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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Comfortable in middle splits


swan#7

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I think I've always been somewhat naturally flexible. When I first began stretching more consistently (about 2 years ago) and I tried getting into my split the first time, it was not the most comfortable but I held it. After about 3 more days of stretching it was fine. Now, even if I'm not stretched I can pop into my split (not good I know), and it's hardly a stretch anymore.

My middle splits are a different story! I really started to stretch them this year, and while I can go into a full 180 straddle after I warm up and stretch, it takes a long time and if I don't stretch somewhat consistently, it takes even longer. I want to know what I should do to be able to get more comfortable in them, because I think not having a 180 straddle without a full stretch before really affects my extensions.

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Stop stretching before you are fully warmed up, which means after a good 1.5 hour ballet class!!

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I always warm up before I stretch, I mean I just don't have the same flexibility before I stretch. I always have split flexibility, so in class I can do a full saut de chat. I don't always have straddle flexibility, so in class I can get the last few inches on my extensions.

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Sounds like your flexibility is better than your rotation, so when you are doing extensions that are well placed and correctly rotated to your best ability they are not quite as high as you would like them......yet. It takes time and a lot of patience, and also finishing growth spurts. I have forgotten how old you are, but it is possible that you have just not yet reached the strength for higher extensions.

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That does seem to make a lot of sense! I'm 13 but I've been told I will probably only eek out another 1/2 to 1 inch more of growth before I'm done. It's just frustrating because it's just those last few inches of extension I want! I guess I'll go do some hundreds and some clams!

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You are still growing, so stop worrying about it. I don't expect my students to attain their full extension until at least 14, but usually 15 or even 16. Even those with super natural extension have to wait for the strength to develop before they can maintain very high positions and still have good placement and rotation.

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So my turnout will improve as I get older? Right now I've been struggling to get my leg completed rotated in a tendu derriere, but I can get it rotated in a degage and tendu devant. But I'm guessing the older I get, my turnout will get stronger so the rotation improves?

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The rotation in tendu back should not be different from front and side, it's the same leg just moved to a different position. Are you allowing a teeny bit of opening of the working hip when you go to the back? And also lifting out of your standing leg and keeping the weight forward?

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I have an issue of being too far back because I'm a little hyperextended, but it's been getting better. I think the main issue is not opening up my hip, but I just think that's odd because in degage I can get it pretty well rotated without opening that much.

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Tendu and degagé are the same movement, except one is slightly off the floor. :wink: If you can do one, you can do the other. Figure out what you are doing differently in the degagé.

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:) Not surprised to hear that, swan. Stay out of that hyperextension and keep your weight up and over your standing leg!

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  • 2 months later...

I agree with Clara 76.

 

In my classes, we do stretching in between barre and center work. I usually do little stretches throughout the day and then bigger and harder ones before going to sleep. Since I've started that routine, I've found that I've been getting more and more flexible. :)

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