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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Lower Back Strength


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Hi :(

I'm trying to improve my arabesque, but I think that I need to work on my lower back flexibility and strength before I can seriously improve. Are there any stretches or exercises that you can recommend?


Also! I'm finding that my back leg in an arabesque swings slightly outwards (ex. if my right leg is up and back, it swings out towards my right side). Is this because of placement, or muscle weakness, or lack of flexibility? :blushing:


Thanks! <33

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Thanks for all the detail! :( It makes advising much easier when we have more to work with.


Let's remember again that you have only been studying since September, and you're only a little ways into the mission. Let's address the working leg first. In an arabesque, the working leg should be behind the shoulderblade of the working side. It's as if the leg were lifted straight back from 5th position, and may feel slightly crossed over. That's natural.


As with your question on relevé, this is a function of a new student getting the placement right in the first place. After that is achieved, all the other things will start to fall into place. But they will come slowly and with work. There is no "ballet fairy" who can come along and sprinkle pixie dust and suddenly everything's right.

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I think it was you (or was it Ms Leigh?) who gave me this advice that really helped me with my arabesques in general: The image of pulling diagonally forward (and upwards) with the back and not up (or even backwards). Since I imagine this, I have a nice line in arabesques, placement is easiert and I can develope strenght in my back.

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Thank you! :wink: In class, I tried to change my working leg placement so I could feel it "crossed over" instead of swinging away and it did help, although it is much lower than before :yes: After attempting to correct that, there seems to be 100 more things that I need to adjust with the arabesque: I can feel myself leaning forward or tightening my upper back in order to stay balanced. I hope that these things do begin to come easier!


Thank you all so much for your help! <33 I am astounded by your ability to understand and help me just through writing; it is just as effective as if I was asking someone in person and (attempting to) demonstrate.

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