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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Develope


Guest SouthDakotaDancersRock

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Guest SouthDakotaDancersRock

Im not sure whrer to post this, so i just made a new topic. feel free to move.

 

I've been reading in several forums the last couple weeks trying to improve my extesion in develope (especially devant). I know that you are supposed to visualize using your hamstrings from underneath, and not your thighs. I've been trying this over and over again in class, and my quads still lock up and i can't get passed 90 to the front! :D what do you think my problem could be?

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It's good to think of the leg as being lifted from underneath as part of a large circulation of energy, but actually, the hamstrings aren't what lifts the leg - they can't. They actually turn the leg out from the hip so that muscles like the abductors and the iliopsoas can engage and do the "heavy lifting" in the developpé. In order to get the best out of the extension that you do have, you have to lift out of the supporting hip, pull inward and upward with the lower abdominal muscles, and make sure that you have both the supporting and working leg well-rotated. They even work against one another as a sort of isometrics.

 

I wouldn't be too concerned about the quads working. They have to, in order for you to extend the working leg at all - it straightens your knee.

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Crunches and situps exercise the upper abdominals, which don't do much of the developpéing. The lower abs, the ones below the navel, are the important ones for that. And what were you told about WHO gives the advice in the Young Dancers' forums?

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I have a little bit of a different developpe question, and I didn't want to start a new thread. :innocent: Whenever my class does an adagio combination in center that involves developpe ecarte derriere, with our head looking away from the working leg I have problems. I can barely developpe my leg to 90, I can't hold it once it gets there, and it just feels really awkward. :D:dry: It doesn't feel quite as awkward if I just keep my head to the front but I can't really do that in class. It puzzles me because I don't seem to have a problem just developping my leg to a la seconde en avant. Do you have any suggestions? :D

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Perhaps your difficulty is in focus. Many dancers do find it difficult to dance/move without seeing themselves in the mirror. Of course this is a situation that must be overcome because it looks better not to watch yourself all the time, but also because when you dance on stage there is no mirror. :D

 

When turning your head over your shoulder, try to not stare at yourself. In Vaganova training the general rule is, seeing yourself in the mirror could mean your head is not turned enough over the shoulder when using the various positions of the body. Ecarte is very difficult because you are looking diagonally downward or upward.

 

Have you asked your teacher for a bit of extra help? Perhaps she/he might be able to give you more suggestions based upon what is being seen? :D

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When I develope my leg out to the side I cant get it to the full value of height that I want. Do any of you have suggestions?

P.S.- I know this doesnt have to do with this subject, but how can I stretch to get my middle splits? :D

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Are you trying to put the leg up absolutely to the side? That's fine if you have full 180° rotation of the thigh in the hipjoint, but it can do mischief if you don't. Let it inch forward just a trace, a couple inches. Also make sure that you're not letting your weight settle onto the supporting heel. Once you get there, it's difficult for almost any other part to go anywhere.

 

And center splits are best practiced for by doing them. They are a stretch in themselves, and assist in extension.

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I am pretty sure that I don't look in the mirror much when doing this particular developpe. I mostly try to focus my gaze down, just past my hand. I might try asking my teacher for help when I get a chance.

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  • 2 months later...

Mr. Johnson, how do you lift up out of the supporting hip in a developpe devant? I understand how this works to the side, but I'm confused as to how to lift up while keeping square. I also find it harder to hold the developpe when I lift my hip. Should I think more about engaging the lower abdominals?

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Mr. Johnson, is it really true that if you don't have really good turn-out, your leg shoudn't be all the way to the side? Wow! Do I feel stupid! :P My teacher always tells me how tense I look when I develope to the side, but it's really hard to concertrate and look graceful at the same time! Maybe inching it forward a pinch will help? :P

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Guest ForeverSewingPointeShoes

I know I am not supposed to post advice so please delete if necessary.

 

I used to have trouble with my develope to the front. My teacher suggested I do heel-in-hand stretch to the front (trying to keep supporting knee straight) and stretch out glutes. When doing develope devant, I did a really high passe and then just extended the lower part of the leg. Thinking of passe kept my hips square too. It really worked miracles for me.

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Mr. Johnson, how do you lift up out of the supporting hip in a developpe devant? I understand how this works to the side, but I'm confused as to how to lift up while keeping square. I also find it harder to hold the developpe when I lift my hip. Should I think more about engaging the lower abdominals?

 

The lift out of the hips works in devant the same way it does in a la seconde. Developpés devant are always really the most difficult, but it can be done. And yes, absolutely engage the lower abdominals when doing ANY extensions.

 

Mr. Johnson, is it really true that if you don't have really good turn-out, your leg shoudn't be all the way to the side? Wow! Do I feel stupid! :D My teacher always tells me how tense I look when I develope to the side, but it's really hard to concertrate and look graceful at the same time! Maybe inching it forward a pinch will help? :)

 

Yes, absolutely. Try it just a bit forward of absolutely side, and at the same time, feel as though you are pushing the extended leg back to directly side. It won't go there, but feel as though you're doing that.

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I have a question about developpes and fondues. When I do a fondue developpe a la seconde, my leg gets higher than in a normal developpe. Am I doing something wrong or using the wrong muscles? :unsure:

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Guest shishkabob

I keep wondering exactly what it means to 'lift out of the supporting leg'- for developpes a la seconde or devant. I understand that you wouldn't sink into the supporting hip, and you do lift and engage the torso and abdominal muscles. However, are the hips supposed to be level, as in the same height from the floor, or is the hip of the working leg allowed to be higher than the hip of the supporting leg? I always thought that this would mean that the hips weren't square, but it's confusing to me, and it seems that if the hip of the working leg was higher, than the extension would be higher too, so I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

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