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In class last night I was watching an ex pro dancer doing sautes in first and changements and she seemd to jump out with the feet as well as up. The feet seemed to fully extend outwards.

Is this correct?

I tried it and it seemed to look better anyhow. It was a new way for me to look at this.

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I am wondering if you are used to seeing people do, for example, sautes in first, by bringing their feet in slightly as they jump, and back out a tiny bit to land, so that perhaps what you are seeing is someone who keeps her legs where they are in first and then just extends fully through her feet without pulling them inwards?

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Maybe....but it really seemed like her legs came out to a wider position as she extended them and jumped up...or at least the feet did....

I tried to emulate her and it seemd easier to jump that way anyhow. it seemed like I was less worried about height and more concerned with extending the feet fully thinking out rather than up, if that makes sense?

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I'm inclined to think the same thing as insidesoloist. And if this ex-pro had lovely feet, it could very well look like her feet were moving outwards when what she was actually doing was just fully articulating through her ankles and insteps. In this respect, it might help to think of the sautés in first kind of like relevés in first en pointe, where you also push outward through the instep to fully articulate the feet, even though the legs aren't moving outward (e.g.,



No matter what, thinking about articulating your feet to their full extension when you are jumping is a good thing. It should make you jump higher, as you noticed, because you are getting power from all of the muscles through your feet -- including the ones that tend to slack off if you let them! Plus, it looks so nice :)

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Hi BlleFille:


I don't think you are imagining this - I see this in the classes of advanced students/professional/former professional dancers I take as well as those I teach. It is all how a dancer is trained. I have seen dancers with very developed feet stretch them straight down when jumping and I have also seen dancers push out through the arches to achieve the position you are describing. In one of my classes (that I take) the instructor asks us to do both - as a warm-up exercise. Just as some teachers like a stretched ankle and fully pointed foot in frappes and some prefer a wrapped foot and a brush in frappes, there are many "right" ways to do certain things.in ballet.

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Agreed. Depending on the teacher, we have been asked for either a slight opening at the top of our jumps or no opening at all.

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Wanted to add on to my answer from yesterday with an observation from a class I've taken since... A dancer who has hyperextended knees and fully extends her knees at the pinnacle of the jump will certainly look like her feet have moved outwards, even when they aren't (relative to the angle of, say, the femur).

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Very intersting! I think I will ask my teacher what I am seeing and which she prefers.

The dancer I observed DOES have great feet and legs and seems hyperextended so this makes sense too.

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I remember very clearly one teacher telling us, "if you push hard enough, your legs will move outward. your jump will look higher, and you will look like you have more energy." this same teacher also told us to just barely kick our front leg out in a saute arabesque. again because it made our jumps look more energetic and higher. quite likely that I wasn't the only one to hear that. :)

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