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A la seconde stretch


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I have a question about a stretch my teachers sometimes have us do in class. You slide one leg out to second, as if going into a middle split, but keeping the other leg underneath your hips with the heel down, and hold your body up with your hands on the floor in front of your hips. My problem is my supporting heel pops up and I can't do the stretch with it down. Also, it REALLY doesn't feel good which makes me think somethings wrong with my alignment.


It's probably difficult to know what the problem is for sure, since you can't see what I'm doing, but any advice would be great.

Thanks :blushing:

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Are you referring to a stretch that is done with one leg on the barre while standing on the other leg?

I'm just having trouble picturing what you are talking about.

Clara 76

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And I'm sort of envisioning something that looks like something out of Graham Technique. More descriptive help would be good.

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I *think* I know what she means. Going down into a "center" split with only one leg, and bending the other one while putting the hands on the floor. I don't think I've ever done it in a ballet class, but remember something similar from gym or maybe modern/jazz classes. We did something *similar* in floor barre.


Like this (but turned out with the hand on the floor in front of you??)



You need to move your outside hip (the one with the unextended leg) over the ankle so the heel doesn't pop up. No one could keep the heel down if the hips are between the heel. I'm flexible with long achilles, and I just tried and couldn't do it either.


Just sitting with your legs in straddle would stretch the adductors much more easily and more effectively. You can get an adductor stretch my pressing the "working" heel into the floor with this, but I'm not sure if any of this is particularly *friendly* to the health of the knees, IMHO. Some variations can be OK, but the teacher needs to help you out the first couple of times so it's not damaging.


* oh, sorry , wrong board :blushing:

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I think I know what you're talking about. You might have a short achilles and thats why you can't keep your heel down? Or perhaps shift your weight back a little more.


Are you referring to what kind of looks like a side lunge, but you sit into it a little more?

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I'm sure everybody would know this stretch if they saw it. I just hope I can describe it in enough detail! :D No, the stretch is not done at the barre. Lampwick, for some reason the picture isn't displaying in the link for me, but I don't think your stretch is the same as what I'm talking about, because it sounds like you're actually sitting on the floor in the pose. Thanks for trying though :blushing: . With my stretch the extended leg to the side isn't resting on the floor, but is in a turned out lunge, with the pelvis about 12 or 15 inches over the supporting foot and ankle, the hands are in front of the supporting foot holding the body up. Seamonkey may have the closest description of what I'm trying to say and my achilles IS kind of tight. When I shift my weight back my heel is able to stay on the floor, but then it feels like my knee isn't tracking over my foot.


I hope all that didn't just confuse everybody even more! :blushing: I'm sorry if it did, and I'm really grateful to you all for trying to sort it out. :)

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OH! Yes, I think I get what you're talking about! Boys do it in character a lot to prepare for a lot of the prisyadka (squatting) moves! Don't worry if the heel doesn't go down initially. It will improve over time.

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Sounds to me like the kind of stretch that one should not do if it doesn't work right for them. There are other, probably better and safer ways to accomplish whatever it is trying to accomplish.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest PinkPanther

Try to scoot your extended leg more to the corner so that it is not completely to the side but more to the corner. There are many people who experience what you describe in my jazz class but as someone already mentioned, I've never done it in a ballet class. Give it a try, however I think Ms. Leigh put it the best when she said that if it doesn't work for you perhaps there is a better way of going about stretching that muscle.

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my teacher taught us that last year and we do it when we warm up sometimes. you can also use it as a strengthening move, but it's too hard to describe and takes a LOT of balance. I like it for my left leg out, but not so much with my right. after we're warmed up we do that and then try to stretch down as much as you can without sitting.


p.s oops, this is the older board....and an old topic. sorry.

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