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Releve passe


Guest kella

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:hyper: Hi all,

 

Is practice and more practice the only way to improve my releve passe's?

When I let my hand off the barre i tend to begin falling sideways or backwards.

I really want to get them right but even though I keep trying, I don't appear to be getting anywhere at all. :D

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Kella, I moved this post, as technique questions go on the student forums :D

 

Balance in any position comes from being centered and having the muscle strength to maintain it. Before you can balance on demi pointe, you need to establish your center on the flat foot. Practice standing in the passé position on flat and find out what you need to do to hold that position and not fall back or side or anywhere. You will find that you must remain aligned, and with your weight centered over the supporting leg. The abs and back muscles work, along with glutes and the supporting leg muscles, and the rotation from the working leg pushing against the supporting glute muscle. Also work on the foot shape in this position. When you can balance well on flat, practice on demi pointe holding the barre. Feel your center before you try to let go of the barre. When you let go, if you are centered, you will not change anything at all. Keep excess tension out of the arms and shoulders and be sure that your foot does not sickle when you let go of the barre! :hyper:

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LOL oh! So not very hard at all then. :D

 

The thing is, I can balance just fine while on flat feet and not holding onto the barre. The problem comes when I'm on demi-pointe. It's makng that extra adjustment from balancing on the whole of your foot to the ball of your foot.

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My belief is that releve passé is perhaps the most basic and important exercise for turning. But I’m biased as I am pretty good at doing it. But I wasn’t always so. At first I was horrible beyond belief. Couldn’t balance for a nanosecond. I’d practice and fall immediately, feeling frustrated after 4-5 consecutive attempts. One day, quite by accident, I managed to balance for a few (perhaps only one) seconds. I made it a point to do at least 5 every single day. Slowly but surely, I would balance for a little longer and more consistently, though I was definitely inconsistent for quite a while.

 

Though I believe it is impossible to attribute improvement to any one thing, one thing I do believe helped me was practicing facing a wall. That seemed to keep my turn out and my front in a plane. I’d “hold on” by just touching my finger tips to the wall. I also tried to lower myself into fondu at the end rather than just fall over, which I believe helped me control my center better. While practicing, I would try to remember every correction I’d heard about alignment. I pretty much knew why I as falling off and constantly kept that in mind.

 

With time, improvement became greater and greater. There was no magic moment when it just happened. It was gradual. I got so good at balancing that way, last year as something of a test, I tried to balance for 60 seconds. I didn’t make it, but not because I lost balance. The calf on my supporting leg died from contracting that long.

 

Moral of the story is that with practice and persistence you can make quite dramatic improvements in controlling your center and balance. So be patient. Keep practicing. And try to apply all those corrections you hear in class.

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It took me a couple months to be able to balance in releve passe. You really need to concenterate on pulling up, turning out, and finding your center. I took a couple of privates during the summer and during my 2nd to last one I found my center and felt like I could balance forever. Once you find it then it becomes more and more easier.

 

Strengthen your abs and balance at home. I use a portable barre (which is more unstable) to do barre work at home and it's helped with my balance. Also in class I only lay my hand slightly on the barre and try to not use it at all, that helps too with balance since you need to concentrate on pulling up and using your center more.

 

I found that my main problem was where I was trying to balance and my old teacher didn't really show me "releve" and there was a difference at various schools. In releve you are supposed to plie and then go up and pull your legs together and pull one up to passe, then one leg is pretty much under you (I was originally shown it to be just a rise, no wonder my balance sucked!). That helps a ton more, you need to balance over your toes, not over your heels, or else you will fall sideways or be very unstable. I never had a balancing issue flat foot, just demi pointe (balancing en pointe is much easier IMHO). And it was all because I was taught releve incorrectly. URGH!

 

Just practice practice practice! And it will come with time. Being an excellent balancer doesn't come overnight!

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Couple of months? I've been in classes for about four years, and it's just only by now that my balance in retiré on demi-pointe is even close to constant. And it is still not constant as in "I could stand here forever", just enough for the couple of beats one usually has to hold in a combination.

