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my arabesque isn't that terrific..i usually can't keep my hips square & i can't turn out my bottom foot. what can i do to improve this...the only thing i can think of is just like doing an arabesque & holding it & lifting it higher & focusing on the things i said up there also? would back strengthening or flexibility stretches work too...if so which one or both?thanks.

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Hello BalletPointe87, welcome to the Young Dancers' forum here on Ballet Talk for Dancers! :)


Arabesque involves several things to make it easier, and one of them is NOT trying to keep the hips square. It's not possible to keep them absolutely square and have a turned out leg in the back---there is a major muscle in the way :blushing: While you must not LIFT the hip, you do need to OPEN it slightly in order to both lift and rotate the leg. You also must move your body weight forward and upward on the standing leg, which should be rotated as much as possilbe, however it will probably not be as completely turned out as if you were in a first or fifth position.


The back muscles are very definitely involved, and the more flexibility you have in the back the higher you should be able to lift the leg. However you also need very strong abdominal muscles, which make the lower back stronger. So, you need to do both strengthening for the abs, and back flexibility exercises. Pilates is very good for both!

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Guest dancingforever

I have read about back strengthening exercise and have used some in Pilates, but what helps with back flexibility? I have a pretty arched lower back, and I think that actually makes it harder for me to be flexible in that area. How can I get more flexibilty in my back? :)

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Cambré back, done correctly. Bend from the top of the head up and over to go back, and don't drop into the lower back. Feel the vertebra move back from the top of the neck to the middle of the back, not down into the lower spine.

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