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Jazz - Beginners
New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By Canadiankilt Comments: 20, member since Wed Mar 04, 2009
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 03:53 AM

Hi guys,

I am starting jazz this year and i have to be in competitive (i have no choice. my studio's rec team SUCKS) The problem is that i have no flexibility WHAT SO EVER or any knowledge of the movements. can anyone tell me how to do a fouette turn, a proper grande jete and a leg grab?

and if anyone has any tips on getting their splits down that would be great :D

Thanks,
-Canadiankilt

6 Replies to New To Jazz NEED HELP!

re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 03:58 AM
Well...you won't and shouldn't be doing those moves if you are a beginner.

What types of dance have you done before, if any? Highland? (I'm guessing from your user name)
re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 06:02 AM
A Grand Jete is sort of like a run-run-leap but you need to make sure you sweep your front leg out straight from the floor and make sure your back leg goes out straight behind you, too. To learn the front sweeping motion, you first need to practice grand battements. You should do these only after you are warmed up. Go to the Website at
www.abt.org . . .
Then click on the links to:
Battement, grand
Jete, grand

This will give you videos demonstrating these moves. I know that's ballet and you are taking Jazz but the basic idea is the same.

Don't confuse the grand jete with the saut de chat. They are both leaps. In the saut de chat (not to be confused with the pas de chat) your front leg comes up bent first, then it developes out straight. Here's a Youtube video demonstrating it (though here they call it a "Straight Leap." You will be doing a lot of these saut de chat "straight leaps" in Jazz, too. Again, you need to make sure your back leg goes out straight behind you.
www.youtube.com . . .

As a beginner you won't yet get the height or the straight-out split that these demonstrators do but concentrate on straight legs and pointed toes.

I don't know what a "leg grab" is. Is it when you do a high kick and grab the leg when it is up there? If so, you again need to practice those grand battements to get the necessary height and strength while maintaining perfect posture.
Another link! www.youtube.com . . .

Get your teacher to help you to learn all these moves correctly. Actually I suggest that you take beginning ballet too because it should help you make faster progress in Jazz.

As for a fouette turn, Yikes! I've tried and tried for years and still can't do one. But I'm not especially talented in dance. A few people with unusually good balance and strength get them within a year. You need to practice rond de jambe en l'air to strengthen the necessary muscles.
www.youtube.com . . .

Also, simply work on getting good, strong, reliable pirouettes. Once you have that then you can add the fouette. Can you spot? That's necessary for any kind of turn. If turns in Highland use spotting then you have a head start (awful pun!).

As for splits, the best you can do is to stretch every, single day. You do need to warm up thoroughly first in order to make any progress. Try to work in both a morning session and and evening session. Unfortunately, how fast you can get more limber depends greatly on genetics. There's no way to rush it and if you push too hard you'll injure yourself.

I just found a Youtube link which shows the relationship between the grand battement and the grand jete.
www.youtube.com . . .
re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By Canadiankilt Comments: 20, member since Wed Mar 04, 2009
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 02:27 PM
@majere

I will be doing those moves because my teacher has put me into an intermediate tap and jazz class (i already take tap). and everyone other than me knows how to do those things. and I take highland, musical theatre and tap. and this year im adding jazz and ballet

@toroandbruin

Thank you very much! I will try all these. would you like me to post a picture of my grande jete once i get it? I am taking ballet this year so im sure it will help
re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 03:18 PM
Wait until you are in class to learn them. Do watch the videos etc. But do not attempt them on your own. You will, most likely, get the wring muscle memory if you learn it on your own.

Taking the other styles will help you pick up choreography better.


Fouettes are more of an advanced move than the other two. Definitely do not attempt this one by yourself.
re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By pols Comments: 879, member since Thu Apr 26, 2007
On Sun Aug 26, 2012 04:13 AM
Jeez, fouette turns with no ballet background? As you will understand once you start your ballet training this year, this is an EXTREMELY tall order (I am assuming here that fouette turns are the same in ballet and jazz).

Work on the basics first. When you start ballet, work on correct posture and placement, strong releves and correct passes. You'll do rond de jambe a terre and that will give you an idea of the leg placement for fouettes, although you will need to be able to do that en l'air (off the ground) while turning.

And as Majere has stated, please wait till you're into ballet before trying these moves.
re: New To Jazz NEED HELP!
By MissJamieSTPAC Comments: 76, member since Mon Jul 23, 2012
On Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:07 AM
I agree with the others. Watch videos and try to soak in information but do not try anything without your teacher. Getting some wrong in your muscle memory makes for a very long year for both you and your teacher.

Not to be rude, but I'm kinda in shock your learning fouette turns with no ballet experience. Like pols said, that will be a tall order to fill. First and foremost make sure you have the basics of a turn down before you try all these other more advance turns.

The best way to improve flexibility is stretch. Stretch while watching TV, stretch while laying in bed, stretch as much as you can.

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