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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Ballet Books for Adult Technique


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(if this should go on the books board, I apologize - and if it has been answered a million times, I apologize as well - but I couldn't seem to find exactly what I was looking for in my search of the boards)

 

I am starting back to ballet after about 12 years away - I had 8 years of ballet as a child, so I'm pretty familiar still with a lot of the steps (even if I haven't done them in a long time)... so I am not looking for a book that dwells too much on the terminology, but rather on all the details that I managed to miss considering that my dad was in the military, and those 8 years of ballet included 5 different schools, and several of those were Dolly Dingles because we didn't really know better when we first moved to a new place... Because of this, I find that there is a LOT of information on the board, about proper turnout and such, that was never really mentioned to me in dance class.

 

Is there any one book on the subject that would really clarify a lot of the little details that I feel my teachers either assumed I knew, or just didn't tell me? Or do I need to get a few different books to really understand? Unfortunately there is only one adult ballet class in my town, so until I get enough of my ability back to possibly take in some of the regular classes at one of the dance schools, I'm stuck with only one class a week - and I know that will not be enough time to pick the teacher's brain enough....

 

I saw mention of some really wonderful book on turnout - is that too much for a beginning student? What is all this about ballet feet and such? I briefly started pointe, and there was no mention of that where I was at (we won't go there now) but I'd never heard of such things about whether you had the feet for it or not...

 

Also if anyone has any good suggestions on how to increase flexibility from next to nothing I would appreciate it - even when I was taking ballet, and working on the splits, and such regularly, I have never been particularly flexible and it has only gotten worse (I dread even imagining how horrendous my arabesque is going to look at my first class next week - the only move that I have ever been able to get my leg at all to a decent height is attitude because of the knee being bent....

 

 

Way too many questions in one long rambling post I am sure - and I apologize for that - I just feel like I had 8 years of training that only taught me to love something I really know nothing about from what I read on these boards....

 

Aria :devil:

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I might suggest Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren and of course a Gail Grant dictionary. Both can be found by clicking on the Amazon link at the top of this page. I have also found some good information on Deborah Vogel's website about turnout and alignment that might be helpful to you. That website is: http://www.thebodyseries.com/

 

Good luck!!

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I would also suggest the Gretchen Ward Warren book. I have several (many) ballet books now, but this one is the one I go back to probably more than any other. I bought mine used on half.com, I think.

 

I will watch this thread with interest with regards to flexibility, as that's an issue that I deal with as well.

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Thanks... I was looking at my turnout earlier, and I'm rather impressed that I've got as much as I do seem to still have (but then a partial turnout is quite natural for me - I have to work to stand with my feet parallel) though I'm depressed again, because my knees still don't meet when I'm standing...(actually if my legs are straight they don't even meet when my feet are parallel) - no matter how hard I tried when I was taking ballet, I could never get my knees to touch together, much less close the gap between my thighs...sigh... oh well, I obviously know at 26 I'm not starting ballet again to actually do anything with it aside from the benefit it may give me in community musical theatre dance, but I'm the type of person that if I'm going to do something, be it just for fun or not, I want to make sure I'm doing it as correctly and seriously as I can...

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It sounds like you may be bowlegged. In that case, you're just not going to get your knees to touch, so quit trying. :devil: instead, work on engaging the rotation muscles of your legs, and work on pulling up out of your legs, and the position will gradually improve. But not until you stop thinking of it as trying to get your knees to touch. It's much more than that. :thumbsup:

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Hi, for what it's worth, I also could never get my knees to touch, untill I discovered that I'm overstretching them. When I'm stretching my knees as far as they go, my legs are not straight, but bend backward a little. So when I bow my knees a little bit, so that my legs are straight, they do touch, even though I have a little bit bowed legs (and indeed, trying to push them together doesn't work). You may want to use a mirror to see what I mean and if it applies to you as well.

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