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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Desperatley need advice!


sylphide

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Good news: My teacher wants to work with me as in the third level of the Vaganova School...

EXCEPT: Most of my usual center exercises in the center are done on demi pointe! I found it nearly impossible and frustrating to find my balance and center. I tried to pull up more and put my weight forward...but nothing seemed to help. Any advice?

For example what should I think of when doing developpes, fondus (ex. fondu croise (efface) front, plie demi rond de jambe en face (a la seconde) with releve at the end of the rdj) and frappes on demi pointe...without the barre and only myself to rely on?

I feel helpless(and hopeless) :blink:

Thanks ! Any tips would be appreciated

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I'm kind of surprised...unless you've been through the first two years of Vaganova technique, you won't have much of a base for this kind of work. Some important things that I found to concentrate on were the turnout muscles, especially the upper hamstrings/lower gluteus. It is paramount that they be contracted as you pull them up and press down into the floor with your feet. Also, remember to keep your abs drawn in and up, especially the lower abs. Keep your shoulder blades pulled down--the back is extremely important in keeping your balance, and if it helps, you might want to try relaxing your neck if you have problems with stiffness there. Hope this helps.

 

Oh--also remember that it's ok to put your heel down now and then if you're losing your balance. Just keep doing the exercise and rise back up (keeping your leg straight the entire time) when you've regained your center.

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Everything that Hans said.

 

Be on your supporting hip. Don't let the body pull towards the working leg. If you're really on your supporting hip, you should be able to do everything on balance no problem. My teachers always say "do not be square". You're either on one leg or not..there's none of those "in-between" positions allowed.

 

I agree that the back--right under the shoulder blades-- is absolutely essential for maintaining good balance. You need that engaged, your ribcage closed, but your shoulders nice and opened. :blink:

 

I'm not envious.

 

edited to add

do not be square

By this...I mean to use the opposing side of the back. If YOu need to bring the right leg from side to front, it helps to think of the left side coming forward to meet it. The body must always balance itself out.

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Thanks for the advice. We started this this morning...so it is all new and awkward for me. I will try this on my next class. Any more advice is more than welcomed.. I am sure it might be of some interest to others!

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When I am trying to fondues, developpes, etc. on half pointe in center, having my head correctly placed and my arms correctly placed helps A LOT. I study the Vaganova technique as well, and my teachers are very particular about the head and arms. However, there is a reason, because it is much easier to balance with them in alignment. Also, of course, be sure that you are really pulled up and that your abdominal muscles are fully engaged!

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Sylphide, will you please keep us posted on your discoveries?

 

My balance has suddenly gotten wildly erratic, and any thoughts and suggestions, images and physiology are greatly appreciated.

 

Anyone else, too (obviously).

 

ps I will be working my turnout and thinking about my head all class tonight, thanks Hans and Tiffany!

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Of course Dido :D

Today is my day off so I will be back for day 2 on half toe tomorow and I will try to incorporate all the advice. I tried some of it at home...and it seems to be working...Of course, it is all very different when you are in class and attempting those exercises after youhave done a strenuous barre.

See ya!

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Well, I tried some of those advice and I did a lot better than on my first day. My teacher told me that I went from a "total catastrophy" to somewhat seeing some proper form in my finished poses on releve :D

I really tried to think about my arms and back holding me and also (surprisingly?) to have my supporting heel as turned out as I could and having my supporting knee as straight and lifted as possible and feeling a straight line fronm that heel to my head with abs really in and up. The last set of fondus on demi pointe in the center were still a killer for the calves though...

I will try to do better next time.

Thanks to all for your words of wisdom!

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