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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pressure Points


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At my school, we have these "pressure points" drilled into our heads as soon as a student begins Level 1 {which is not actually the first level in the entire school, there are classes for younger students as well}.


Since I skipped Level 1 I was utterly confused and lost when the teacher began lecturing Level 2 on pressure points and asking them to recite them.


I was wondering if other schools teach these as well? In Levels 1 and 2 they make you memorize them, go through them step-by-step, and they remind you to think about them before an exercise, while in Levels 3+ they may mention them but expect that you know them and constantly think about them already.


Heels front,

Knees back,

Hips front,

Stomach back,

Shoulder blades front,

Ribcage back,

Shoulders down,

Chin up


{Edit: Sorry for posting it in the wrong forum!}

Edited by DancingForever
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I'm not sure I would ever think of these things as pressure points, but they are a part of learning alignment and placement. With the exception of the rotation parts, they are, if taught and explained well, the expected posture for a dancer. I don't, however, think I would use those terms, because some can be misleading. The ribs need to relaxed, not thrust forward, but you can't actually pull them back. The shoulder blades should be open, not squeezed together. Saying front would be quite confusing, I think. And the hips are square to the front for most things, but there are exceptions where one has to open the working hip slightly, as for arabesque, in order for the leg to rotate. Knees back is also misleading, because you need to understand that your rotation comes from your hips and gluteus muscles, not from your knees or feet.

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Hm, very good points. {I only said "pressure points" because that's what the teachers call them.}


It probably makes more sense once you've experienced a lecture about these pressure points. The reason they say "front" and "back" for some is to keep the rhythm going. Front, back, front, back, front, back, down, up, makes it easy to memorize, and also it starts from the heels and goes up, making them easier to execute.


We're told that ALL of the pressure points only apply when standing straight, and certain ones are not applied to differnet situations. They also explain that "knees back" means "knees straight" {rather than bent} and "ribcage back" refers to what all of the teachers tell us to do, to "close our ribcage". It's really confusing, actually, until you've had, like, five lectures. xD


However, I do understand what you are saying, and yes, sometimes these don't really make sense. :P

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Knees back, meaning straight, is also very bad for anyone who has hyperextended legs. I would never use that term.

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True, it's not the best. We don't really encounter these terms anymore in my level, we use more "detailed" terms that aren't so vague.

Edited by DancingForever
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