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Some questions!


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Hi everyone! Happy belated 2012!


I have a few questions, and was hoping for some advice!


1. When I stretch my right leg and am transitioning from devant to a la seconde, it feels like there's this 'stop' or hitch in my muscle that's a little painful, and I have to kind of lift my hip up as I transition and then I can stretch comfortably to the side. I don't think I'm injured, so I'm not quite sure how to address this problem. Stretching through it is painful and I don't think helpful. Any ideas as to how to work through this bizarre tightness?


2. I think the reason I can't get all the way down in my right split is that my left psoas is SO tight. I've been focusing on it for a while with no improvement, and I was wondering if you guys could recommend some good passive psoas stretches I can do while reading, doing homework, etc.


3. Pointe. I started pointe recently - I've had around 5 30-min classes so far, and I'm already working in center, doing bourres, pas de bourres, pique arabesque/attitude/passe, etc. Nothing hurts and I don't feel like I'm going to injure myself, but from what I'm researched it seems pretty soon to be working on those things. My teacher had somehow assumed I'd had a lot more experience (which is good, I guess?) and seems to think I'm working well...but, is this ok? I don't want to develop any stress injuries from doing too much too soon! My teacher hasn’t mentioned this to me, but I’ve been worrying about this concept of ‘sinking’ into my shoes. I don’t think I am, but at this point I don’t know the difference one feels between sinking in and...not.


Ok, I've written a novel here, so I will now stop.


Thanks in advance for the help!

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Katrina, I don't really have any answers for you, because all of these things need to be seen to know what is going on. You need to trust your teacher to know that you are doing the right thing. If there is something that does not feel right, ask!


The first issue sounds like placement/alignment, and learning to adjust your weight to move from one place to another. The second is just a split. It's a stretch. Just keep working on it. Doing it is not important, using it to stretch is it's purpose. The pointe issue is totally in the hands of the teacher. If you have doubts about your capability to do something, then ask. Or, if you think that the teacher is totally aware of your ability, then try what is being asked. If you are not sure, try it at the barre first.

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Thanks Ms. Leigh!


One of the reasons I worry about my right split is that sometimes at (non-ballet) auditions we're given combinations where you have to go down into a split, and I always modify because I can't get all the way down to the right. I'm embarrassed and I feel like it's unprofessional that I can't do a right split! I guess I'm frustrated because I work on it often and it seems like my psoas is just not loosening up.


As for pointe, I guess I don't understand what is meant by sinking into your shoes. What does that look/feel like? I'm assuming my teacher would have brought it up if she saw a problem, but I was just curious. =)

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Sinking into a shoe is literally the way it sounds; your foot slides down into the block every time you step up en pointe. I can see it as I am looking at a dancer's feet, so you could check with your teacher, but either you are not sliding down in your shoes, or you are wearing so much padding you can't tell.

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I see. I don't think I've ever felt that - I mean I definitely feel the floor and my foot is in the block, but not to the point that I feel like my toes might curl under or anything. I'm hoping to get fitted for Freeds soon, and will try to submit a form and post some pictures before then.


Also, just a quick update, the first problem I mentioned, the weird muscle tightness when transitioning from stretching front to side, has suddenly disappeared! Who knows why, but I'm certainly happy about it.


Thanks for all the info as always :)

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