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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Second postion en pointe


Ice-Dancer

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I hate second position en pointe, as it looks terribly awkward on me (I think). I dpo not have hyper extended knees, but I do have straight knees. However I have trouble figuring out how to get a large second position en pointe while staying over my box completely and not gripping with my toes, if that makes sense. When I do echappes, I always seem to end up in a very small second. It still looks nice, it just isn't very big. I am wondering where the flexibility comes from in second positon en pointe - the knees, the feet? Any information or advice would be great, thanks!

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Ice-Dancer, as I recall, you are back in ballet after at least 5 years with no training, and you are taking only 1 or 2 classes a week. Is that correct? If so, our opinion here is that it is not a good idea to be trying to work on pointe at all with so few technique classes. And a wide second would certainly not be expected of a student newly in pointe shoes. That require really strong AND flexible feet and a good control of placement and rotation.

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Great! I guess you have added a lot more classes recently. That is very good!

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Yes, I have! And I have had so much fun doing it! It's good to know that a strong second comes fro mthe feet and not the knees - I always thought because I don't ahve hyperextended knees, I'm doomed to an awkward second position! :-p

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As long as they fully straighten it should be fine. But a very wide second is also not totally essential. I think they look better when not too wide. :)

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Sorry for popping in (and I feel like I've seen the answer to this question before but couldn't find it when I searched again, apologies)--Ms. Victoria, what is your recommendation (class number and time-wise) for those who want to go back onto pointe after a long hiatus? I feel like I saw a year somewhere (and maybe 3-4 classes a week at minimum? Maybe I'm making this up)

 

I returned to ballet in May after about 6 years of not dancing and have been taking things slowly, working up to multiple classes a week over several months so my body doesn't freak out (I do other activities as well and didn't want to over-do it). I'm currently at 3 technique classes a week (since the beginning of August), and at some point will go to 4. I guess I'm hoping that maybe I will be able to be on pointe next summer (when I'd like to do a Sun King camp), and would like to make sure I'm building up my strength appropriately/taking enough classes for such a goal (which may or may not come to be, but I'd like to try). I imagine it can depend on several factors, but is there a general time-frame for this kind of thing? Thank you in advance :)

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Morningglorie, that would really just depend on too many things in order to give you any time frame. For instance, were you a serious pre-pro student before, at a high level and on pointe for a few years? Six years is a long time away, but, if you have a good physical facility, and your classes are really solid hour and a half technique classes in a good school, and you take at least 3 per week, 4 would be even better, it could be possible in a year.

 

Our recommendations for young students and beginning adult students are a minimum of 3 years of technique classes, with at least the last year containing a minimum of 3 classes per week. But there are many other factors involved for anyone, and they are related to suitability in terms of physique and technique. One must have good control of alignment and placement, good usage of rotation, strong but flexible feet, and a whole array of things one can accomplish on demi-pointe well before moving to pointe.

 

So, basically, it all comes down to what your teachers have to say about it, as they are the ones who see you and know your abilities. :)

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Isn't it 'easier' to do échappé to a wide second position on pointe when your knees are not hyperextended? I think your ankles and feet have to be even more flexible to compensate for the hyperextension in your knees.

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Here is a clip of young first year students at a Vaganova school in Russia executing this step. As Ms. Leigh states, the second position is not overly large. These students are most likely quite new to pointe.

 

And here is an example of the step, as executed by a principle dancer from the Royal Ballet (I believe) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=insight+ballet+video+dictionary&FORM=VIRE5#view=detail&mid=F070FF9031F1256C8AE7F070FF9031F1256C8AE7 This dancer's second is also not overly large.

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Here is a clip of young first year students at a Vaganova school in Russia executing this step. As Ms. Leigh states, the second position is not overly large. These students are most likely quite new to pointe.

 

And here is an example of the step, as executed by a principle dancer from the Royal Ballet (I believe) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=insight+ballet+video+dictionary&FORM=VIRE5#view=detail&mid=F070FF9031F1256C8AE7F070FF9031F1256C8AE7 This dancer's second is also not overly large.

Mine are similar to that distance... my second is a tad bit wide than if I were to rise into pointe from first position.

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