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Ballet Talk for Dancers

front développés

Guest prettyINpointes92

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Guest prettyINpointes92

i have very good exstentions to my side and back but to the front i just can't hold it up. i defiantly have the flexability but i just can't hold it. does anyone have any tips or excersises that would help? :wacko::shrug: cause i don't know what to do!




susanne :blushing:

Edited by prettyINpointes92
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Guest abstractlines

Ok this is going to be a long reply...I may have to do it in sections. There is a lot of science even to simple movements. A lot goes on in the body--so it is important for dancers to know science, physics and anatomy. Educate the mind=educate the body.


Front extensions are difficult for almost everyone--fear not for you aren't alone!!


Once concept that will help you improve your extensions en avant (and a la seconde--for that matter) is to feel a "deepening" sensation in your hip socket. Keep in mind this feeling does not mean sinking nor sitting into the supporting leg. I will try to describe this the best I can without being able to demonstrate.


First some anatomy:

As you may know, your hip socket is a ball and socket joint. Sometimes in anatomy joints are also called articular surfaces or simply articulations... meaning a place where two surfaces "articulate" or join and move against each other.



Your hip socket's scientific name is the acetabulum (pronounces ######-ah tab-u-lum). The acetabulum forms the socket in the joint (articular surface).


Your upper leg bone is called the Femur.... the top of your femur has a knob like shape that slants inward towards the center of your body. This is called "the head of femur". The head of femur forms the ball part of the ball and socket joint. So the acetabulum cups around the head of femur--the head of the femur can roll around in this articulation.




When attempting to execute a developpe en avant, many dancers pull the head of femur slightly out of the acetabulum (think slightly out of socket-if you are confused by the technical lingo). In order to hold the leg up with the hip joint like this, you have to really strain and tightly grip the muscles surrounding the joint.


This causes several things to happen:


Gripping muscles more than you need to in movement just is a waste of energy. Think of a car for example. Flexing muscles harder than you need to is like running a car in the garage while you are sitting in the couch watching tv. It is a tremendous waste of energy and resources. Flex the muscles you need only as much is necessary in order to support the movement. No more, no less. Relieve all tension from the body(unless you are using "bound" effort in modern dance). --even finger tension or jaw clenching wastes energy that can be sent to your working muscles! Gripping leads to injury as well.


Another side effect of over-flexing muscles is over development. When the small muscles surrounding the hip are over used they become slightly larger and can physically get in the way of the range of motion in the hip joint!


Working with the hip joint in this position also can pull you off of your supporting leg wrecking havoc on your balance.


Your body has a very hard time supporting this "slightly out of socket" position--the more you strain like this---the lower your leg will go. Ultimately leading you to strain even more creating an extremely unhappy cycle of low extensions.


I will continue tomorrow (hopefully) with how to fix this and some exercises to try to help you understand what I mean. I'll prob. revise some of this post too...

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Go for it, abstractlines; I think I know where you're going with this, and if so, I think you're right. :wacko:

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  • Administrators

I really hate to play 'bad cop' here, especially following such a fine post. However, we do have rules here, and one of them is that no one is allowed to post on YD forums except the moderators and the teens. If we have every teacher, or other adults trying to answer questions it would be total chaos.


That said, abstractlines' post is very fine. I would like to keep it, and will wait for the finish of it, and then make it a Sticky, with a place of it's own. Then we can refer people to it when this question is asked. :yucky:

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