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Ballet Talk for Dancers

SHOULDER SITS


bobo

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I have a question for you guys. I am in a ballet version of Aladdin and in it there is a shoulder sit right after another lift where the girl goes over our shoulder backwards and we're holding the left leg while the right is in develope up.

 

Anyway, there is this one guy who says that his back and his shoulders hurt from the lifting. He won't tell the choreographer (why? I have no clue) So I tried to explain the shoulder sit the best I could, telling him its more timing than strength. But then I thought I'd ask you guys.

 

Can someone explain that lift kinda step by step. The way it should be done.

 

Thanks,

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Edited by Momof3darlings
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OK, the shoulder sit is one of the easiest to do, right after the straight up-and-down in place. In fact, it derives from that one. It begins in the preparation, which gets your partner into a fifth position plié. Use this preparatory step to gauge the timing. When she pliés, you have to plié too, to adjust your hands and arms, and further assess her timing. When she jumps, your legs have to straighten, too, and you lift her straight up. Pulling her up your front across your costume just adds drag. As she comes down, just plunk her bottom on your shoulder and cut the arm that crosses your body away. When she sits, you may have to step forward a little bit to "scoop" her into position. That's the basic lift. Of course, as with all simple things, a shoulder-sit can be varied in many ways, but that's the easy way.

 

I sounds to me as though your friend may be straining through that first lift, as moves that go over the shoulder and down the back can be slightly uncontrolled at the point where she changes her center of gravity to transition to the back. If he's having difficulty, he definitely should tell the rehearsal supervisor. It won't do for him to be hurt at performance time, and not be able to go on!

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Read Mel's answer for keywords:

"Plie"

"Jump"

Ballerinas need to learn that their partner is not a block and tackle, nor a crane. They have to initiate the lift by energetically departing the 'surly bonds of earth'. Otherwise the poor male dancer is deadlifting more than 100 pounds, and back injuries are the result.

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  • 1 month later...

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