, in open classes, teachers always emphasise that the music dictates that those jumps are on the "down" beat - I was to be the odd one in the whole class who jumped up on the beat and was always out of syc with rest of the class. Lately I fixed the issue, and am consciously using deep plie, but I feel so heavy in all allegro exercises! getting out of demi plie seem to take so long and make me look like a weight lifter (if you take a snap shot of me between plie and releve). I'm not sure if my elevation is actually worse than before, but I certainly feel such a struggle to get off the ground, and there is not the feeling of bouncing which i used to feel. yesterday in class, there was one combination with 6 consecutive assemble battu under, and I couldn't even get my supporting leg out of the plie, i.e. i was jumping with my knee bent and foot unpointed! what can i do to be musical, use my plie, feel light, and achieve elevation?

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Mel Johnson

In order to encourage ballon, the "floaty" quality in jumps, the preparation for any jump requires a release into the plié but a rebound out of its deepest part so as to allow quickness. You may be faced with the challenge of learning how to jump all over again!

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cxllqhy

in other words, i must be sitting in deep plie and then trying to jump out of it....

 

so, my focus is on training myself to only reach deepest plie point just before bouncing out of it? lack of power is only secondary to the issue, faulty mechanics is the main issue?

Edited by cxllqhy

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Mel Johnson

That's at least one way of looking at it. The answer to achieving what you need is the "Carnegie Hall" answer - "practice, practice, practice!!!"

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cxllqhy

Thank you Mr Johnson.

Do i keep on jumping more but keep that in mind, and the issues will auto resolve? do I need to do focused drilling?

 

It's depressing because I don't know anyone else who encounters this problem so late in their training....

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Mel Johnson

Well, it's more than just keeping in mind, but not a concentrated exclusive practice on jumping alone. Ballon proceeds through all the work of the feet and legs, so protracted attention will lead to considerable progress along that front.

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Victoria Leigh

Also do keep in mind that it is up to the teacher to create combinations set to music and tempo that will allow that rebound to happen. It is very hard to have any ballon at all if the jump is focused on the downbeat instead of the upbeat. The landing of the jumps is on the downbeat, but you should actually be back up in the air very quickly in order for the rebound to make the jumps bright and "up" and with a lot of ballon. Therefore, the "air time" of a jump is on the upbeat.

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cxllqhy

thank you Peter, Ms Leigh, and Mr Johnson.

 

I have very deep demi plie, and I remember one of my teachers who was always telling the class to never stop the fondu(e?), so I guess i've always known that I shouldn't be sitting at the depth of my plie, but in allegro, there is no time to think about the biomechanics of fondu/plie no matter how slow the music is, but still there is all the time to show the world how low you jump....

 

what really annonys me is watching myself in the mirror taking off from fondu, there is this kind of jerk action as all the power goes into that one leg trying to get off the group, rather than that lengthening feel as i get off the ground...

 

OMG!!! as I write the last paragraph, I just recalled that I'm supposed the be maintaining that length in the air all the way down in landing even as I relax the leg(s) to plie, like holding the leg still in frappe after the strike....I must have been relaxing my legs after I push myself from plie into air rather than maintain the stretch on the way down as well! I haven't consciously thought about this concept for years!

 

Yes Peter I shouldn't overthink it, but I can't help thinking about the tennis analogy. You wait for the ball to reach its full height in the air, catch it on its way down but until it's close the the ground (so that there is more "air-time"), and then throw it with force to the ground to let it rebound to new height. where you catch the ball is equivalent to when the toes start to hit the floor in landing action, but between the releve and the plie you must multiply the downward force (like forcefully throwing the tennis ball) - how exactly do you do this? normally between the releve and the plie, you just relax your knees and let gravity run its course, you can't contract muscles until you are in the depth of the plie, but using muscle power at the depth of the plie is too late, because you are already stationery, and there is no innertia/momentum(? forgive my physics..,) UNLESS, you can isolate the extensor muscles to do more than just stretch upon landing...sorry, i think too much

Edited by cxllqhy

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Victoria Leigh

Ooops! Sorry, ballethoo, but no one but the students and the teacher moderators can post on the YD forums!

 

cxllqhy, you are SO over-thinking this! :o Jumping in petit allegro is much more about rebound than power. You don't need a deep plié, you just need to use the plié well enough to rebound, and I think you understand what that is. :) Pop off the ground like a piece of popcorn just hot enough to pop, stretch knees and feet, return through the feet to the plié and pop off again. Watch someone who does it well, then do it and stop all the analyzing! :)

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