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Barre: Articulations - Fouetté

Form and/or Function

In the fouetté an extended position is held, while the core of the body turns away or towards the extended body part. The movement is swift to create the “whipping” quality the French name implies. It is used as a gesture as well as to generate turning momentum. The temps lié is a weight transfer.

Notes on our approach

We started with the fouetté exploration in the centre as preparation for the waltz phrase. The dancers explored various options (legs, arms, torso, elbows, etc.). Subsequently, we set this more specific version at the barre.

Exploration and Setting:

We defined the fouetté and explored different possibilities by improvising with various body parts and then applied these possibilities to the phrase set at the barre. We combined this with weight transfers and performed it in all directions. Also see general notes on setting.

Score Elements:

  • Tendu forward, fouetté, half turn and temps lié to the gesturing limb
  • Tendu side,  fouetté towards and away (1/4), plié in second and port to bras
  • Tendu back, fouetté, half turn and temps lié to the gesturing limb
  • Tendu side,  fouetté away and towards (1/4), plié in second and port to bras
  • Turn to the second side


  • Offer different tempi so the dancers can adjust the challenge
  • Augment complexity for the more advanced participants while clarifying the concept and phrase for those new to this particular exercise
  • Clarify the amount of rotation that the dancers are aiming for in the fouetté and allow the temps lié to complete the rotation.

Observation Tasks

  • Dancers may have different levels of experience with this specific movement. Observe how they explore a number of possibilities to create the whipping quality of the fouetté, registering how far this action is able to turn them and how they use the temps lié to complete the turn and align their spacing back with the group
  • Also, view the centre fouetté exploration to compare the specific and set version and improvising with the fouetté concept