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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Confused about a few things...


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I'm sorry that this is a typical " My teachers say different things" sort of post. You must get a bit sick of us asking questions, to which the answers are as clear as daylight for you. Thanks for your patience.


I'm a little bit confused about which teacher to believe at the moment and would really appreciate it if you could clarify a few things for me.



Last night we had a different teacher who found that I was tilting my hips a fair bit in my grande battement a la seconde. She lifted my leg as high as it would go with out much tilting happening in the hips and said that this was 'my' postision, that it was a nice posistion and that I should work with what I have. But this contradicts my normal teacher, who said that once the leg gets a fair way about 90 degrees, you do have to tilt you hips slightly. In one class, she lifted my leg till it was opposite my shoulder or higher ( can't remeber) and said that I could do that, but my hips would tilt. She even compliments me on my grande battements to second. So, should I just work with my legs at a height where I don't really tilt my hips or should I be getting it to the heights my normal teacher likes to see from me? (of course with good rotation used, no rolling and everything else!)

This different teacher was telling us that we should only use the turnout we have, and not force turnout. (Which I agree with). But, my normal teacher says that we should try and get a tiny wee bit more turnout each class. I mean, she doesn't want us to be turning out our feet and twisting at the knees or anything like that - more turn out from the inner thighs down. So, should we be working with the turnout we natrually have, and using that only as the one teacher says, or always striving for a weeny bit more? This different teacher was saying that you should only use what you have, and nothing more. But I think about when I started ballet ....and the lack of rotation I had- to now, when I have alot more. Can you gain in rotation?

She also picked up on something that I was doing wrong; swinging my hips in my grande battement devant. Infact, I was alarmed to find that when she held my hips straight ahead, my leg only got to 90 degrees. She gave me some good hamstring stretches which I have to do everyday and always before classes. I was concerned that my normal teacher didn't pick up on this problem. She (my regular teacher) is always telling me to get my legs higher because , " you have the flexibility - you can do it". So, I give her the height, but loose my technique.



This perhaps isn't the clearest post!

I hope you can help me....

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Holding the grand battement à la seconde to a place where you don't tilt the hips is completely proper, but doesn't feed the bulldog these days. You need much more to produce the amount of stretch. Developpés devant are trickier. You MUST not allow the hips to lift. Of course, you must not force turnout, or anything else, but attempt to feel where you are, and strive to go from there to completely rotated. You may never get to 180°, but you should feel as if you're on your way there.


Now that you know what the different teachers want, do differently for each.

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Danielle, your rotation CAN improve, and should. However working within your own rotation, while still striving for better is probably what both of them want! It may just be a different way of stating things. Also, your regular teacher may feel that you have potential for more and is pushing you to try harder. I'm sure she doesn't want you to lose your technique to do it, though! It's very possible that the new teacher was just picking up on some things that were happening because you were pushing a bit too far.

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Thanks, that helps. I'll keep really working on the grandebattement devant - I've always found that an unpleasant one. Seeing my regular teacher has no problems with my grandebattement a la seconde, I think I shall leave it there. And I'm glad that you can improve your rotation. :innocent: My teacher has told me that she wanted to push me futher e.t.c. and that's why she had been demanding more from me.

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