Vocabulary Review: Sissone

Every time I teach sissone, I start by saying, “Does anyone know what sissone means?… and if you say “scissor,” I will make you do push-ups.”

The french word “Cisuaex” (pronounced see-zoh) means “scissor.” the word Sissone doesn’t actually mean anything, it’s the name of the man who invented the step.

The step goes like this: you start with two feet on the ground, plie, jump up in the air, and land on one foot. Then you either leave the foot up in the air (overt meaning open), or you close it (ferme, meaning closed). See the video below for a demonstration.

The first thing they do is two sissone fermes, then one sissone overt, pas de bouree. Then they do sissone simple and finish with some assambles.

The important thing to remember about sissone is it’s a jump, not a leap. Remember this post about the differences between jumps and leaps? if not go back and read it again. Keep it in mind as you jump up in sissone before you land. Every student I’ve ever had who has had problems with sissone, their problem was that they were leaping (going from one foot to the other) instead of jumping.

9 comments:

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  4. Very helpful in differentiating the open and closed versions with video reference, thank you for this. Though I do want to inform you that the French word was incorrectly spelled and is in fact ciseau for singular and ciseaux for plural. :) from a friendly Montrealer (who accidentally pressed publish before I finished typing, my bad)

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    Replies
    1. Although ciseau and ciseaux are the normal French words for scissor(s), in ballet terminology, the international language of which is French, the name of the step is indeed spelled "sissone" and has been so for centuries.

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    2. Correction: Actually, the name of the step should be spelled with 2 Ns. "The term was named after François-Ҫésar de Roussy, who was the Comte de Sissonne. (He was like a Marquis who ruled a large portion of Northeastern France, based in the small village of Sissonne where his chateau was). It is believed that Louis XIV himself bestowed the name of the step after this courtier who supposedly invented it." ~ Philip S. Rosemond (LinkedIn)

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