January 2016 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Cabriole Fouetté and One-Legged Finishes

Photo by Becky Montalvo

Photo by Becky Montalvo

Cabriole Fouetté and One-Legged Finishes

By David Arce

Tip 1
There are two ways to do a grand cabriole fouetté sauté landing in arabesque, and the beginning of the jump is identical for both: a 90-degree battement devant upon takeoff. The dancer can either cabriole the leg devant, then fouetté and land in arabesque; or (the more advanced version) fouetté, then cabriole in arabesque before landing.

Make sure to specify and include both versions in class, and don’t allow students to cabriole in à la seconde in the air (a common mistake at any level). Teach double cabrioles only after students master both versions.

Tip 2
It’s critical for advanced students to be able to finish pirouettes en dehors in positions other than fourth-position lunge or fifth position. One-legged finishes, such as soutenu attitude derrière or devant, showcase a dancer’s balance, control, and strength.

Try the following combination to practice finishing pirouettes en dehors on one leg and keeping the hips square and neutral throughout. Make sure the tempo is slow enough to allow for controlled finishes.

On the diagonal: tombé pas de bourrée to fourth-position preparation, pirouette en dehors—finish in fourth-position lunge. Repeat—finish in effacé soutenu attitude derrière. Repeat—finish in effacé soutenu développé devant. Piqué effacé in first arabesque, cloche to fourth-position lunge, pirouette en dehors—finish in fourth-position lunge.


David Arce is artistic director of Juline Regional Youth Ballet and a teacher at Juline School of Dance in Modesto, California. He trained at Ballet Yuma and San Francisco Ballet School and danced 12 seasons with SF Ballet.