A Guide To Italian Fouettés

Oh, Italian fouettes. You either love them, or you hate them, or you may even love to hate them. To say that they are peculiar would be saying the least. Super technique driven and quite tricky, Italian fouettes are a move in ballet repertoire that take a little time to master, but boy, once you do, you feel like you have unlocked the secret to life! Speaking from a personal standpoint, I am a dancer who absolutely adores Italian fouettes because they are undeniably b-e-a-utiful! However, if you are currently struggling to get these fouettes down or if you’re just simply looking for tips to help make them even better, you have definitely come to the right post! So, get comfy because today we’ll be sharing with you some awesome tips to keep in mind the next time you face the beloved Italian Fouettes! Let’s get it goin’!

Proper Body Alignment Sets A Good Foundation
In the genre of ballet as a whole, proper body alignment is always very important. However, with Italian Fouettes, having proper body alignment is an absolute must! Correct body alignment plays such a big role in Italian Fouettes because this is what’s going to allow you to distribute your weight properly and help you maneuver yourself well while executing this move. So, always keep in mind what your teacher has taught you. Keep those shoulders down, those abdominals laced, tushy tucked, quads elongated, don’t sit in your hips, chin up, and of course, don’t forget to smile!

(For a full in-depth guide to understanding ballet body alignment, check out our blog post listed below!)

The Deeper The Plie, The Better The Fouette

A sure fire way to get a strong start for your Italian Fouettes is to make sure you begin with a nice, juicy plie leading into your first developpe. Always remember, a strong start yields a bangin’ finish and though an unconventional one, Italian Fouettes are still just that — a fouette. So, just like you begin a pirouette or a “classic” fouette with a nice plie, keep in mind to always do the same for this fouette, as well.

Pass Through Every Position

A mistake that I see quite a few dancers make that I used to make myself is that, when doing Italian Fouettes, some have a tendency to let their body fully execute the fouette, but they leave their working leg dragging at least a beat behind. In return, this really, really, reeeally causes you to lose your balance and we all know that once you lose your balance in an Italian Fouette, it can be a bit difficult to recover. This is where the importance of passing your working leg through every position point in the fouette comes into play. If you truly think about it, it is the working leg that is one of the main factors in this move that helps you get around. It takes the lead (in addition to a special co-star that we will be mentioning here in a few minutes). So, since the working leg is such a huge factor in Italian Fouettes, be sure you really pass it through passe, up into developpe, brush through first position towards the back corner and up into attitude, all the while leading into another juicy plie to repeat the sequence once again.

Spotting Is Important…Per Usual.
Spotting, we meet again, old friend. Your working leg is the star of this move. However, THIS is it’s best supporting actor! Spotting is super duper important in Italian Fouettes as it is the second leading element that will get you around in the fouette. Italian Fouettes are usually done at an angle, facing the corner of the room and/or stage. This is your spotting point. Lock your eyes to something in that direction, keep your sight there for as long as you can and as soon your leg completes its brush through first position towards the back wall, whip your head around to find your spot as you finish in attitude. This is one of the biggest secrets to mastering this move. Though it is does not mimic the format of a classic turn, it still requires all of the technical elements used in a turn. So, please, please, please don’t forget to spot!

Be Mindful Of Your Upper Body

Our last Italian Fouette tip goes hand in hand with our first tip and that is, to stay mindful of your upper body. Italian Fouettes have the pesky tendency of making you want to raise your shoulders. However, becoming tense in your upper body and allowing your shoulders to rise will only cause one of two things. You may either: 1) You will lose your balance or 2) Seem noticeably nervous. And even if you are nervous, trust me, you are doing totally fine. So, in order to avoid an encounter with either of these possibilities, always keep in mind to keep those shoulders down and your arms soft. You’ll look like a natural every time!

And that is it for today’s blog post! I hope you enjoyed hanging out with us today and I also hope these tips help you conquer the infamous Italian Fouettes! Have an awesome weekend and of course…

Keep dancing!


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