Improving Petite Allegro

Hi everybody!  Today we will discuss a technique tip for improving petite allegro.

Your Corrections

During petite allegro, you usually get corrections such as:

  • Faster!  “________, you’re behind the music!”
  • Keep going!  Don’t give up!
  • Show both feet in the air during the glissade.
  • Show the position in the air before you land during jetés.
  • Show the sous sus in assemblé.
  • Please comment below so that I can add to this list!

These corrections are good ones, don’t get me wrong, but it’s important that we dig deeper and determine “how” actually to apply these corrections safely and with correct placement.  Let’s dive into it.

The Muscles

Now, let’s describe the muscles that you use in basic petite allegro steps as well as specific steps such as glissade, jeté, and assemblé.  Later, I will be doing a technique tip about beats such as entrechats, royales, and any petite allegro steps with battus.

General Petite Allegro & Jumps

Glissades

In glissades, you need muscles called your hip abductors to get your legs moving out quickly.  Here they are:

hipabductors
These are your hip abductors. They are used to move the leg outwards. They are very necessary in glissades to help get the legs moving outward quickly.

Again, the hip abductors include the gluteus medius/minimus and the tensor fascia latae.  You just have to make sure that these muscles aren’t overdeveloped.

Jeté

The same goes for jeté as it did for glissade, but only for the leg that brushes 1st.  The leg that goes to coupé needs the adductors to bring it in.  Here are the adductors (inner thighs):

adductors
These are the adductors, specifically known to dancers as the inner thighs. These are used in your coupé leg during jeté to help bring it in quickly and efficiently.

Assemblé

In this step, you will need both your abductors and your adductors!  They are both listed above.  Here is the order:

  1. Use your abductors to brush your leg outward.
  2. Use your adductors on the other leg to bring it in toward the previously brushed leg (grand assemblé).  Use your adductors on your brushed leg to bring it back in to the non-brushed leg (petite assemblé).

New Corrections

Now, let’s examine each of the corrections that you repeatedly get about these petite allegro steps and fix them:

How can I stay on the music?

This can be answered in two ways:

  1. Think “down.”  When a petite allegro is really fast and you need to keep moving, think “down” rather than “up.”
  2. Use the appropriate muscles directly and think about engaging them to get your legs to move quickly, efficiently, and correctly.  Go back up to our Muscles section and visualize each of those muscles when you try petite allegro.

How can I stay with the music and keep jumping without getting exhausted?

Conditioning is the answer to that!  See the Cardio section of my All About Conditioning post.  If you do those exercises every day, your jumps and stamina will vastly improve.

How can I show both feet in the air during glissade?

By using your abductors.  These muscles will get your legs to go outward and quickly, therefore allowing you to show the position!

How can I show the position in the air before I land during jetés?

By using your abductors on your brushing leg to get it out quickly, and especially using your adductors on your non-brushing leg to get it quickly to the coupé so that you can really show the position.

How can I show the sous sus in assemblé?

By using your abductors on your brushing leg and, depending on which type of assemblé you’re doing, your adductors to bring the leg in so that you can assemble quickly and efficiently.


Thank you so much for reading today’s article.  Don’t forget to comment other corrections you get and any questions you have down below.

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