Sous-sus – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Techniques Glossary

I. What is a Sous-sus in dance?

A Sous-sus is a classical ballet term that refers to a movement where a dancer springs onto the tips of their toes, bringing their legs together in fifth position, with the heels lifted off the ground. The term “Sous-sus” translates to “under-over” in French, which accurately describes the action of the movement. This step is commonly used in ballet and other dance styles to transition between movements or to create a moment of suspension and control.

II. How is a Sous-sus executed?

To execute a Sous-sus correctly, a dancer must start in a demi-pliƩ (half bend) in fifth position with the arms in a rounded position in front of the body. As the dancer pushes off the floor, they rise onto the balls of their feet, bringing the heels together and lifting them off the ground. The legs should be fully stretched and turned out, with the knees and toes pointing in the same direction. The arms should remain rounded and lifted, creating a sense of lightness and elevation.

III. What is the purpose of a Sous-sus in dance technique?

The Sous-sus is a fundamental movement in dance technique that helps dancers develop strength, control, and balance. It is often used as a transitional step between movements, allowing dancers to change direction or shift their weight gracefully. The Sous-sus also helps dancers develop the ability to jump and land softly, as well as improve their overall alignment and posture.

IV. What are common variations of Sous-sus in different dance styles?

While the Sous-sus is most commonly associated with classical ballet, it can also be found in other dance styles such as contemporary, jazz, and modern dance. In these styles, the Sous-sus may be executed with different arm positions, dynamics, or stylistic variations to fit the choreography. For example, in contemporary dance, the Sous-sus may be performed with a more fluid and organic quality, while in jazz dance, it may be executed with sharp and dynamic movements.

V. How can dancers improve their Sous-sus technique?

To improve their Sous-sus technique, dancers can focus on strengthening their feet, ankles, and legs through exercises such as releves, tendus, and jumps. It is also important for dancers to work on their alignment and turnout to ensure that the Sous-sus is executed with proper technique. Practicing slow and controlled Sous-sus movements can help dancers develop the strength and control needed to perform the step with ease and precision.

VI. What are some common mistakes to avoid when performing a Sous-sus?

Some common mistakes to avoid when performing a Sous-sus include collapsing the arches of the feet, sickling the ankles, and letting the knees collapse inward. It is important for dancers to maintain a strong and stable core, engage the muscles of the feet and legs, and keep the alignment of the body in check throughout the movement. Additionally, dancers should focus on maintaining a sense of lightness and buoyancy in the Sous-sus, rather than forcing the movement with tension or stiffness. By being mindful of these common mistakes and working on proper technique, dancers can improve their Sous-sus and enhance their overall dance performance.