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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"stomach to the backbone?"

Paul Parish

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"In and up under the ribs," "hold your stomach"--


Rejoice with me! I finally started to feeling the place to hold!


A spot between the hipbones and about two inches below the navel -- I can feel it, and if I can dance from there, everything feels like it's lined up, above and below.


THe exercise that makes me feel it is to do grand plie in fifth with no barre, just using my own balance, knees falling sideways, and the heels touching all the way down, expecially in the last 12 inches of hte descent and rise.... I can feel the low-ab muscles working to let the thighs open, and everything else is very relaxed!!!

(Actually at the bottom my quads check in and ask how long htis is going to continue, but they don't actually hurt or anything.)


usually just do very simple arms in low fifth letting my fingertips slide out to my knees as they widen -- or first port de bras, but I on;y do that after I've really had sucess a couple of times doing the simpler version quietly --


but I CAN do it quietly, and AFTER that, taking that feeling with me into other things, I can turn, the pirouettes is easy, I can take the front foot from fifth to attitude back and rise (those are the first things it occurred to me to do)-- stomach to the back bone, holding about two inches below the navel. THis just happened, a couple of times this week, and again just this morning.


Try it, see if it works for you.

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Paul, is this the same as "lifting" the pubic bone? The muscles engaged for that are midway between the groin and the navel. Lifting the pubic bone (as I felt it) gave me the abdominal support going all the way around to the (elongated) lower back. But I never achieved the degree of support you described!


Bravo! :wink::unsure:

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Also, if you squeeze the gluteus muscles during the grand plié, it should help with the quads issue as well as generally make your legs/turnout more secure during the entire plié :wink:. Try squeezing those muscles more in order to start the ascent--It really helps hold your turnout on the way up as well as lift the weight up out of the legs.

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Darling Carbro, Thank you for the applauding smiley. Please, can you find a smiley that will guarantee that I can do this tomorrow? I DON'T KNOW hte answer to your question about lifting hte pubic bone -- I'm not TRYING to do that, and I'm not a t all sure that the feeling I'm reporting actually reflects the use of any particular muscles. BUT it seems AS IF it might be the iliopsoas connecting to the tops of the thigh-bones engaged in controlling the trochanters of hte thigh bones as the femurs rotate from vertical towards the horizontal -- it "feels like" I can feel the pelvic floor.....


Thanks Hans, I don't seem to be able to add effort in the glutes without turning IN -- my ankles separate as soon as I try, which probably only means that I'm engaging he gluteus medius instead of hte maximus.... If I use my hands as sensors, I can feel that my lower glutes ARE engaged already.


I sure appreciate the moral support. THanks so much. As SIlvy has noted already, you are a very generous guy.

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And if it works, and everything's in the right place, and you can do more and better than you could before, then keep doing it! How's that for technical relativism? :wink:

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If I use my hands as sensors, I can feel that my lower glutes ARE engaged already.


Then it sounds as if you are doing it right without even having to think about that aspect of it :wink:.


I've been told that the abdominal muscles actually all sort of come together right around the "belly button," but I've always found it more helpful to think of it as you do--about two inches down from there, drawing in and up. (The "up" part is important, as you seem to have figured out :thumbsup: .)

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Please, can you find a smiley that will guarantee that I can do this tomorrow?

I'll try with a prayer :wink: and good luck :thumbsup: !

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