 

After a couple of months, I was maybe able to let go of the barre for just long enough to bring my other arm to first and put it back on the barre, if I did that very, very quick... and not necessarily even that. And while I am balance-wise the dunce of my class :D, I do not think any of us was in constant retiré balances on demi during the first beginner year.

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Couple of months? I've been in classes for about four years, and it's just only by now that my

 

Remember, Jaana, I think hkLola is a lot younger than you, and improvement seems to come more quickly for the young.

 

...says koshka, who is reasonably certain that she has a few years on Jaana.

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Ahhh, I wrote out a reply and it went *poof* darn. Yes, as koshka said, I am only 18 (and recently 18). I also dance daily and am in the student company (in hopes of a pro career) so with daily work balance can come quickly. It also helps to have teachers who say "if you don't take your hands off the barre and balance in releve passe for at least the 4 counts I will make you do the next exercise without the barre", pretty strict, but also works wonders for balance LOL. I'd recommend doing pilates (hate it), stability ball (fun class), or yoga (also fun and relaxing) if you have the time and don't dance daily. Stability ball is also sometimes called yoga ball. But those help with balance a ton, especially stability ball classes. When I took an adult class (basic int.) almost everyone in there besides me and one other person could balance for longer than 1-2 counts but the other lady could out balance me at times and she was in her 40's I believe and hasn't danced forever, it can come, just work on it and give it time. Balance can be harder for some people, which can suck I'm sure, but it will happen!! Just think positive and keep working!

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Ah, yes, that explains it. :D

 

(I am lucky to do five classes a week now, and yes, there definitely is improvement, and no, balancing is not my best sides at all, but those are other stories completely. :unsure:)

 

Good luck on your dance career.

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My teacher keeps saying "balance with your elbows" For the life of me I don't see how I should do this effectively. Even if my arms are in their proper position - I still topple over :)

 

hkLola, thank you for your posts, I will definately practice more than I have been and who knows, I might be able to balance better by this time next month.

Best wishes for your career :thumbsup:

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While "balance with your elbows" is indeed a bit of a strange way to put it, I think what your teacher is saying is that you must support your arms from your back muscles. If your elbows are drooping your back muscles and abs are not working.

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Guest adancingartistforlife
Kella, I moved this post, as technique questions go on the student forums :)

 

Balance in any position comes from being centered and having the muscle strength to maintain it. Before you can balance on demi pointe, you need to establish your center on the flat foot. Practice standing in the passé position on flat and find out what you need to do to hold that position and not fall back or side or anywhere. You will find that you must remain aligned, and with your weight centered over the supporting leg. The abs and back muscles work, along with glutes and the supporting leg muscles, and the rotation from the working leg pushing against the supporting glute muscle. Also work on the foot shape in this position. When you can balance well on flat, practice on demi pointe holding the barre. Feel your center before you try to let go of the barre. When you let go, if you are centered, you will not change anything at all. Keep excess tension out of the arms and shoulders and be sure that your foot does not sickle when you let go of the barre! :)

 

Man, I want to take class from you!!

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Thank you, adancingartistforlife, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :thumbsup:

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My teacher says to balance on the elbows too. It keeps your upper back wide, open, and supportive without any tension in the shoulders. I've found it to be a helpful metaphor.

 

I either find my point of balance BEFORE I let go of the barre, or else I find the balance without ever holding on to the barre at all (arms en haut is helpful for me).

 

If you're really on balance, you can hold it almost indefinitely without any effort. If you can only hold it for a second or two, then it's a "fake" balance, as my teacher puts it. You're using excessive muscular action to compensate for poor skeletal alignment. The bones need to be lined up first. Try and feel your bones and spine.

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All the adults in my class have what seem to be unusually good balances because of the way my teacher conducts the class. At the end of a combination, he will say, when I clap my hands, balance in passe. (That way you don't wiggle into it, you go directly.) And continuing... Now lift your arms to fifth. Clap. Now releve. Clap. Now lower to sous sous. Stay. Basically, we find real balances because we are given no opportunity to cheat, and we focus as much on transitions as static poses. Balances must be comfortable and relaxed rather than tense and straining. We take them after each exercise.

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