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Ballet Talk for Dancers
ascballerina

Développé à la second Question

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ascballerina

I know the title's not specific, sorry about that; I spent a while trying to phrase it right and it just wouldn't work.

 

I'm always being told to lengthen out in a développé. But the other day, my teacher was sick, and a substitute teacher came in. She told me that if I want to get my leg higher than it is (and I happen to be one of those people who finds side extensions about ten times harder than extensions to the back, which is what everyone else seems to struggle with), I need to feel like I'm "inserting" the top of the leg into the hip socket, and then développé from there.

 

I tried it, because she was standing right there. It works, but I worry that it's not proper technique, since I have never heard that before, and it seems like the opposite of what I've always been told about lengthening.

 

Thoughts?

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Victoria Leigh

When she had you "insert" the top of the leg into the hip, were able to do this without sitting into the other hip, and, did she then have you lift the knee up before unfolding the lower leg?

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ascballerina

Yes, she did.

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Victoria Leigh

Okay, sounds right to me. She had to get you placed and the hip staying there, without sitting in the other one, and then have you lift from under the thigh, taking the knee upward before totally unfolding. It works for me and is the way I teach it. Just don't stop in the position of knee up leg unfolded! Not a pretty place. ;) You have to begin the unfolding and keep it going as the knee lifts. A little trick to help this is to "release" the energy by taking a breath in the retire and exhale as you begin to unfold.

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ascballerina

When you explain it that way, it makes sense. Just the way she said it was odd. Thank you!

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Victoria Leigh

Yes, that is why I put the "insert" thing into quotes. I wasn't especially fond of using that term, as it could easily lead to pushing down into the supporting hip.

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