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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Lifting your leg properly for arabesque


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My teacher has told our class many times that in order to be able to lift your leg past 90 degrees in arabesque, you need to relax your gluteus maximus, and use your inner thighs. However when I try to do that, I lean too far forward. It seems that I have to use that muscle to lift. Am I doing something wrong?

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One does not "lean" forward at all in arabesque, only in penché! One moves the body weight forward and UPward, and the hip OPENS slightly to allow the leg to lift and rotate at the same time. I don't think one needs to think about the gluteus or the inner thighs, just move the body weight and lift the leg! :P

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