“Dance possesses all the divine properties of intellect”, by Cem Catbas.


Why turn-out?

The answer came from watching a high jumper who jumped the highest backwards.
In a world where every creature which lives on land anatomically bends their knees in the opposite direction of the intended jump; why turn-out?
For two reasons:
1. Turn-out eases the jump upwards from two legs since they both bend outwards. With it, every dancer who wants to do a highest jump in any direction will have the push needed.
2. Classical Ballet pirouette and sissonne-simple are both executed with a knee to the side; therefore turning out provides the best preparation for a jump or turn with one or two legs on sur-le-coup-de-pied or grand-retiré.


Sur le cou-de-pied (also en avant and en arrière)

Literally, it means “on the neck of the foot”.  The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle, with the heel of the working placed in front of the leg, while the toes point to the back.  The instep (le cou-de-pied in French) of the working foot “hugs” the lower leg and is stopped by both heels on both sides (up and down).  On the accent en avant (in front), the heel of the working leg is placed in front of the leg with the toes pointing to the back.  On the accent en arrière (back), the heel of the working leg is placed behind the leg with the toes pointing to the back.




Literally it means “over-under” when a dancer rises up onto pointe or three-quarter pointe (relevé) with the toes touching the other foot’s toes and the heel touching the other heel, crossed in a particularly tight fifth position.  It is the foundation of every beat in the air.  Sus-sous is believed to be a term of the Cecchetti school.



Sabre-saut (Saber-jump)

A term of the Russian and French schools indicating sus-sous in the air like a shape of a slightly bent saber sword.  It is a sudden spring or jump from both feet (with the possibility of traveling) during which the legs are crossed in a particularly tight fifth position landing on both feet in the same position as they started.



Sissonne-simple (Simple-sissonne)

It is a jump done from two feet landing onto one foot in sur le cou-de-pied en avant or en arrière.



Changement (Entre-chat-deux in Cecchetti Style)

Literally it means “changing”, a jump in which the feet change positions in the air.  For instance, begin in fifth position with the right foot in front, plié (bend the knees) and jump, switch the right to the back, and land with the left foot in front onto fifth position.  The term petit-changement-de-pieds would mean smaller changement where the feet barely leave the floor.




In essence it is sabre-saut and  sissonne done together.  It is a royale jump if after beating with a sabre-saut in the air, the legs are opened before landing onto either two or one leg.




A step of beating in which the dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses slightly bent legs before and behind making it a movement in between sabre-saut and saut-de-chat.  Although Cecchetti changement is still executed in this manner, for any other beat that still carries the entre-chat term such as entre-chat-quatre (the legs change direction twice), the legs are kept straight in the air.  Even numbers end to fifth position, odd numbers end to sur le cou-de-pied in front or back.




Literally, it means “the jump of the cat”.  The dancer while in mid-air, bends both legs up (two retirés) bringing the feet up as high as possible, with knees apart sideways forming a diamond shape.