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Questions about developpe and arabesque

Guest Ballet4babs

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Guest Ballet4babs

Can you give me advice on how to get my leg higher in developpe and arabesque? I can get it almost to 90 degrees but not quite able to hold it there.


Thank you.

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Hi, babs, and welcome to the Young Dancers' Forum here at Ballet Talk for Dancers on Ballet Alert! Online!


At thirteen, it's best to have your placement and alignment perfected and the strength necessary built in before going for higher extension. Getting the right-angle extension correct, especially to the front, is one of the most important missions you have right now. Extension grows out of flexibility AND strength, so simply being flexible, as in a completely "down" front split is not enough to produce higher extension. Remember that when you do a developpé, your knee does not drop. If you come from a retiré and extend your upper leg so that the knee is at the same level as your navel, you're committed! Up with that foreleg! You must also learn to use the muscles under the upper leg and the rotation muscles to help you to raise the leg to its full extension. And yes, it IS permissible to open the hip of the working leg in an arabesque, as long as it isn't splayed wide open. Don't forget to lift out of the hip of the supporting leg, either! :o

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