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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Flexibility and placement


Juliet39

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Just curious.... I'm a very flexible dancer and I have the ability to get my legs very high. However, my placement is not always technically correct. My placement has improved greatly, especially over the last year and a half. I am generally very placed whenever I have my leg to the front or in arabeque, and my legs are still very high. But I am still getting corrections that my hip is up when I develope/fondu to a la second.

 

Because of my flexibility, I can get my leg to 180 degrees if I am in ecarte, and it's usually around 160 degrees in normal developes, etc. Additionally, I can get my leg to around 110-120 degrees with my hip down. However, my teachers tell me that my hip is not down (when my leg is high) but that I have the physical capability to have my hip down with my leg high. I am able to keep my hip down and my leg high when I do our "foot-in-hand" stretch (where you take your foot with your hand and do a demi rond de jambe en l'air from front to side, and then hold in second), but this is not the case when I am doing developes or fondues.

 

Is this just a strength thing that comes with time (I am 15), or am I working my muscles wrong? I sometimes feel that my quad and the tendon that connects your quad to your hip often take over and almost push my leg away from my hip so I have to lift my hip and distort my ribs to maintain the height.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

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Juliet, some of the problem is strength, but some of it is giving height of extension more importance than placement and rotation.

All extensions are only as good as the line one makes, and without placement and rotation there is no line.

 

I believe your teachers that you have the potential for great extension, and can do it without lifting the hip. It may take a bit more time, but in the meantime, you have to work correctly and not allow the distortion of the hip.

 

Try this: In retiré before a développé to the side, take a breath in, start lifting your thigh/knee up, exhale and let the leg just go up. It is a release of energy thing. It helps to prevent the quads from over-working. :)

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Ok, thank you. And I just tried what you said and it worked! :) I will definitely remember that when classes begin again. Would it also help to think of using my inner thigh wrapping around my leg to prevent my quad from over-working? That is something that I've heard before, but have had difficulty actually doing.

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I don't think of the inner thigh, just the back of the thigh, which would be hamstrings.

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