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better jumps


Guest dancerwannabe

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Guest dancerwannabe

Anyone have some good things to do to work some inner thigh and plie strength for jumps. I'd like my jumps to be higher and more controlled looking.. Mine sort of look like some kind of idiotic bunny hop. I don't think we jump enough in class.. maybe one set of jumps twice through.. I feel like we should be doing more.. Any recommendations?

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More jumps!

I have nice height and nice plie on mine, but my feet are quite floppy. It would really be quite funny if it weren't so bad in appearance, LOL. I am try to work on those slowly, at the barre, that is what we were taught to do, use the barre to help us do them slowly to sort of break it down so we have a better understanding, but I am rambling, that isn't your problem.

 

Anyway to build strentgh it sounds like you just need to do it more. Jump at home some, maybe make jumps part of your warm up before stretching. Extra releves and eleves never hurt either. I try to do releves and elveves at work and around the house, when no one is looking, particularly in coupe position, so it is even more of a work out.

Good luck with it.

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Jumps, jumps and more jumps. I had one teacher who would drill us -- 32 sautes in first into 32 in second into 32 changements. It was brutal, but I was jumping pretty well in her class.

 

That, and a good plie. Plies helps get you up. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor in plie so you push off evenly. This hleps get you higher. And remember, part of the jump ot the illusion of floating. This comes from the head and port de bras. If your arms are right, you'll look like you went much higher than you really did.

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dancerwannabe, we should switch classes... We do horrendous amounts of jumps - I'd want us to do less and have more time for adagio in the center. :D

 

(No hints in this one, sorry. My jumps are tolerable, but through no specific virtue of my own.)

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Definitely not enough jumps in your classes, dancerwannabe. There should be three combinations of jumps: A two foot to two foot warm up jump; a petite allegro using basic steps like glissade, jeté, temps levé, assemblé, sissonne, pas de chat, ballonné, etc.; and a grand allegro using big jumps like grand jeté, grand fouetté sauté, grand jeté en tournant entrelacé, and saut de chat.

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And something to remember when doing any jumps - jump all the way through the foot, from the ankle, through the midfoot, past the metatarsal joint, and the final pushoff is from the toes. Coming back down is exactly the reverse. That way you get maximum benefit from your energy. But yes, indeed, more jumping is in order.

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Guest MountainDancer

Jumps were always my favorite part of ballet, and this helped me when I was a student, and is also what I do with my students now:

 

At the barre, after the regular degaje exercise, we then face the barre and do degajes in first position. I emphasize placement of hips and shoulders, speed, sharpness, and pushing through the floor (I tell them to scoop out a hole in the floor - like the tracks left in the sand underneath a swing) combined with using the inner thighs to control the pop of the foot off the floor in a quick, sharp, stretched point, reaching with the foot and holding it there for an instant (count being and 1, and 2, closing on "and"), before the inner thighs pull the leg back into first position. (My teacher called it "tweezing" the thighs.) Then in center, we practice reaching with and stretching the feet in the air during jumps, and tweezing the inner thighs.

 

This helped me learn to control the speed, power, and sharpness of my jumps and find that wonderful place I call "Air Ballet" where you hang out up there like Michael Jordan. :)

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I cannot add anything to the observations about jump control.

 

For strength and endurance (to build a base for elevation) my teachers have had us do long jump combinations - usually just sautes, changements and/or eschappes - at an uncomfortably slow pace.

Just fast enough that if I plie my deepest and jump my highest I can maintain the pace, but slow enough that when I get too tired and start to falter, I cannot "bounce" thorough the plie any more and my legs turn into lead in a second.

 

(Thankfully, the teachers usually call the exercise off soon after that - it is generally given as one of the "many times" exercises where we repeat until told to stop. :) )

 

Päivi

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Don't forget the torso! Sometimes the floppy look can come from forgetting to keep the stomach muscles engaged. While the power of the jump comes from the lower body, the prettiness of the jump comes from the upper body. Strong arms, clean port de bras and epaulé, and strength through the body trunk. Oh...and head positions, too! And expressions!

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