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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Arabesque Correction


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Yesterday, I took a make up class with a more advanced level and while doing an arabesque at the barre, the instructor lifted my leg up a little higher than I usually lift it.


The new height of my leg was not a height that was particularly difficult. There was a slight pinch in my back, but not a painful one. The only thing is, I'm worried that at the new height, I'm "lifting my hips/lower back" instead of my leg because I don't have a high level of flexibility when pushing my leg back.


For example, I don't have my full splits only because the back legs aren't fully stretched out yet.


However, I do know that the hips are supposed to "open" a little to allow rotation. But when I look at myself at the mirror, it looks like I am just lifting my lower back and my leg just so happens to be raised because it's attached to my back.


Does this make sense? I don't know. I didn't receive any further alignment corrections during that arabesque except for the height, so maybe I'm just being a worrywart? :nopity:

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It is hard to say exactly what you could be/should be doing without being able to see it. I know many important dancers who have decent arabesques without having "full splits" so that is not necessarily a prerequisite for a good arabesque.


Try not to think of opening your working hip as much as lifting your working thigh as you reach outward with your working toes...stretch the leg far away. Turn the working leg in the hip socket, not turn the working hip. In this way the hip may raise but not out of proportion to the line of the supporting side of the body. Remember supporting ribcage/shoulder to working hip feeling in opposition to one another. Keep your waistline straight. Stretch across the collar bone and breath! :nopity:

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Try not to think of opening your working hip as much as lifting your working thigh...


That actually makes a lot more sense. Thanks!! :nopity:

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