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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Arabesque on Pointe


Guest BattementCloche

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Guest BattementCloche

I have a problem getting properly centered over my leg when doing an arabesque on pointe. I seem to hold back quite a bit, and I have a habit of arching my back too much and leaning towards my raised leg. I have a good extension, and I can usually balance well on pointe (except in fourth:( ), but when it comes to an arabesque - well, let's just say, my teacher winces every time I do one. She has tried to help me, but my class is only a half hour, and I have two other girls in my class who need a lot more help than I do. I also have a habit of not quite getting my leg directly behind me. I am working on that though, and my teacher says I'm getting better. Any advice is welcome!

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You sound like you have the things that you're doing wrong pretty well-itemized! Much better than I thought you would when I saw the title of the thread!:) So now that you know what's wrong, get busy! (If you know what's wrong, then don't do that!) This is another one of those practice, practice, practice solutions, and the improvement will come slowly, over a seemingly long period of time.

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for me, it helps to think of relaxing my neck and shoulders, keeping my ribs down and in place, and lengthening my lower back, keeping high on my hips. ive always had that problem too. my teacher said i looked like a turtle because i was always pulling back! its getting better though, as long as im not too tense(which is rare).

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Something else that may help you: In attempting to keep the torso erect in arabesque, many students almost do a cambré back, trying to bend back against the "working" leg. Actually, the torso goes slightly forward and upwards, that is diagonally, in order to achieve the right line and keep all the rest of the assemblies in an arabesque in correct alignment.

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Guest Passion4Ballet

I used to have the same problem, but I just really concentrated on centering myself on my supporting leg and making sure i wasn't pulling backward. Again, like Mr Johnson said, it just takes lots of practice! I also tried to stay up for longer than usual on pointe to get used to the feeling. Hope that helps!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Danceidiot12

My ballet teacher told me that when you do arabesque, you should relax and think up not out. Think about going straight to the ceiling instead of out toward the wall. She also said relax your arms dont tense up. She said it helps you balance. One more important thing is to use your back muscles. If you dont still get it, you should go back to the barre. Hope that helps!! ;)

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It would help if I could see the students in your school, but it sounds to me as if the students have tried to counterbalance the arabesque when en pointe by going somewhat allongée. The teacher may be trying to countercorrect that by emphasizing the "up" rather than the "forward" of the position. Believe me, you have to go somewhere, when that leg goes up, and it's diagonally upward.

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Guest BroadwayDiva8

it helps me if I think about leaning very far over (so it almost feels like too much) and then you'll probably be where you're supposed to. I found that since I was leaning so far back in arabesque that when my teacher corrected me and put me in the right placement it felt ridiculously forward. but now i hit the pose every time!

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Moving one's weight forward and leaning forward are two different things. I don't care for the idea of "leaning". One moves the body weight very forward and upward for an arabesque on pointe. You must get your weight totally centered over the front leg, or the weight and energy of the back leg will pull you right off pointe!

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Guest BattementCloche

Thank-you for all of the advice, it's helping! Of course, it's still not perfect, but my teacher commented on how I'm improving! And you're right, BroadwayDiva8, when you've got the right placement, it does feel 'ridiculously forward!' But, I suppose in time it will feel wrong not to have your weight more forward!

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BattementCloche,

I totally had the same problem of sinking back over the working leg, until.. I think I read it somewhere, actually, but the imagery was to stretch the shoulder on the side of your working leg forward. It seemed to take all of the strain out of it, and the arabesque leg just seemed to float up. Hopefully that imagery will click with your brain as well :) (isn't it lovely when something FINALLY makes sense?)

much luck,

emily

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