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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bottom tight


heffalump

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When correcting my pirouettes or retiré balance, my teacher sometimes pokes the area just below my buttock (gluteus maximus, I guess) and tells me to keep that bit tight. I'm a bit confused since I'm not sure what I should tighten and how. I'm trying to turn out the supporting leg as much as possible and tighten my buttock, but is there something else I should be doing? Any advise?

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You are probably just not getting all the way up out of the supporting leg and using the top of the thigh and buttox muscles enough. Also, if your weight is a bit too far back, you can't be using those muscles well.

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Thank you for your kind and prompt reply, Ms. Leigh!

 

Leaning back a little is another thing I regularly get corrected for (how did you know? :) ), so I suppose this is a matter of position rather than desparately trying to tighten individual muscles.

 

But may I ask what getting 'out of the supporting leg' means? (English is not my first language, and occasionally it still beats me.)

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It just means lifting the bones of the upper body more away from the standing hip. It involves moving the body weight forward and upward over the standing hip and using the muscles of the abs, back, buttox, and thighs to maintain it. The turn should finish still "up there" before you lower the retiré leg to the floor, and the pirouette actually finishes on the standing leg, not falling onto the leg going to the floor. Ideally, you want to place the retiré leg on the floor by decision, not because you are falling back into it. :)

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  • 10 months later...

Had to dig this up, as I'm still confused the retire passe.

 

I went to see a physiotherapist who specializes in dancers. Amongst other things, he corrected my retire position, saying that I lean or 'sink' too much towards the supporting leg. In the corrected position I could really feel the back and inside of the supporting leg as well as my abs working, but the hip of the working side (=the side of the leg doing the retire) was slightly raised. Is this a bad thing?

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It is short of perfection, but then, aren't we all? If anything, it is less bad than sinking into the supporting hip. Work in a way that has you lifted out of the supporting hip, while simultaneously encouraging the working hip to stay more level. It's a sort of isometrics.

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Thank you. Yes, I guess it's about juggling between what you have and what should be...

 

By the way, BT4T really has a Speedy Gonzales answering service :yes:. Ten minutes!

 

I'm editing: nine. :shrug:

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