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Pointe-less

Advice on jumping technique and elevation

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Morning all, I’m hoping someone will be able to understand what I’m trying to explain and then offer some advice or ideas to try, here goes....

My DD is 12 And hasn’t been dancing all that long but over the last couple of months the teachers have been working with her a lot on techniques to help with her elevation and we have noticed that she runs, jumps, leaps etc very flat footed, as in lands things on a flat foot (almost heel first actually) she doesn’t land on the ball of her foot and control the landing down through the foot, she just slaps the whole foot down. This technique in turn hinders her ability to get any decent elevation in her jumps as she looses a lot of power in the run/skip upto a leap. Even doing exam work and doing repetitive little jumps (I’m a naff dance mom and don’t know terms!!) she jumps, lands flat, jumps, lands flat.....so she looses the “spring” that working through your foot would give you. Plus she sounds like a hippopotamus dancing (her words) as she lands everything by slamming into the floor with her whole foot, which worries me about damaging her legs and knees as there is no cushioning, I can land jumps quieter than her and I’m no dancer!! I was trying to explain to her how to land the other night and we stood next to one another and just bounced on the spot, I hardly had my heels touch the floor as you tend to just go up and down on the ball of your foot and was virtually silent but she slaps her feet down meaning she was slow, loud and not very graceful 🤪 

Just wondering if anyone has had similar issues and can offer tips or advice really, and I hope I’ve explained myself okay and not just waffled on 🤣 Thank you so much.

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AFAIK, the key to soft landing is to work through the feet. Land on your toes and slowly lower the heels and demi-plies. On of my teachers once compared it to when a bus pulls up at a stop and the suspension goes pssssst and slowly lowers so that older people can get on easier.

 

I think it was Merce Cunningham (a renowned jumper) who said the plie is key to everything. He had a very deep plie and he could really take off. Unfortunately, we're not all blessed with ballet legs. You have to make do with what you've been issued. Concentrate on the basic techniques (turnout, pointed toes, etc) and the rest seems to sort itself out.

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Has your daughter watched the movie Ballerina? There's a scene where the main character has to learn to jump in a puddle without making a splash and she watches a feather land softly so she learns to go through her feet to do the same.

 

Video - 

 

Edited by balletgremlin
Found the video
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11 hours ago, balletgremlin said:

Has your daughter watched the movie Ballerina? There's a scene where the main character has to learn to jump in a puddle without making a splash and she watches a feather land softly so she learns to go through her feet to do the same.

 

Video - 

 

 

I remember watching that with DD and thinking how good that bit was! 

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Not sure if boy technique is relevant but I know when DS was struggling with height in his jump his teacher made him do extra releves rather than extra plies. At one point he was doing a 100 a day in his room leaning against the wall.. and added about 2 feet to the height of his take off.. he realised through this that the jump takes off from feet and calves as much as thighs (I think previously he was trying to get all the spring from his thigh muscles). He now has calves like ....um.... a bolshoi dancer... ha ha. 

 

Edited to add - I realise your question was about landing but the other issue DS has noted is that the less height in the jump the faster he hits the floor and thus the less prepared he is to land lightly. Also maybe lots of releves will make her more accustomed to being on the balls of her feet instead of the flats....

Edited by CeliB
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