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Ballet Talk for Dancers

arms


Guest Medora

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Guest Medora

I have this problem with my pirouettes, and please don't joke me and say something like "only one!" ;) , but really, I've been trying to fix it for a while. When I go to turn, I set up pretty well, I push with the arm, but when I go to draw them in, I draw them down, too low. When they should be more up over my upper ribs, they are more down over the lower part of my stomach. What should I think of or visualize in my turns to keep them up? They just want to keep going down! If I do manage to keep them up when I draw them in, as the turn progress, they go down. It's a habit that I'm having a hard time breaking. Is there something which is causing this to happen which I don't know about? What should I think of doing to fix it? Any suggestions? This is definetly going to be a summer project. :)

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  • Administrators

I won't make a joke, Medora, but I will say that this is really just one of those things which can be fixed simply by knowing what is wrong. Your arms will go where you decide to put them. They are not in control, you are. They do not have a mind of their own ;) Many, many things in ballet cannot be corrected this easily, as they require changes that could take months or years. But where the arms are placed is just not one of those things, IMO. Even in turning, if you know where they are supposed to go, and how they get there, then practice the movement slowly, without a pirouette but with a turning motion, until your arms get the message. The back muscles can help here. If your placement is good and the abs and back muscles engaged, then the arms should stay where you decide to put them!

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Guest Medora

Okay I had my first session alone with my teacher tonight and we worked on pirouettes, spotting, the arms, and so on and on and on and on. The problem isn't so much where I am placing them, but where they are going once I start to turn. I get them to the right position, and then as I turn they don't stay there. It's funny too, because I can do the preparation without the turn, hold my arms where I should, and actually balance to the point where I get stuck up and have trouble coming out of the balance. It's when the revolution comes into play that everything falls apart. I think I'm not engaging my back muscles as a should be which is allowing my arms to move and also become uncentered when I am turning. Is that a result of letting the abs go? Also, she said that the strength to hold the arms is in the back upper part of the arms, am I getting this right? I am still sort of unsure how to engage the back muscles properly. I can do it by pressing the shoulders down, but shouldn't I be able to do it by not having to press the shoulders down?

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  • Administrators

Keeping the shoulders in place does make a difference in the ability to use the back muscles. The fact that you are losing control of the arms when turning must be because you are losing control of your center. Is your head working properly in the spot?

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Guest Medora

No, unfortunately, spotting is still a problem, and we spent quite some time on that too. :D (Does this face (:D) mean embarrased? :) If it does then good, because I admit to my spotting troubles in embarrasment! )

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