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Cabriole Derrière Tips


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Hi There!  I would love any tips you have to achieve a cabriole derrière.  I’m having problems getting the second leg to lift to beat - perhaps it’s more a strength problem rather than a coordination issue.  Anyway I would love and appreciate any tips, techniques you lovely people have to achieve this. ❤️

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All steps in ballet can be traced back to the foundational step at the barre. But I’m not quite sure what that is for cabrioles, so if anyone could chime in here who knows more that would be great!

I believe it could be battement jetes and grand battements for the leading leg, that needs power. I’m not sure what the foundational step for the beating leg is though....

Basically I find, more often then not, there’s not a “tip” or a “trick” to help you perform a step. But rather, all steps come from the foundation you lay at the barre (and also from steps in the centre) and as your foundation improves then so does your dancing. It’s the “you can’t cheat the process” kind of mindset. Obviously it doesn’t apply to everything, but I think for something like cabrioles if you don’t have the strength or coordination foundation, no amount of “tips” can really help. Not to worry, as the step will come with time and practice and as you improve your technique.


If it helps, I think one step before the cabrioles is to do the exercise but instead of beating the cabrioles do a nice temps leve and make sure your front leg doesn’t drop. 


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Hello Tullulah, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers!

I started going through my build-up notes, then gave up.  My handwriting is not a quick read!  If memory serves, we talked about grands battements with a pique as being a good way to build up the second leg.  One of the teachers I worked with taught cabriole preps facing the barre, with one leg extended derriere, and simply had us jump, bring the bottom leg up to the extended leg, and land....over and over and over again.  She also did the same devant.  This helps build that strength you're looking for, and also teaches the beat. 

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I would say all steps have their roots at the barre, but not always actual direct training for each individual step as such.

I agree that certainly Battements Jete and Grands Battements Pique are both useful. I would add that in the centre progressive steps would be Pose temps leave in arabesque, Jete passé devant and derrière, and Failli - all are in similar veins to cabriole. I also second the thought of going back to the barre to practice the actual cabriole and agree that strength and coordination are key, as well as an ability to smoothly transfer your weight through space.

All that said, sometimes you’ve just gotta have a go at it as well! Persisting with a tricky step can be frustrating, but working on other ways to improve it along side regular practice is generally the best way forward.

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Tullula welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. I hope you have taken the opportunity to introduce yourself in the Welcome Forum. It would be lovely to know a bit about your journey in ballet.


As for cabriole, I suggest you study  it first at the height of 45 degrees facing the barre, only 1 cabriole. Once your supporting leg is stable and you are not dropping your working leg downward to achieve the cabriole, add a second cabriole. Work up to doing 4 in a row. Enough! Once you have this accomplished, take the movement into the centre. Battement tendu to the front in demi plié. On the 1st beat of the measure, simultaneously tombé forward and battement the working leg to arabesque to the height of 45 degrees, as you probably already know in a temps levé on one leg. As you take off, battement the supporting leg up to the working leg on the 1/2 beat, land 2. Hold the arabesque 3 and 4. Close two legs together straightening the supporting leg, 1 & 2, opening the front leg forward through sur le cou de pied to toes pointed to the floor, 3 & 4. I suggest you do this "centre learning" exercise facing the mirror, then facing the walls to your side and finally on diagonal. Once this is accomplished well, put this movement into a combination. Only after you can do cabriole at 45 degrees will you be able to approach the movement at 90 degrees. At 90 degrees, go back to the barre and begin the process anew!

Words of wisdom, you must take precaution to align your supporting knee correctly over the toes on the landing or you could have real problems. Also the take off of the supporting leg upward to meet the working leg in the air must be led upward by the pinky toe and downward with the heel of the leg or you will totally turn in! 🥴

All the best to you.☺️

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Thank you so much for the wonderful detailed information.  I will be following these steps carefully.  

Edited by ascballerina
Removed quote of post immediately above
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