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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Keeping hips down


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I am having terrible trouble keeping my hips down. Last night in class we were doing tendus and also very low extensions to the side and my hip on the lifting side just WON'T stay down! :(

I had never really dealt with or talked about this issue before but we have a different teacher right now and he has made me very aware of the problem.

So...my hip will raise every time I lift my leg atall ..even low...I just cannot keep it down so any help would be much appreciated.


My other problem areas are trying to keep my rib cage "collapsed" and in, trying to keep my shoulders back and down and hips forward.


Thanks! :sweating:

Edited by BlleFille
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Are you lifting your foot off the floor for a tendu? You should not be. You brush along the floor with the foot. I don't see how your hip would raise if you are keeping contact with the floor.


With developes I could see that happening although it shouldn't be if your are lifting 90 degrees or less to front or side. I would say if your hip comes up in grand battement or in develope then you need to not extend your leg so high until you can get everything in place and lined up so that you don't raise your hip.


Overall it sounds like to me, and I'm NO expert that you are not engaging your abs/core. Are you shifting weight onto the supporting leg when you tendu/grand battement/develope? You should.


I had the shoulders problem for months. I think that is due to general tension. My teacher corrected me on that every class for several months before it got better. Even though my teacher says "close your rib cage" I actually ignore that one most of the time since I'm a singer and I need to keep my rib cage as open as possible. I engage my abs/core and it seems to be enough for me to maintain everything else.

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Thanks Luceroblanco. We were doing tendus but doing an exercise where we just barely took our feet off the floor so the teacher could demonstrate how we should keep our weight on the standing leg (like you are saying) and that is when I noticed my hip coming up. It certainly comes up a lot when I extend my leg to the side so I will try like you say, to keep my leg lower for the moment.

Thanks for the advice :(

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BlleFille, have you tried lifting up higher on the standing leg side? It might also help if you read the thread on Alignment, by Clara 76, in the Sticky threads at the top of this forum. :(



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Bllefille this is just my own experience but when I am being told to "drop the hip" (because it is lifting) in my case it is almost always a case of my weight not being on/over the supporting leg. If you are like me and it is a case of you are pulling off the supporting leg you will also find that you are pulling on the barre.

As Ms Leigh says if you think about lifting on the standing side, you do seem to transfer the weight more to where it should be and voila the hips stay level.

Maybe try doing the same exercise at home without anything to hold on to and you will soon realise how much you have to transfer the weight to be on the supporting leg.

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After you've read the alignment link, let us know if it makes sense. :D


Let that soak in a bit, and try standing in front of a mirror to see if you can find that "ballet stance".


Now, I want you to draw an imaginary line across your chest from shoulder to shoulder: ______

Next, take one side of the line straight down to your hip bone:

the line across your hip bones, and up the other side to your shoulder line: See the rectangle? Your job is to keep your rectangle parallel to the direction you are facing. More on that in a minute!


Another thing to try is laying flat on your back on the floor, legs outstretched, arms by your sides, body in a nice straight line, abs pulled in and strong.

Next, turn your legs out, then flex your feet.

Now, keeping both of your knees straight, legs strong, buttocks on the floor, feet flexed, bring the right leg forward up off the floor (keep it turned out!) as if you were standing doing a tendu in front (devant).

Keep both of your feet flexed, knees straight, legs strong, hips/buttocks on the floor, abs engaged.

Feel the muscles working- identify where they are. Slowly lower the right leg (keeping it turned out the whole time!) and do the same with the left.


Once you have felt the muscles in various parts of your body working, stand up in first position, tall and straight, good alignment, abs engaged, legs strong, knees straight. Find those muscles and make them do the same thing they did when you were on the floor while you try the same thing standing. Just for an experiment, keep the foot at the end of the moving leg flexed, heel well forward on the way out and on the way back.

Next try going to a pointed position (stand up tall- taller!) while you do. Keep your rectangle as still as you can- don't let is try to twist or do other funky things!!

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Thanks SO much! The sticky REALLY helped and Victoria's advice as well as Clara's, Balletlove's and Luceroblanco's really rings true to me! Thanks everyone! I will update on my progress with this! :yes:

Clara, you write AMAZING descriptions! I can really picture what you mean!

Cheers all:)

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