Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

What makes beating difficult to master?
By Storm_Trouper
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 03:06 AM

Can anyone try to explain from a biomechanical or kineseological perspective what it is about beating (entrechats) that makes it such a difficult technique to master.

For example, is it difficult because untrained persons are not used to using their adductors and abductors so quickly in alternate succession, because its such an unnatural sort of a movement?

7 Replies to What makes beating difficult to master?

re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By ballerina_bella1
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 06:07 AM
I have no proven scientific evidence to back this up, but I always thought it was hard because people aren't used to intentionally moving while in the air for split seconds.
Every other ballet step, you simply bounce up, hold a pose, and land. In enchants, royales, cabriolles, enchesixes, etc., you must quickly fly into the air, and then make your legs move back and forth in a very precise way.
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By Kittydoodles
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 06:49 AM
Edited by Kittydoodles (269987) on 2015-06-18 06:50:41 Autocorrect issues
I think it's a matter of a person's brain not being able to process these split-second movements very easily, especially when it involves opposite limbs. I suppose it's a sort of "pat your head, rub your stomach" type of scenario.
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By hummingbird
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 08:33 AM
I find it's how a lot of people visualize the step that causes the problems. A lot of dancers I speak to think about it as the legs going round each other in the air. Ok, in practice that is what happens but this is one of those steps where we should think about the legs moving in straight line, like an arrow head or the top of a triangle.

To also think more about the cross rather than the opening, dancers tend to have stronger abductors (because of all that lateral rotation and just about every step other than beats involving abduction) and because of this we don't have to be so conscious of abductor movements.
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By Storm_Trouper
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 01:39 PM
Adducting (and quickly too) doesn't seem very natural, does it?!

So I have heard about 'drills' like lying on your back with both legs raised vertically, toes pointed skyward and beating.

Then I went to a class where we faced the barre in second en demi pointe and had to close fifth en rélevé sorta, but more like closing en rélevé from a tendu 2nd so with much weight on the supporting leg, and we had to bounce our calves together. This meant I had to accelerate and fast twitch(?) the tendu'd leg adducting towards my supporting leg in making it bounce, developing speedier inward adductions on that leg I guess. Then switched sides / legs.

Anybody know any good cues or visualizations for closing? (Or is this material already well covered in a pinned post about beating?)
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 06:06 PM
I think part of it is mental. Beats are hard, and they look hard too, and you have an extremely narrow window of air time to do them, so a lot of dancers get nervous and freak out a bit when they get to the bit of the combo that has the beat. Kinda like me when I turn...

Relaxing a bit and not worrying so much can help, but you don't want to relax too much, a lot goes into doing it correctly!
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By Elindranythmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jun 21, 2015 01:12 PM
I always feel like my issue with beats is that I don't feel my jumps are very high so I have less time to complete the beats
re: What makes beating difficult to master?
By hummingbird
On Sun Jun 21, 2015 01:25 PM
Beats should be terre a terre, near the ground, that way they're faster and look even more difficult.

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