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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hip position and turnout


Pirou

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So, my new teacher corrects my hip position in what might be a "tuck" which I understand is generally not done anymore. Or, it might just be correcting my hip position to be correct. I'd like to figure out which it is. When he "tucks" me, all of a sudden, both my legs turn out more naturally and feel more free. Strengthwise, it feels more difficult, especially to land in jumps that way, and I feel I must develop a lot of smaller muscles around my hips to do it without having to think about it. But is this "tucking?" How can I tell the difference?

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Pirou-

Tucking is when you are bringing your sit bones forward and upwards. Read the sticky on alignment for a more detailed explanation.

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Thanks for your response Clara, but of course I've read that post and ask because I still don't know the answer. I may have to read it again, but I didn't see anything about hip placement and turnout.

 

I know that teachers used to teach "tucked" and now they don't, and I don't know if my teacher is correcting me or teaching a wrong thing.

 

Once he corrects me, there definitely is no way I could tuck any more. But how tucked IS tucked? I feel that my hips have a range of more than 3 positions, straight, tucked, and arched, and I don't know where I am on that spectrum. I guess it's not possible to know without photos. Perhaps I'll take some. That would make this easier.

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Pirou could your pelvis be compared to a watermelon bowl? :thumbsup: The pelvis when tucked under might be compared to a watermelon holding fruit cup! :)

 

If the front of your thigh/hip region is not maintained as flat as can be then you are not standing up straight. Imagine handle bars on a bicycle. If you lift them up, the buttocks is sticking out behind you. If your lower them down, you are tucking under. Straight handle bars...straight pelvis.

 

Another one is lights on a car. The pelvic bones must point straight forward like headlights. Lights pointing down...buttocks sticking out. Lights pointing upward...tucking under. Lights pointing straight ahead...you can see forever! :D

 

I am not too sure about the picture thing. Wait until Ms. Leigh or Major Johnson chime in on that one. :shrug:

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Pix are OK if they're for technical review, and linked to an offsite "album" like photobucket.

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Pirou, both my teachers teach us to pull up over the front of the hips, and try to get the area between the protruding hip bone andfromnt of the thigh flat. Also to think about & visualise connecting the hip bones and ribs. We're encouraged to think about pulling up, rather than tucking under.

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I'm not sure if this is what you are referring to, but our teacher describes 'tucked' as basically 'bring your backside 'in' and making sure it isn't sticking out'. She doesn't like the instruction as she feels it essentially makes students overcompensate by tilting their pelvis to the front and clenching their buttocks. Instead, she tells us to draw the two bones we sit on down towards the floor,

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isn't it sort of relative though? i've had several conversations with my teachers about this very issue. I think the difference that i've established is a tucked "position" rather than a tucking "action." My teacher has pointed out that for 99% of the "normal" population (those not bred to be dancers from birth, which i, for one, was not) walk around turned in with their derriere sticking out and their lower back arched. When one is correcting this "position" you must engage in the "action" of tucking under. This isn't taken so far to the point as your headlights pointing up into a tucked under "position", but the action must take place in order to acheive optimum turnout and correct placement. there's always an extreme to be reached and i'm sure eventually one might reach that point of "being" tucked under, but from what my teachers say, it is very few and far between. They always say it's much easier to pull you back than push you further. Once i understood this concept, that regardless i'm always going to feel tucking under, and that that feeling allows me to engage the turnout muscles under my seat, and to pull my derriere down and let the action of turning out and tucking under to make all of my movements. People have often talked about a "neutral" pelvis, and i much prefer and respond to the action of needing to tuck it under, rather than it remaining neutral - especially because the derriere muscles are so much bigger and tend to "pull up" if you don't thinking about doing something to counteract it. I hope that made sense (and accurately translates what i get from my teachers)

I just realized now that I typed the whole thing without proper capitalization. I apologize, at my work, everything must be in capital letters in our systems, which translates to no shift key ever. I've gotten so bad, my word processing has to have it automatically programmed to capitalize first letters of sentances and the "I". Sorry

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isn't it sort of relative though? i've had several conversations with my teachers about this very issue. I think the difference that i've established is a tucked "position" rather than a tucking "action."

If you want to argue semantics, I can see where you are coming from.

 

My teacher has pointed out that for 99% of the "normal" population (those not bred to be dancers from birth, which i, for one, was not) walk around turned in with their derriere sticking out and their lower back arched.

