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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Can't get in there!


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Trustydancer7, without seeing you it is quite difficult to say specifically what you should do to help yourself in this situation. First I would like to recommend asking your teacher for help since the teacher should be a good set of eyes and knowledge. Since there are differing ideas on the direction of the leg to the side, my first suggestion would be to make sure you are understanding this aspect of what your teacher is asking you to do. Next, I am assuming you are discussing using the leg off the floor, perhaps at 90 degrees or above?


General rules for better execution of a movement to the side, on the floor, at 45 or 90 degrees. Hips and shoulders remain square to where you are facing, head front. Body remains pulled up and lengthened, no sitting in the hips. Working heel remains forward, to the front of the room as the leg lifts from the floor or opens to the direction side. As the working leg opens to the direction side, the supporting side of the entire body works in direct opposition from the working side. Reach far away with the toes of the working foot as you open or lift the leg outward. Work on direction as your priority for a while instead of height of leg. Often times it the issue of position of the leg can be confused by working on height of the leg before the actual direction is well established. Try working at 90 degrees instead of seeing how high you can get your leg up at the same time. It is not as difficult to work with the leg above 90 degrees as it is directly at 90 degrees. Once 90 is well established with the direction, height should then be a new goal! Also if you work with your leg at 90 you should not be able to hold your leg in your hand (it is too low) then you make your muscles do the required work.


I would have to say that you may have the required flexibility in the hip socket and the legs and back if you are able to hold you leg in your hand and


...adjust it with my arm to the correct position.


since this can be a more relaxed version of the ideal. You may just be having difficulty with the coordination of the movement and the strength to hold it. If that is the case, only consistent hard work will help you in the end. When you take your working leg in your hand check to see if you also adjust the supporting side of the body. Remember hips square to where you are facing and as even as possible without sitting on the hips!


Perhaps this is the slow way to success, but sometimes that is better is the long run! B)

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