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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How to do sous-sous


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I was wondering about the sous-sous. When doing a sous-sous should you move with your working leg no matter if it is in front or behind the standing one? Do you come back from a sous sous in the same way as you got there? That is: use the same leg as working leg even though the next step in the combination would be using the other leg as working leg.

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Suzie, since a sous-sus is simply a relevé in 5th position, there is no "working leg", as they both work equally. You spring to pointe using both legs coming together underneath you, and return to plié the same way. :D (I believe the French and Russian school spell it sus-sous, and the Cecchetti school sous-sus. It means over-under, or under-over.)

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Thanks for the correction of my spelling!!

In class we had to do something called sou-sous in demi-pointe and close so that one heel would be in front of the other by "dragging"/"sliding" the working leg and we also went down by sliding the working foot down. At least that's how I thought the movement should be done. Weird? Or is it only a difference in style?


Woops! It seems as I misspelled the sous-sus again!!! :D sorry!!!

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No, Suzie, I think it's just another way of doing it, more of an "elevé" than a "relevé" action. Did you go up from a demi plié and back to a demi plié?

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I think I've taught always to move ("slide") the front foot to close the fifth - at least in elevé (it that's rising to demi-point from straight legs and not from plié), and I think in relevé from plié too. Yet another style? Both my (Vaganova based) teachers have taught it this way. Though they've never used the term sous-sus, so it might be I'm thinking of a different thing altogether...

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Guest Pamela Moberg

Hi Susanne!

Nice to have another Swede on the board! I have not actually noticed you until tonight. Couldn't find your e-mail though...

Would be nice to get in touch.


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only half my brain seems to be working at the moment, so i can only supply half an answer here! i do not honestly understand your initial question - but i CAN add to what ms. leigh says - that, in cecchetti, a sous-sus is a releve which TRAVELS!


if this is what you are asking about, you try to releve with two feet TOGETHER, and shunt forward at the SAME time, and close both feet (down on the spot - no travel back again!!) at the same time.


does that help? :D

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I think the way that I've been taught to do the sous-sus is the same as Jaana i e not "popping" the two feet together. But we've only done the sous-sus in elevé. That's maybe the answer to my question? But how do I come down from that? And I'm pretty sure that we didn't move our both feet in the same time. I think I'm going to ask my teacher in class tomorrow :)


Pamela: I'm really not allowed to do so many things on this board since I'm only a new member. (Like sending private messages and stuff.) I don't really want to display my e-mail address here.;)

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I know 2 methods to do it. The first one, in the French method (the sous-sus) is a releve action with both legs sucking themselves under you. The releve is not a popping-up, but more a 'swish' underneath you (both ###### of the feet in 5th move towards the centre of your balance).


In RAD method, when you do a relevé on both feet (it's not called a sous-sus) then the front foot slides to join the back foot, whatever foot is at the front, and whatever comes next (usually plié or down on straight knees). :P


Et voila, ladies! Nothing is wrong, everything is possible ;)


Oh, and I forgot to mention that to come down again (from the 5th releve action) in RAD, you 'swish' the same foot (front foot) back down, leading with the tip of the foot, to provide turnout. The same applies on pointes of course, also the rolling down is more difficult to achieve without jurking action! :o

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Guest Pamela Moberg

Yes, I know the rules.

But you can get in touch with me - if you want to - via my homepage:-

Classical Ballet: Past and Present.

Any search engine will have it.

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