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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Parallel Position


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When I stand in parallel my calves are quite a distance apart and I have noticed that most people their calves touch. My knees are over my toes so I'm not exactly sure what is wrong or if it is just my body type. Any suggestions or excersises to help would be greatly appreciated!

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It shouldn't make the slightest bit of difference. You are bowlegged (arqué), that's all. The fact that there's a name for it in ballet terminology ought to be a clue to you over how common this skeletal formation is. You should be able to excel at allegro and beats. You can't correct it, so the best you can do is work with it to your advantage. Make sure that you utilize the rotation of the thigh in the hipjoint in order to maintain good turnout. Parallel position isn't used much in classical ballet, anyway.

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Knock knock - Thanks for such a positive reply Major Mel. I just showed it to my DD who is 14 and exactly as underthesea describes.


Don't know about elsewhere in the world, but at the moment there seem to be very few arqué students around in UK. My DD often feels "different" in auditions and on courses. Could it be something to do with the obsession with high extensions, at ever younger ages. So those who can't get get their legs up high so soon get discouraged and/or "weeded out"?


Underthesea - an exercise I think helps is to use an elastic band (theraband or cliniband). Tie it in a loop so you can stand in parallel with the feet about 6 inches apart. Then lift one leg to the side without turnout, pulling against the band. Repeat several times on each leg. This should help strengthen the outside of the leg to balance the strong muscles on the inside. If you think of a bow (as in bow and arrow) it is the strenth of the string that pulls the ends of the bow inwards.

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I, too, am bowlegged. I have found it quite annoying in many instnces, but have found it to my advantage in allegro! B) One day I did an internet search, it took some time, but I was able to find quite a few exercises to do to help. (Try searching threads here, if I remember correctly, there are some about exercises if you are bowlegged).

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