Top 10 Tips For Improving Your Fouettés
Ah, fouetté turns: They can make even a veteran ballerina shake in her pointe shoes. Performing a seamless series of perfectly placed fouettés requires both strength and finesse. Struggling to get to 32? Dance instructor Stephanie Kaiser Green from Eleanor's School of Dance and other studios in Albany, NY, told us her 10 best tips for improving fouettés.
Close Your Ribs
During fouetté sequences, "many dancers let their ribs splay open in front," Green says, which throws off their alignment. "I tell them to think about wearing a corset, so their rib cage stays closed."
It's important to keep your body straight up and down in any turn, but especially while you're doing fouettés. Imagine a pole running down the center of your body, from the top of your head through your supporting leg and foot.
Rotate Your Hips
Achieving a clean second position during a fouetté is impossible if your turnout isn't coming from the hip. "If you think about rotating from deep within your hip, and focus on drawing the heel of the working leg forward, you'll engage correctly through your hamstring instead of gripping your quad," Green says.
Don't Hyperextend Your Arms
With most of the focus on your lower half, it's easy to neglect your arms during fouettés. "Many dancers hyperextend their arms in the back, swinging them behind their torso every time they plié," Green says. "Then they have a lot more to pull back in as they relevé."
Use Your Peripheral Vision
To make sure your arms and working leg are hitting the correct position each turn, Green advises using your peripheral vision. "Even when they open in second, the arms and working leg should stay a little bit in front of you," she says, which will help you stay on your leg.
Properly placed arms will also help you gain momentum during fouettés. "Think about pulling your supporting side arm in quickly," Green recommends, which will bring your body around with more force and ease the burden on your legs.
Work on Your Balance—Everywhere
One of the keys to perfect fouettés is great balance, something that's only achievable through practice. Green suggests practicing constantly, whether you're warming up before class or in line at Starbucks. Rise to relevé on one leg, focusing on holding the balance, with good turnout, for as long as you can. Then switch legs.
Take a Pilates Class
Green is a huge fan of pilates. It's great for strengthening your center, which is essential for turning. "Pilates is focused on core training, so any Pilates exercise is going to be good for your turns in general," Green says.
Build Your Strength
Being able to survive 32 fouettés is as much about strength as it is about technique. Here's Green's go-to exercise for building fouetté-specific strength: Stand by a wall with your right leg in second. Plié deeply and then stretch up through relevé. Do 15 reps, and then repeat to the other side.
Don't Lose Your Spot
Never. Stop. Spotting. 'Nuff said.
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
Turnout—a combination of rotational flexibility and the strength to properly hold that rotation—is the foundation of ballet. But it's also a source of frustration for many dancers. After all, not everyone (actually, hardly anyone) is born with 180-degree rotation. “When I first started dancing, my hip flexors were strong, but I was forcing my turnout without using the right muscles," remembers Amanda Cobb, a former dancer with The Washington Ballet.
The good news is that it's possible to both improve your turnout and to dance beautifully with less-than-perfect rotation. But there's a lot of misinformation out there about how turnout works and why it's important. To help separate fact from fiction, DS asked the experts to disprove six turnout myths.
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Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
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DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.