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I have a question about beats in jumps - when typically are they introduced into the syllabus?


We never worked on beats in my beginning classes - understandable, I think, since you're just learning basic steps then. When I started taking advanced beginner the teacher would say "ok - some of you should be doing beats". He would demonstrate if we asked, but I never recall a class where he said, for example, "today we are going work on jeté battu". In my intermediate classes it's the same deal. It's expected that you should be doing (or trying) them. But it really only gets broken down for us if someone asks.


So at what point should you be learning the mechanics of beats in jumps? And once you've learned, is it just expected that you always do them? It's something that I would like to spend more time on!

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Hi Boots



Normally, petit allegro/beats or small jumps should be introduced in the beginning ballet classes depending on how long you take those for. Your basic saubresaut, changement and entrechat are the basic beginner beats, along with jetés, sissone ordinaire, assemblés and petit jetés.

I would expect these to be introduced quite early on in beginner classes, as the order of the class basically goes ..barre, adagio, allegro, grande allegro, pettit allegro. If the teacher is doing a class from the start this way then, petit allegro steps should be introduced. However, most adult ballet beginner classes don't follow that so much.

But I would expect the teacher to be teaching the point of pliés, and using that to learn how to jump and beat.

And yes, once you've learned them they get incorporated into your dance vocabulary, so when a teacher gives a enchainement with an entrechat in, then you should be able to execute it.


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Xena, I'm going to respectfully disagree a bit here. Adult beginner classes, which generally meet once or twice a week at best, should not be doing beats. Most students at this level have not learned all the basic petit allegro steps yet, much less adding beats to them. I would expect Intermediate level students to be ready to learn or do beats, but they should certainly be shown HOW to do them for each type of beat. They are generally introduced from an open position, ie, second, with a beat closing from an échappé sauté. The student must be taught at some point in the training HOW the legs beat, and how to make the rotation work and keep the knees straight, etc.

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But if we consider a changement a beat (entrechat deux?), then maybe....;)

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Sorry Major J., I don't consider anything a beat unless the legs have to cross and hit each other! ;)

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A changement with a beat is a Changement Royale :)

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Just to play devil--- ;) I think the Major is referring to a "Balanchine" type of changement where you make the changed fifth on the way up - thus crossing the legs versus the traditional way of passing through first and changing on the way down. Of course being a Major, Mel has the training and ammunition necessary to continue this on his own and I will bow out.

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Actually, what is going on here is a little Remembrance of Times Past without the madeleines. I went through a "sink or swim" period where I was tossed into an advanced class way ahead of time in hopes that I would catch on. My teacher, Mrs. Toon, decided she'd give me a "hurry-up" on beats, so she started asking for changements that would change only on the way down, then only on the way up, then showing the soubresaut at the start, a sort of demi-seconde in the middle, then a close to a soubresaut at the end, and then land! All stop-action! And yes, she had been Balanchine-trained - when SAB was down on Madison Avenue!:)

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