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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Echappes and releves

Kate B

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As part of getting back into dancing, I have been doing these (on demi point) to increase my strength at home. I am a bit concerned however that I am not doing them properly, 'jumping' or 'snatching' onto demi pointe rather than what is meant to happen - the full push through the floor and using all the muscles in my feet on the way up, etc. Could this simply be because my floor at home is too slippery or could I be doing something differently to make this a more useful exercise?


Thanks for your help,



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There is always a small spring, or slide into the second or fourth position in échappé, and no way to do them if that doesn't happen. But a simple relevé shouldn't necessarily be a "pop-up" movement, and can very easily be a "roll-through" on demi-pointe just as it is on pointe. If you are not feeling much resistance in the former, I suggest a lower coefficient of friction in your home floor than in the studio floor.

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Try also to use the muscles of the inner thighs to bring the legs together especially when doing échappé rather than using the outer thigh muscles. There is a difference, using the wrong muscles causes stress on the knees.

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Guest BBNButterscotch

Also, I've noticed that doing them on demi-point is almost harder than in a pointe shoe. Because you have to work so hard to "spread" the legs in demi point, there is almost a little jumpy bounce as you spread, just because of the force from your legs. I've always had a terrible time with echappes, but the key is just to concentrate on spreading smoothly, and landing neatly in 5th (or whatever position).

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