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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shoulder Sits


jsan379

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I have a question for you guys. I am in a ballet version of Aladdin and in it there is a shoulder sit right after another lift where the girl goes over our shoulder backwards and we're holding the left leg while the right is in develope up.

 

Anyway, there is this one guy who says that his back and his shoulders hurt from the lifting. He won't tell the choreographer (why? I have no clue) So I tried to explain the shoulder sit the best I could, telling him its more timing than strength. But then I thought I'd ask you guys.

 

Can someone explain that lift kinda step by step. The way it should be done.

 

Thanks,

-Joel

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Just the shoulder sit is a straight up-the-front lift which moves the liftee to the right or left at the last moment, and she has to sit down when she gets there! She has to provide the lifter with a jump on takeoff so that he doesn't strain himself doing a deadweight lift. A sort of quarter-plié on the part of the lifter is permissable in order to provide a certain "scoop" and get the liftee seated!

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Very important that the girl knows how to hold herself in the seated position. Most of the younger girls have a tendency to lean forward rather than being straight up and down because of a fear of falling backwards. The result is the boy has to lean backward and create a sort of shelf with his upper pectoral muscle to compensate for the girl leaning forward and all her weight goes into the lower back. This may not be the case but if it is, it should be easily noticed from the side.

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Well one thing he mentioned was that he never has lifted anything close to being heavy in his life. So I'm guessing that has something to do with it. And I agree the girl has to do her part in the lift also. I'm not able to watch them do it because I'm doing it myself. I just got concerned when he told me after rehearsing two different days that his back was hurting. I mean, it isn't supposed to. Right?

 

Thanks for the input guys, I'll tell him that he has to talk to the choreographer and get that figured out before there is any damage done. Still open to suggestions.

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Where is his back hurting? Upper back? Lower back? One of the more common ways to hurt your lower back while lifting is to not brace it properly with your muscles during the lift, and you end up leaning too far back from the lower back, putting strain on it there. The fix is to learn better how to hold a strong center, and this starts at the barre.

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I think that's mostly what it is. My lower back was hurting at first because of just that. Then I corrected it by remembering that I needed to stabilize my center. I'll see him tonight at rehearsal. Thanks davidq. I'm glad we have a place where we who don't have a lot of experience can go and ask as much as we can.

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Good, this is helping one dancer to help another. Just take him and his partner aside and take a look at what they're doing. If he's crimping his back, tell him about it. (Then, as a goodwill gesture, have them analyze what you and your partner are doing in the same lift)

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