I’m driving home after taking an hour long walk with my Dog and Husband at the biggest off leash dog park that we have here.
I was reading Rheumatic Princesses blog, like you should, to wrap myself in her wonderful vocabulary and profound imagery (not being sarcastic) and be a breath of what’s new in her ballet world.
She started talking about allegro- jumps. Petite at that. So small jumps.
Being a “jumper”, proudly exclaimed by mentor… I shall share a few quick tips on how to get better at jumps and what basketball has to do with it.
I took ballet. Then later in my young life (13) I took basketball. They have similar maneuvers and principals, so it works!
• your feet need to be under you. Your balanced weight must shift immediately to launch yourself to your height. That means even if your leg looks askance, your now balancing your weight on one leg and you can maneuver the other leg with your muscles. This is prime for jetés. OR if you’re doing a sissoné, your weight must be over both feet. You launch with both feet.
• your weight must be on the balls of your feet. In basketball we are taught to always stay on the balls of our feet. If we plant our heels it kills our momentum and you must always be ready for change. This is also a Balanchine method. Say you’re going from a glissade to an assemble to a jete. You don’t want to kill your momentum and use excessive energy after planting your heels between movements. Besides you want it to look quick, effortless, and ethereal. In basketball, if you plant your heels firmly to the ground the only option you have left is to pivot and pass the ball. Essentially you’ve become useless (not really, but in ballet sense work with me here!)- don’t become useless! Stay on the balls of your feet!!
• Use your toes. Your toes are the last thing to leave the floor and the first thing to touch when you come back down from your jump. If your making a free throw, if you get good height in your jump you dot have to aim a large arch to get it into the hoop. Or if you have a lay up shot getting a high jump using your toes to launch you will make a more successful shot to get over your opponents waving arms. The stronger your toes from degages and tendus you will have beautiful jumps.
• Plié. Before and after. The deeper the plié the higher the jump. The deeper the plié the lighter the landing – unless you are doing an immediate jump afterwords you want a more moderate plié- but you cannot skip your plié. All jumps start and end in plié.
• Hold your back. Roll your shoulders back, push your shoulder blades down. Hold your arms, like flex them! If you’re holding your arm in second, no one should be able to come up to you and push your arm down, you’re holding it up! Flex your ab core. Pull your abs as far as possible to your spine without holding your breath in.
• Don’t stick out your butt in basketball that’s okay.
• jumps go up not out unless choreographed to.
Let me know if any of these work for you guys or if you have questions.