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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Arms in third in arabesque...help!


dolphingirl792

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So, when I position myself into arabesque, it is then very difficult for me to raise my arms into third position. The same is true in attitude derriere. I feel that something is restricting my arms from going over my head . My elbows come forward as well, creating a terrible line, or rather, distorting my line. I also feel that my shoulders come up a little. I have a relatively inflexible back, so I think that it may be related to this. I try to keep my shoulders down and my elbows back, but I am unable. Can someone help me with this problem? Is there anything that I can do to correct this?

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I'd almost bet money that your weight is going into your heel when you try to bring your arms over your head. Remember, quatrieme derriere is not the same thing as arabesque and you have to keep your weight within your control zone on your foot throughout that particular port de bras. You don't have anything to counterbalance the working leg, so it's all about strength.

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Sounds to me like you are pulling back on your arabesque and attitude positions, as opposed to allowing our body to move forward and upward as the leg moves backward and upward. :ermm:

 

I moved this topic to YD 17, dolphingirl. The last YD post you made was to this forum, so I'm assuming you are now in this age category. Let me know if that is not correct.

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Hmm, two very interesting replies! I don't think that I am going back on my heel, because often when this happens is when I am balancing in arabesque en releve, and the teacher will ask us to bring our arms to third. I may be crunching in my back though, rather than going up and forward, like Ms. Leigh said. Since I have limited flexibility in back, would it be possible that I need to strengthen my upper back more in order to lift up and forward more? And could limited rotation in my shoulders also have a role to play in this problem?

Also, are there any exercises I can do to increase the flexibility of my back? This is something that I have always struggled with.

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It could be the upper back flexibility problem, but I think it is probably just more a matter of moving away from the back leg instead of towards it. In terms of increasing the upper back flexiblility, I think probably Pilates exercises would be the way to go.

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Hint: If your weight is too far back, then you're "going into your heel". If you're in relevé, the effect is more pronounced because your heel is in the air, having no visible means of support! I'm in full agreement with Ms. Leigh.

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Okay, thank you so much! I will definitely work on keeping my weight forward more in class. And thank you Mr. Johnson, I understand what you mean about going onto my heel now :ermm:

I will definitely work on my upper back flexibility in Pilates as well. Any specific Pilates exercises I could do? Or do I just need to concentrate on movement through the upper back in general in order to loosen it up?

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A good Pilates instructor would know that immediately.

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Okay! I'm heading to the Orlando Ballet this summer and I think that we have Pilates classes. I'll be sure to ask the instructor. Thanks for your help!

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