Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

How can I improve my arabesque?


Recommended Posts

Well, first of all I saw this:


The rolling motion that the teacher talks about:


1. Are there any other analogies you could make?

2. How should it feel when you are doing this correctly? how do you find the joint?

3. Could someone possible rephrase this ENTIRELY?


I've watched the video over and over, and tried this over and over and I can't seem to get it! :thumbsup:

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Karen, the problem with that video is that they explain the back leg, but they do not explain the change of body weight forward and upward on the supporting leg that makes this possible. The dancer does it, but they don't even mention it. When you see a dancer perfectly on balance in an arabesque, you will see the upper body really forward over the standing toes, but it is also moving upward, not tilted, not downward (unless it is a penché).

Link to comment

Thanks, that makes a bit more sense, but could you also describe what it should feel like in your legs, core, butt, etc? Do you have an alternate analogy for the "rolling foward?

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Rolling forward? Sorry, do not know what you mean by that. And, I'm afraid I cannot describe what it will feel like in your muscles, because everyone is very different.

Link to comment

Karen, the teacher in the video is speaking anatomically about what happens to the femur as the leg is extended to the back. You needn't focus on the words, "rolling forward" because they have nothing to do with what you need to be working on in order to create arabesque. :thumbsup:


More detail:

A different approach might be to explain that in the "bad" arabesque that she is showing, the hip is lifting which distorts the line and causes the crunching in the lower back. In the correct arabesque the rotators are engaged as well as the buttocks and the dancer is allowing her hip to open (NOT lift) in order to create the line.


Read this 7 page thread for more information on arabesque:

What is meant by "Strong Classical Line"?

Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

In the video, the teacher talks about not focusing on turnout, but on opening the hips by rolling the hip joint forward in its socket. However, I'm having trouble understanding this part. I understand that you shouldn't just focus on the turnout from the start, but when then are you supposed to fully turn out the leg? Does she mean that you roll the bone forward when it is already turned out? Sorry if I'm not wording this very well, I can't quite explain it... The turnout part is what I don't quite understand. If someone could please explain this part? I understand the "rolling" of it, but am not sure about turnout. Thank you :)

Link to comment

What she means is simply what happens anatomically when the leg is lifted to the derrière.


Focus on improving your pointe tendu derrière. Placement of the foot a terre with good rotation, usage of the buttocks and hamstrings, and excellent upper body lift-off will help your position en l'air!


Focus on developing strong abdominal muscles.


Focus on the movement of an arabesque- don't worry so much about what occurs to your hip joint. Arabesque is a forward, upward, spiraling, circular, movement!

Link to comment

I think the little anatomy lesson is quite confusing. If a drivers-ed teacher started drilling me on electrical capacitance, thermodynamics and mechanical conservation of energy in a car's engine, I would surely be confused! esmerelda1210, maybe you should just ask your teacher for help. He/she may have a different approach to teaching the arabesque that may help you more.

Link to comment

Okay thank you gavotteindmajor, I'll ask my teacher in class tomorrow :)

Link to comment

I agree, and fortunately, we don't need to know all the ins-and-outs of the hows in order to dance gorgeously!!!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...