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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Winging and Turnout

Guest arabesque07

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Guest arabesque07

I have really been working on improving my arabesque and I have recently noticed that part of the reason I think that it looks so bad is because I can't properly wing my foot out.

I consulted a more experienced classmate of mine and after working with me on it, she said that I was in fact winging my foot, but I just wasn't turning out enough so that you could tell.

So that presents a new problem. I guess what I'm asking for here is ways to improve turnout of the working leg in arabesque.

Also, when winging, I feel like I am almost flexing my foot. Is this right? Maybe because I haven't properly taught how to do it, I'm doing it wrong. It isn't exactly something that they teach us in classes - it's just sort of picked up.

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It sounds to me that you are determined to improve the line of your arabesque. Congratulations. I am not sure however where you have gotten the information that winging your feet will help you improve in this area.


Work on your turn out and keeping the line of your feet straight. No winging in or out. It is only through a clear understanding of line that you will improve in this area. Ballet is movement. Changing the shape of your feet to suit a pose or step is a dangerous pursuit, instead it is a very quick route to injury. The most secure and efficient way to move is through correct alignment and winging does not fit in that statement.


As for how to improve you turnout...ask for a meeting with your teacher. You may need a few extra help sessions to explain specifically where you need to begin. Without seeing you, it is difficult to give you specific advise. Rotate your leg in your hip socket. As you lift your leg from the floor through 45 to 90 degrees remember to stretch your knees. Maintain a strongly lifted upper back. Shoulders square. Keep turning your working heel so that it is facing downward (parallel ) to the floor. Do not try to lift your leg too high at first. Work to maintain the rotation in both legs.

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