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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Incorrect Technique?

Guest dancingforever

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Guest dancingforever

I take ballet at 2 studios. I orginally was only at one, but the other one is affiliated with my school, where I take tap and assist classes, and the ballet teacher said that she wanted me to take there as well. I agreed because the times didn't conflict with other classes and I love dance. But at this second studio, the teacher teaches some things kind of weird, and I know that they are wrong. One thing is that she wants my working leg to be turned out 180 degrees, and says that if I can't do that (which barely ANYONE can!), I should turn in my standing leg. Another thing is that she has us look straight up when doing a port de bras to the back. I do what she wants when she's watching, but the rest of the time, I do what I have learned at my other studio and other places where I have studied. My question is: is her teaching actually incorrect or am I over reacting?

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The working leg turnout is not wrong technically, but it's wrong mechanically for all but about 3% of the population! If you can't get a respectable amount of turnout on the working leg in à la seconde, the leg should be allowed to drift a bit forward of straight to the side. And in quatrième derrière or devant, you have to let the supporting leg come in a bit to allow for the turnout. Otherwise, you'll end up sinking into the hip, and that's really, really bad. That doesn't mean that you get to ease up on TRYING for absolute perfection in turnout, but just know what your limits are, and take action accordingly.


As for the head, it can go anywhichway. Different schools teach different places. One says, head turns toward the front foot in a port de bras back. Another says always away from the barre. Another says it goes straight back and no turning the head at all. Go figure~! :shrug:

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There are all sorts of back cambrés used in choreography, therefore, IMO, dancers should, by the advanced level at least, be able to bend back with the head straight or turned in either direction. There is no "one right way", since you will be expected to do it any way the choreographer wants it! :rolleyes:

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