Improving Beats

Hi everybody!  Today’s blog post and video is all about improving your batteriere or beats.  I’m excited to be telling you about this because it is one of my strengths and I have some great advice to offer to you.  So, here we go!


Batteriere basics

Batteriere can completely change the focus of a step.  It can turn a basic transition step into a crazy trick.  It can also completely change the need for elevation in your jump.  Let’s talk a bit about the components you will need to turn a basic step into a batteriere step.

I. Elevation.  You need time to beat your legs when you’re in the air.  If you’re jump is low, you simply won’t have enough time to cross your legs before you land.

II. Turnout.  If your legs are turned in, it will be virtually impossible to cross your legs in time before the landing.  Mistakes will occur when your heels are in the way of the jump.

The goal of a batteriere step is to have the largest and most beats with the highest jump in the shortest amount of time.  This goal has four components, so let’s reiterate them here:

  • Highest jump
  • Largest beats
  • Most beats
  • Quickly

Now, let’s go through each of these goals and discuss how you can achieve them.  (We talk about why it’s so important to break things down in my blog post about my Tips For the Overwhelmed.  Read it here.)

Jumping high

This goes with the basic component of elevation.  If you simply can’t jump high enough, you will never have time to complete the beat in the given amount of time.  In order to jump high, you will need a fantastic plié.  Let’s talk about what a good plié entails:

  • Resistance.  Lift up as you go down and push down as you stretch upwards (your jump).  This will help you get enough power in the plié instead of just “going through the motions.”
  • Articulation of the feet.  It’s vital that you use all of the power and strength in your feet to push through the floor and point fully as you spring upwards.  The more foot strength you have, the better.
  • Collectiveness throughout your entire body.  It takes coordination and combined power to create a great jump.  You need your entire body lifting upwards to jump high, not just your shoulders or chest.  Think of your pelvis moving upwards through the air.

Check out my Grand Jeté and Petite Allegro blog posts for more information.

Large & more beats

I’ve put these two in one section because they go hand in hand.  The quicker your legs are, the larger and more beats you can achieve.  This quickness means that you must have no “interruptions” with the path of your legs.  These road-blocks are most commonly your heels.  You can prevent this by using your turnout.

One of my favorite exercises to do for maintaining turnout in your beats is to lie on your back and extend your legs up at 90 degrees, straight overhead.  From there, I rotate my legs and practice entrechats, squeezing my turnout and inner thighs and hiding my heels.

Another factor for getting quicker beats is where you beat from.  If you think of beating your feet, you’re going to end up getting stuck and the beats won’t be large enough.  Beating your inner thighs works much better.

jumpingjif.gif


Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post.  I hope you enjoyed it and it helps you tremendously.  Make sure to check back at gouletballet.com for a new blog post on Friday.

I hope everybody is enjoying the new updated blog design!  I hope it is much easier to navigate and the new updates will improve the quality of my posts for you.  Stay tuned for more new things coming in the future.

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