No, 49.5% of the population walks around in this manner, and the other 49.5% walks around with their pelvis tucked under, chest collapsed, and chin thrusting forward.

 

There's always an extreme to be reached and i'm sure eventually one might reach that point of "being" tucked under, but from what my teachers say, it is very few and far between.

Sorry but I must differ in my opinion on this issue. Perhaps in Iowa very few dancers attempt to move in a "tucked position", but from what I've seen in the rest of the country, they do and furthermore, are being taught to do so.

 

They always say it's much easier to pull you back than push you further. Once i understood this concept, that regardless i'm always going to feel tucking under, and that that feeling allows me to engage the turnout muscles under my seat, and to pull my derriere down and let the action of turning out and tucking under to make all of my movements.

I would say that rather than 'tucking', you should be simply "un-tilting" or releasing your pelvis so that it can be where it was meant to be by virtue of birth, or rather, neutral pelvis.

 

People have often talked about a "neutral" pelvis

Yes. That is what we need to be working towards, whether by un-tilting, or un-tucking.

 

and i much prefer and respond to the action of needing to tuck it under

You do what works for you. :)

 

rather than it remaining neutral - especially because the derriere muscles are so much bigger and tend to "pull up" if you don't thinking about doing something to counteract it.

This is where I must split hairs with you. Our bodies naturally were made correctly. What happens is gravity and mimicry. Subconsciously, we tend to emulate what we see. We see models in magazines jutting their hips out sideways, and we mimic. And when you combine that with improper teaching of any movement-based activity, you end up with a body that's out of alignment, and muscles that need re-training to hold the bones where they should naturally be. :thumbsup:

 

From what you are describing to me, I would be working with you on lift-off of the ribcage, because I am not getting from you that you have yet found your rotators. I would also be working on your abdominal strength.

 

But that's my opinion.

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I'm sorry, rentchick, but I cannot agree with you. There is a big difference between neutral, engaged, and tucked. The muscles of the gluteus must be engaged to facilitate rotation and proper support of the body in terms of ballet. The words "tuck" and "under" indicate action that takes one to a place you don't want to go! :) Perhaps they work for you, but those words are dangerous words for most students.

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Clara76 wrote: "I would say that rather than 'tucking', you should be simply "un-tilting" or releasing your pelvis so that it can be where it was meant to be by virtue of birth, or rather, neutral pelvis."

 

i find this very useful, and maybe we need to articulate here that "neutral" doesn't mean "not held" -- if I understand Clara & Ms Leigh correctly, we need to train our muscles to hold the pelvis in neutral correctly. That is, that holding the pelvis in "neutral" isn't necessarily effort-free!

 

And the reminder to thinking of pulling up and opening out in the abdominals, to separate hips from ribs seems to me (I'm not an expert, just trying to articulate this) to be equally essential.

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Wow, lots of responses.

 

Now that I have taken the photos and looked at them, I find that

 

( a ) It seems like such a small difference, I can't believe that my teacher can see this in a class of over 30 people, (then again, he's one who can say, "your supporting leg was slightly bent on your 2nd piqué turn in that combination.")

 

( b ) It seems my lower back IS arched and that this "tucking" thing seems to bring me into a straight line. Can those with professional eyes confirm this?

 

I can't believe that anyone can "tuck" any further than this. I have to work like a dog just to get this far. I think I have REALLY tight iliopsoas/hip flexors. Also, I do have to engage my glutes quite a bit to get here. Is that okay?

 

Here are the pics:

 

hip tuck?

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i find this very useful, and maybe we need to articulate here that "neutral" doesn't mean "not held" -- if I understand Clara & Ms Leigh correctly, we need to train our muscles to hold the pelvis in neutral correctly. That is, that holding the pelvis in "neutral" isn't necessarily effort-free!

 

Well not effort-free at all for me!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumbsup: But like anything, the more you get there, after a while, the less you have to think about it.

 

I'm a bit surprised that no one here is also talking about the elongation of the back - it's been hinted at, but I think is maybe more important than intimated at here? I mean, we can use are abs and pull up for days, to the point that our chest to to the ceilings and our back is tightened. For me, pulling up and elongating the back simultaneously is what I need to think of.... While we all have our different 'trigger thoughts' that help us in finding these positions, I don't see how one could find that neutral pelvis without elongating the back.

 

Maybe I'm just being picky here! :)

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Pirou, the hip tuck link took me to a page with photos of taping for achilles tendonitis. Can you fix the link?

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