By Karel Shook
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Extra info for Elements of classical ballet technique as practiced in the school of the Dance Theatre of Harlem
Big steps such as grand jete' entrelace' or grand fouette' releve' or saute' cannot be introduced until the teacher is certain that the abdominal muscles are strong and controlled. Provided he has started at nine or ten years of age, a boy at fourteen should be into advanced-intermediate work and by sixteen have at his command all or most of the pyrotechnical male technique. In general, men are slower than women, physically, because they are heavier with thicker muscles; mentally, because they lack the speed of the woman's intuitive reflexes.
Then there were individual artists who made international careers. Billy Wilson, who began his studies in Philadelphia under Sidney King and Antony Tudor, went on to become one of the leading soloists of the Dutch National Ballet, where he danced leading male roles in both classical and modern ballets. Wilson, a strong technician in all styles, had a perfectly proportioned body and a sinuousness of movement that lent elegant lyricism to everything he did. Serge Lifar created his Maure de Venise especially for Wilson.
Those who do not have a natural turn-out, at least to a certain degree, should abandon any hope of making ballet a career. The objective of turn-out, or en dehors, is to turn the knees outward to a much greater angle than is usually allowed by nature. But turn-out does not come from the knees, it is initiated in the hip sockets. When the hips are opened the knees and feet follow in a subsidiary action. " The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint capable of great freedom of rotation by itself, but it is connected to a network of ligaments and tendons which hold and support it, without which we would be unable to stand upright or walk.