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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Being able to move freely vs. Correct Placement


Banana Feet

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How do you achieve a free-moving upper body while maintaining correct placement? I know that you have to engage your abs, and I should be taking any "tension" I have there. But, for some reason, I cannot have my abs engaged completely without taking a lot of tension in my upper body. One teacher said that I hold tension in my chest in order to make myself think that I am gaining stability, even though I'm not. If I let my upper body go, then my back goes crazy and arches and my ribs open. Even when a teacher is helping me feel correct placement, I feel like I can't do anything with my upper body. How can I work to achieve a relaxed upper body and correct placement?I feel like right now I can do one or the other, but not both. :D

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Banana Feet, the use of the abs is totally separate from the chest and the head and the arms. You have to learn to place yourself properly for every position and movement, and still keep the upper part free to move. A dancer needs a strong center, or core strength, but also freedom in the upper body. Establishing the core strength comes first, as that will allow the rest to be free. Without the center being solid, the minute you move everything goes. You might need to go back to basics a bit and get the center more secure.

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