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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Having trouble


Guest Eulalia

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Guest Eulalia

First off just so this is out of the way, I can achieve a perfect frog (after stretching for awhile) and all my teachers say that I have lovely natural rotation. Here' are my problems (1) when I releve my right leg doesn't turnout as much as my left (2) when I come down from releve I pronate to attempt to keep my rotation. I know that it's wrong but I really have a hard time of it. So do you think maybe it's a poor turnout strength issue or something else? I only started ballet a few years ago and so I don't think that my ability to hold my turnout is as strong as it should be. What do you think and also if it is a strength thing could you recommend an excercise to help me?

 

P.S. I'm so sorry that this is long and potentially ill-worded, but I think you guys can (please!!) help me.

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Eulalia, first of all, you said yourself that you have not studied ballet very long. Secondly, you are still young. It takes a long time, even with "lovely natural rotation", to learn to use and maintain that rotation in everything in the center. Also, one leg is always slightly better than the other in most everything. Most of us are not equal on both sides. :blushing:

 

So, the answer is to just keep working, and perhaps some extra work on the weaker side. There is no one stretch, no magic pill, nothing that makes your turnout better instantly. Work on your rond de jambes, slowly and carefully, really feeling exactly where the leg is in each position and finding it's best rotation, then maintain that as the leg moves en dehors and en dedans. Work the supporting leg AGAINST the working leg. This exercise is far better than all the stretches put together because it teaches you how to USE your rotation.

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Eulalia, you may also try to practice slow releves on stretched legs, up and down, facing the barre. At first on two legs and then on one (working leg held in sur le cou de pied front/back). When you go up, remember to rise from the top, sort of like smoothly pulling a sewing needle straight up and the thread follows. Make sure you are on the whole base of the ball of the foot. Weight equally distributed. When you come down, put your mind in your supporting foot. When you fall foward/roll forward something is not counter balancing your weight enough back. This could be a lot of things. Without seeing you it is difficult to tell you exactly what! It may help to think about the entire back side of your body. Feel like you have your back against a wall when you come down, including the back of your ankle. You do need to figure out at what point you begin to roll in in the decent.

 

Once this is accomplished well with two hands facing the barre, then repeat with one hand on both sides. Remember to keep your working leg nicely turned out, upward and downward.

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