Coaches Questions about twist and split preferences in a few skills.

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Jan 1, 2014
Michigan, Region 5
The Tour Jeté Leap

I love the look of the tour jeté leap, and I want to begin teaching it to my gymnasts soon. I think it would be a great skill to add flair to any floor or beam routine. However, I have a question for any knowledgeable folks out there. The tour jeté involves a 180º turn. For a gymnast who does split leaps (grand jeté) with the left leg in front and twists left, what direction should the tour jeté turn? I'm wondering if they should keep their twist direction, and use their opposite split position mid-air, or should they twist opposite and keep their normal split position.

The Switch Split Leap

I've just begun to teach switch leaps (today as a matter of fact), and logic tells me that the leap should be initiated with the opposite leg used in normal split leaps. For example, if a girl does a split leap taking off of the right foot and lifting the left leg in front, then her switch leap should take off from the left leg and start with the right leg lifting to horizontal. That way, during the actual "switch," the dominant leg will be in front, thus providing the best split. Am I right in my theory? So far, I have one gymnast who can do this leap, and she learned it today. She managed to nail it first try after doing some drills (awesome). She normally does split leaps with the left leg in front. Here's a video:

The Illusion Turn

I think this is the coolest turn ever! I recently taught my girls how to do inside pirouettes (same direction of turn as a normal pirouette, but with the opposite foot in front in the beginning), and they picked that up pretty quickly. As far as an illusion turn, is it considered an inside turn? Or an outside turn? For instance, if a gymnast usually does the standard outside turning pirouette twisting left, which direction should their illusion twist? The way I see it, the gymnast should start with their dominant foot in front, so that their needle kick/vertical split is optimal. However, this would mean the spin would be in the opposite direction they're used to. Which way is the right way?

I would greatly appreciate if any coaches with dance or choreography backgrounds could weigh in on these questions, or even anyone with just lots of experience coaching. Nothing irks me more than teaching something wrong and then having to go back and fix it!
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For tour jetes I twist in the opposite direction (so for me, left) and finish with my dominant split leg in front. I don't think this is necessarily how it needs to be done, especially not if a girl feels more comfortable doing the opposite. Back when I competed compulsories (late 90s) there was a tour jete in the old level 6 routine and that was how you needed to do it to work out of it (finishing on dominant leg).
As far as switch leaps, you are correct. Take off of dominant leg with non-dominant leg going up first and finishing in dominant split.
I have no idea about illusion turns. But good luck teaching them!
I know many high level coaches will teaches switch leaps on BOTH legs. That way when they start switch leap 1/2s it makes their life easier :)

That being said as a small gym with lower level optionals, all my girls learn switch leaps with their non-dominant leg leading so they end up in a good leg split. As they start work on switch leap 1/2s I teach both directions.
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Thank you all for sharing with me on this thread. The switch leaps are coming along nicely, which shows me that the girls are definitely ready for them, and that the drills are making the skill seem more simple. Tour Jeté training has not started yet, but I figured the twist direction would be done on the dominant side, and the split would be on the non-dominant side. Shows you what I know! Hah! That's why I asked! Thank you @coachmolly.

@gymisforeveryone | I watched these videos already, but thank you for the thought. It's hard to find drills for the illusion turn. I suppose I'll just have to make some new ones up, perhaps using sliders or something.

Anyone else have any awesome drills, videos, or advice?
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