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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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I was trained in Cecchetti and so coming back after a decade and learning a new style is a challenge, but mostly it's the frappes. I still don't feel like I am getting it after a year and a half. How do I get my strengthen my technique to execute the movement? What do I need to focus on?

Edited by ViolaDancer
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Hi ViolaDancer - do you mean that you are not getting the way to do frappes in the technique you are now studying as opposed to Cecchetti, or just frappes in general? I'm guessing you might be struggling with a frappe from sur la cou de pied now instead of a flexed foot - would that be right?

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Yes, that's what I mean. Currently I think I kind of on between both. I did similar frappes when I was younger, but only on releve. Otherwise the foot was flexed. So now I need to train myself to do frappes in sur la cou de pied.

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I went through the same problem once so I understand! First step would be to make sure you've correctly established your sur la cou de pied position, with a fully stretched instep and ankle, and the toes wrapping backwards around the supporting legs' ankle. A good way to practice first is to just extend the leg from the sur la cou de pied to a fully stretched degage (or pointe tendu) and return to the start position, just to get the body into the new idea of doing it from sur la cou de pied. From there, just try adding in the strike slowly - 2nd is easiest to start with I found. The biggest challenge I found was getting my brain around the fact that my toes essentially had to control the strike now, rather than my ankle. The strike should happen almost at the end of the frappe, but I used to (in my own time) practice slowly putting the toes down on the floor almost straight away and pushing them along the floor and out to over emphasize their action. I also practiced lots of pas de cheval through sur la cou de pied to help with the foot/ankle position and activating the lower part of the foot. Also making sure you are fully articulating through the foot every time you do a tendu will help - the more you can control how you manipulate the toes/metatarsals the more power you will get from them in the end.


Slowly but surely! If you establish the correct movement pattern first, the power will come eventually.

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I like that image - the toes leading the strike rather than the ankle. I will have to try that this week. Thanks!

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