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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Closing 5th Position

ABT Wannabe

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Hi! I have been dancing most of my life...and I'm going to a summer intensive this summer but I've noticed a big problem. During tendu combinations, or jete, I cannot close fifth position all the way. :D My lower back has a big curve naturally, so I thought maybe it was because I was sticking my butt out. But, when I put it in as much as I can, I feel like it's harder. I'm very confused because all of the girls in my class don't seem to have a problem with this. I have just been noticing this lately, so maybe it just started happening. It's very frustrating because I'm not even hyperextended (so I don't have an excuse for not being able to close 5th properly). I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of why this could be? I am trying to get my middle splits, so maybe that will help my turnout? Thank you for any comments! :)

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  • Administrators

Sounds to me like you might be "tucking", which causes you to sit in your hips with the weight in the heels. This would make it quite impossilbe to close with straight knees.

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Oh, okay. So I should pull up more?


Also, is my closing leg aloud to bend at all? Or should it be completely straight?


Thanks, Ms. Leigh!

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You need to use the gluteus muscles, but do NOT tuck them under! There is a big difference there. Then feel that your torso is lifted out of your hips and your weight is centered more towards the front of the foot. And yes, the closing leg should be straight.

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  • Administrators

I think I made those suggestions, above. It's about alignment and weight placement, and using the right muscles to lift up out of your hips. The abs are important, and the glutes, as you must live up out of your supporting leg. Keeping the weight from settling in the heels is critical.

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my teacher tells everyone in my level to close in first,and then slide into fifth,every time you tondu or jete,i think that may help,it is also helpful for "snaking"(doing a little circle before closing fifth,a usual problem when doing fast jetes to the side)


Nutmegdancer :rolleyes:

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Guest star_reacher

Yeah, we are told to pull up in our legs and do not bend you knees. You are to tighten your inner thighs and hold them like that. Hope that this helps!!

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