Hello Bunheads! I’m Rebekah, otherwise known as The Ballet Doctor, and you’re go-to for the best technique, cross-training and nutrition tips for dancers! Today I’m going to be talking to you about how you can improve your jumps, in particular your changement battu and entrechat!
So what makes a good entrechat or changement battu? Well, aside from the standard pointed toes and steady arms (YAWN), the key to a stunning entrechat or changement battu is keeping your calves and ankles as close together as possible when you change feet during the jump!
When I’m working with young dancers, I see a lot of students ‘scissoring’ their legs in these jumps instead of keeping them close together! Not only is this poor technique, but it also looks kind of awful…
Luckily, we can use visualisation to help up fix this! The next time you perform an entrechat or changement battu, I want you to imagine that you’re sucking your legs up into a small, circular drainpipe.
You’re going to change feet inside the drainpipe, however because the drainpipe is super narrow, you’re forced to keep your legs and ankles close together. In other words, there isn’t enough room inside the drainpipe for you to scissor your legs!
If you find that you’re really struggling to keep your legs close together as you change feet, you may be lacking some strength in your adductors!
Our adductor muscles are located around our inner thighs, and they pull our legs back together from an open position.
During entrechat and changement battu, we need to engage our adductor muscles to keep our inner thighs close together as we change feet!
There are loads of exercises you can do to strengthen your adductors, a couple of my all-time faves include copenhagen planks and inner thigh lifts…
Now these are pretty advanced and are probably going to give you a serious inner thigh burn, however, they’re also super effective for improving strength in our adductor muscles…
Step 1) Start in a side plank position, resting on your right forearm.
Step 2) Position a bench or sturdy chair at your feet. Rest your left (upper) foot on the bench. It should be at a height where your left foot is in line with the left hip and left shoulder.
Step 3) Lift your right leg up so that it is touching the underneath of the bench and hold this position for 30 seconds!
Step 1) Lie down on your right side with your left knee bent and your left foot placed on the floor. Your right leg should be extended.
Step 2) Using your left leg for stability, lift your right leg up off the floor keeping it straight.
Step 3) Lower your right leg and repeat.
And that’s it! You’re now well on your way to some stunning entrechat and changement battu!
For more technique tips like this one, head over to @theballetdoctor on Instagram, or check out my blog www.theballetdoctor.com!
See you later, Bunheads! xx