One More Weird Trick That Will Shock You When You See What Happens

(OMG CLICKBAIT!!!)

Wednesday evening, Señor BeastMode gave us a really useful note for improving our turns.

It goes like this:

Before your free foot leaves the ground, rotate the heel forward.

Before your free foot (the one that gets pulled up to passé) leaves the ground, rotate the heel forward. (This works from 5th as well, but I thought that would make a very cluttered diagram.)

That’s all. Simples! Basic ballet technique, amirite?

…Only, it would seem that I wasn’t really doing it before—because as soon as I added that in consciously, my en dehors turn improved shockingly. It wasn’t bad before, really, but this detail makes for reliable, clean, controlled turns.

Also makes en dedans, already my stronger turn, even nicer.

In the diagram, I’ve drawn both rotation arrows for clarity, but you probably won’t have to think about the supporting leg (that’s the front leg, except when you’re turning from 2nd and everything gets kind of ambiguous). If you don’t keep rotating the front leg, you’ll wind up with some kind of crazy jazz turn.

If you do have to actively think about rotation of the front leg, think about rotating both heels forward as you launch.

In short, this approach makes you skip the weird bit where the free leg doesn’t have clear instructions beyond “open the knee; passé” and can become wibbly as it leaves the ground. It also forces you to actively engage all the turnout muscles.

You’re welcome.

Mmmh … tender, flaky rotation…

This approach worked well enough that BW was actually impressed with my turns last night. Coincidentally, it also helps with passé balances that don’t turn, even from fifth.

Next up: brisées demystified, if not quite rendered easy-brisée easy-brizayzay easy-breezy.

Like, seriously, after a lifetime of being horribly confused about brisées, I can now do them devant & derrière, closing to 5th or to coupé, thanks to BW’s explanation (and to the fact that he made us do literally a million … okay, literally at least 36 brizayzays at each of our most recent classes).

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2018/03/23, in balllet, technical notes, uggghhh...technique and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. NOTED. hopefully not where I noted RP’s point about “shoulder under chin!”, because I didn’t remember that in class last night until walking down the street to the tube.

    • Ugh, I know that feeling. I keep doing that with thoughts about pulling up instead of back, etc.

      I hope this one will lodge in a more convenient spot!

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