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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Sinking in developpe


SwanQueen

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I have a real problem when I do developpes or grand battements or anything of that sort that I have been doing for years. It seems as if the only way that I can get my leg high is to sink on my supporting side, turn in my suppporting foot, and really sink in my back so I get that little "bubble" in my back. My teacher has been working with me on this for a long time and she always tells me that if you really push down into the floor and keep your supporting knee straight and keep your back lifted, then your leg will be higher. I can never seem to get it to work though. Any tips on how I can somehow make this work. It is discouraging because I desperetaly want to improve my extension and I am working so hard. Help!!!!!

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  • Administrators

Your teacher is right, SwanQueen. You will NEVER improve your extension by sinking down! Extension without placement and rotation is useless in classical ballet, as there is no line to the extension. Therefore you must develop the strength of correct alignment and weight placement first, then rotation and shape to the working leg, and then extension within that placement and shape. The only way to do that is to be lifted up so that you free the rotation and the flexibiity in the hips. Sinking into the lower back not only looks horrible, but it can cause damage to the spine. Lower your extensions until you can control your body, then gradually increase them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest twinklehooves

The pushing thru the floor would help. My teachers tells us to imagine doing developpes or grand battements in water or through molasses or honey. :(

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Guest MissMelly

In class I encourage you to really think about your placement. Developpes require a lot of strength, so don't feel bad if you have to extend you leg a little lower, once you have the placement correct you can work at getting it higher. Also as you're doing a developpe try to keep your supporting leg very straight, keep your back strong, and try to lift up in your upper body. Imagine a string attached to your head gentle pulling you a little bit (this helps me a lot with my posture, and keeping my legs straight!). I think that crunches are really helpful with extensions, because it takes a lot of strength in your stomach. One more thing to think about when you're doing an extension is keeping your turn out. In develope a la second try not to hike your hip, and keep your knee on top.

I Hope some of this helped!:)

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Thanks everyone! Lately in class I've really been working on pulling up and not sinking in my back. Also my teacher has been working with me on keeping my supporting knee straight and my supporting foot turned out. This is hard for me to do since I have hyperextended knees.

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