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How to Do Soutenu, Soutenu Pique & Chaines Turns for Jazz

Learn how to do soutenu turns, soutenu pique turns and chaines turns from jazz dance expert Liz Piccoli in this Howcast dance video.


Now I'm going to demonstrate some jazz turns for you. We're going to go over the sutanu, a sutanu pique turn, and chaine turn.

Let's start with a sutanu. You start in a nice fondu tendu, right leg is stretched, left leg is in a fondu. Sutanu is like a corkscrew. You step out, you cross your left leg over, and then unwind. Going back to your original position which is the fondu tendu. Let's try that one more time. Your arms are nice and rounded and controlled. This is sutanu. Excellent.

Let's move on to the sutanu pique, which is just an extended version of the sutanu. You're now adding a pique turn out of the sutanu, and a pique looks like this. A pique means to prick, so your right leg is stepping out and pricking the floor like a needle, nice and straight. Your left leg is going to be in a passe derriere turned out to the side, and that's a pique turn. Let me do that one more time for you. And up, and down.

It's very important, and the fondu tendu is the most important thing of this step. You need to start out in the fondu tendu and then after every step you go back into the fondu tendu. That's your power. You need to use your plie from the floor to make that happen. Let's try it one more time. Sutanu, sutanu pique. Very nice.

Now going on to the chaine turn. A chaine turn is a sequence of steps that is a chain. Okay. It looks like a chain of steps. That's why they call it a chaine. So it's a first position, and you're going to up on your releve and then you keep stepping half-turns from that. So, you start in the fondu tendu again. You step half, and half, nice straight legs. Half, and half, and you're spotting half and half. Our arms are rounded. You can also teach chaine turns with your arms here to add an element of control, and sometimes I have students holding something in order to control their arms while they're doing the chaine turns.

Another great way to teach chaine turns is by lifting up and just having the students walk around elongated, with straight, locked legs. You can also do that at the bar, nice and slow. So again demonstrating the chaine turns. Straight, locked legs. Pulling up and spotting one spot over on the wall, up, up, up, up, up, up. And those are your chaine turns starting out with a sutanu.

Up, up, down. Up, up, down. Up, up, down. Very nice. Make sure that you teach this to the right and left, that's very important. I'm just demonstrating to the right but you also need to go to the left.

The next sequence of turns is a sutanu pique, and it looks like this. Sutanu, pique turn. Sutanu, pique turn. Sutanu. Very nice.

Now let's do chaine turns. I'm going to demonstrate them going in a circle. It's also a great way to teach the students because you have to keep changing your spots, and it adds an element of difficulty to it. Chaine turns. And. Very nice. Nice round arms, pull up tall, lengthen and press those shoulders down and you'll have beautiful chaine turns.

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