The fouetté- to whip. This is commonly referred to as the trick of all tricks for ballet. It you can master this “trick” it is easily a great way to win over a crowd or audience. If you have no idea what I am talking about, refer to the video of me demonstrating fouetté turns. Essentially, fouetté turns are relevés on one foot. If you can not already do one footed relevés in the center without wobbling or falling out of it, then I would suggest you perfect that before moving on to the fouetté turns.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: how do you do a fouetté turn? If you break down this turn, you will see that your leg is going front, side, and then passe. The goal is to make sure that you really utilize the side. Think of the side position as your home base – a lot of times dancers will forget about their second position which consequently makes them fall out of their turn. The reasoning behind this is that the dancer is putting way too much force into the turn and not having a home base to check their force and balance. Also, remember to think of your standing leg when executing the turn. In reTURN, the turn will be balanced/grounded into the floor. If the dancer thinks of the working leg (the leg going front, side, and passe) as the key to a good turn, the turn will pick up unnecessary momentum that will cause the dancer to fall out of their turn. In addition, the dancer will start turning with the working leg rather than being balanced/ grounded into the floor.
Here is a quick list to consider when trying to conquer fouetté turns:
- If you can’t relevé on one foot, you can’t turn on one foot
- Make sure your hips are leveled- no hula hoop hips
- Make sure you don’t leave out the side position: Home Base
- The arms and legs should coordinate – move at the same time
- Keep your chest up when doing your turn- remember to stay confident. I like to think that I am wearing a diamond necklace.
EXERCISE: At the barre go front, side, and passe as I mentioned before. When you go to the passe position you can either go to relevé OR incorporate a turn. When you feel comfortable enough, perform this exercise in the center.
Now that you are knowledgeable about how to do a fouetté turn, I think it is time to meet its sister: the Italian fouetté turn.
Here are a list steps to be able to achieve an Italian Fouetté turn:
- First, brush delevopé ecarté devant (front) your working leg through first position finishing in attitude back croisé.
- Do this motion as I mentioned above and turn/whip it around. Think of your alignment, getting your shoulders around (using your back) and having a strong spot.
IDA classes emphasize proper technique and discipline.
Institute of Dance Artistry offers ballet classes for all levels and ages, beginner to advanced. IDA students are encouraged to take ballet to build a strong foundation for all styles of dance. IDA’s Summer Ballet Intensive offers in-depth ballet training for dancers looking to improve and strengthen their ballet technique. Learn more about summer intensives at Institute of Dance Artistry.