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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How do I improve speed?


Magdalena

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I always seem to get lost in fast combinations, especially petite allegro. Even simple tendus and degages at the barre, I can't handle if they're very fast. I think maybe I'm just not capable of moving that quickly.

 

I have been working on this and practising dancing faster for years, and I've only improved slightly. The better I get overall, the more I'm held back by my inability to do fast combinations. What can I do to learn how to move faster?

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It occurs to me, from other posts you've made to the board, that you may not be releasing the structures across the front/top of your foot and compromising your speed and depth of plié thereby. If the front of the ankle is tensed, then the foot will have difficulty in transitioning from a flexed to a pointed position. Does this seem to be happening with you?

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That might be the problem. I can never really feel if the muscles in my feet and ankle area are tense or not. Maybe I just don't have good awareness of the muscles in that area. What can I do to help with that?

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Try practicing barefoot and watch what your feet are doing. (Not in class!)

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I have come to the conclusion that the biggest part of this problem is in changing direction or shifting from one foot to the other. Could my problem have something to do with placement?

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It would have to do with having your weight in the right place to be able to move in whatever direction is necessary. :shrug:

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Sometimes when I work with fast combinations, mostly fast tendus in the center after I have already done a complete barre, the muscles under my foot (my instep, I guess?) cramp up and I have to stretch them out. Does this have anything to do with my ankle being tensed, or is it another problem? I have also noticed this in petit allegro when I have to move fast. I think if I figure out why the bottoms of my feet cramp up when I move fast, I may be able to improve my speed. Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts on what could be causing them to cramp?

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  • Administrators

Gripping causes cramping. If you are gripping your feet in these combinations, then they will cramp. Gripping is excess tension, as opposed to stretch.

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