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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Photos: "Ballerina Project"


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I just wanted to share these beautiful photos which are taken in and around the New York area :wink: the photos inspired me so much that my friends and I have started our own portfolio of Ballerina Project-esque photos on the west coast /california area!

 

Ballerina Project photos

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Oooooh! I LOVE the black-and-white one in fifth standing on the picnic bench. That is gorgeous.

 

And the one where the girl is standing on the chain link gate. That looks a tad dangerous!

 

Thanks for sharing! :wacko:

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I'd love them more if the dancer on the bench wasn't curling her toes. :cool2:

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Here is when I would like to take a moment to re-train your ballet eye. Her feet are over-arched and her toes are curled. It may appeal to your eye for a photo, but it is not proper ballet technique. Period. Plus she needs re-fit in some pointe shoes that will help support her, not make her feet look like cashews.

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Hi Clara,

I usually just lurk and don’t post, as I am kind of shy on the internet (and in real life, too, I guess, but that’s already way off topic…). However, I absolutely love this board, as I am constantly learning so much from all of you - especially the teachers / moderators, but everyone else as well -, and while I have the courage to post this one time, I want to use the opportunity and just say a big THANK YOU to all for the invaluable education (and entertainment!) you provide in this forum!!!

 

But to get to my real question now, I am very curious to hear your opinion on the first picture that Mazenderan posted. It immediately caught my attention, because to me that does not look like a proper position of tendu derrière --- but is it?? While her standing leg looks turned out (despite her sitting in the hyperextended knee, perhaps…), her left leg seems almost parallel with the knee facing front, but at least her hips are square. Is that how it is supposed to be?

I am just especially interested in this, because I have basically always been struggling with tendus derrière, and our teacher has been talking about this a lot, saying that we actually have to allow the hip to open slightly(!) (while keeping the rest of the upper body square, of course) in order to maintain turnout on the working leg… So without rambling too much, I guess I am just wondering if there are different schools of thought on this, with some putting more emphasis on keeping the hips square even if it sacrifices some of the turnout (which would make the position in the picture technically accurate), or if everyone just has to find some sort of middle-ground that works best for one’s own body?

 

Any and all thoughts on this would be very much appreciated, as I love every opportunity to keep (re-)training my ‘ballet eye’ :(

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Here is when I would like to take a moment to re-train your ballet eye. Her feet are over-arched and her toes are curled. It may appeal to your eye for a photo, but it is not proper ballet technique. Period. Plus she needs re-fit in some pointe shoes that will help support her, not make her feet look like cashews.

 

So a foot can be too arched? I did think that it didn't look like it would be physically plausible to actually dance on feet that were so arched, but I thought that maximum arch was the best. And are her pointe shoes much too soft, then, which enables her to curl her toes in them?

 

But to get to my real question now, I am very curious to hear your opinion on the first picture that Mazenderan posted. It immediately caught my attention, because to me that does not look like a proper position of tendu derrière --- but is it?? While her standing leg looks turned out (despite her sitting in the hyperextended knee, perhaps…), her left leg seems almost parallel with the knee facing front, but at least her hips are square. Is that how it is supposed to be?

 

Actually, 2nd on this question. I thought it looked turned in, but maybe I'm wrong? I love the overall mood of the photo, though.

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Maureen-

 

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers!!!!

You have a very good "eye" as you have noticed some very detailed things about that picture. You are correct that in that photo, her back leg is not rotated at all, and she is sitting into her hyperextension.

 

Your teacher knows your body best, so if she feels you need to open your hip a bit more, then try it. The way we are built and the structure of our hips with the ball and socket joint necessitates some opening through the hip in order to have proper placement in the derriere position. If you are lifted up and out of your supporting leg, then the opening may minimize. Just be careful that there is no lifting of the hip.

 

Mazenderan-

 

Feet are what they are; it's all in how we use them. We are born with a skeletal system and muscular system that supports it, and it is what it is. BUT, we can reshape the muscles and use them to their best advantage, which will redefine them. Feet can be improved as we work in ballet, for the most part.

 

So no, there is no such thing as having too much arch, but there is such a thing as not using the muscles to control it. Allowing the foot to overarch and go too far over en pointe creates a bad line as well as a weak position. Her pointe shoes are contributing to the issue, but it is her technique that she must fix first. :clapping:

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