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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pulling up thighs/knees


pinkpointe

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I recently saw this video on youtube posted by a current apprentice/student of ABT > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQYDLeuR8cQ&feature=share&list=PLx2sHtdWfENrYs6302MOJPKvUMVAw60Em about pulling up on your knees and thighs which brought about some questions for me.

 

She said that there are basically two ways of pulling up and she demonstrated both of them. She said that different teachers might expect you to pull up differently based on their personal style or liking. Is this true and is one of them more universally preferred (or correct) than the other?

 

It's actually a pretty neat video and it's added eye candy seeing what amazing feet and posture she has.

 

 

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Hmmm... I watched the video, and as a teacher there are a couple of things she says that I'm not sure I would agree with, and I'm not really comfortable with students teaching other students. When I was young I thought I new a lot - and then I grew up and realized how much I didn't know ;) She does demonstrate her point ok, but I don't think she did a really great job of explaining the how and why and when.

 

I don't think any good ballet teacher would ask you to stand in 1st position without using your inner thighs to help maintain your turnout - they are an important component. I also disagree that the tendon at the front of the ankle should continually be engage when you are standing - in my experience that can lead to lower leg overuse injures. Yes the arches should be maintained so the student is not rolling, but not by gripping the tendon at the front of the ankle - rather by supporting the arch using the muscles of the feet as they are designed to! Here is a video from a physio that explains it well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTZMQZ0UP1Y

 

As for having a gap between the heels for hyperextension - some teachers will have varying ideas. Some don't mind a gap, other do mind a gap. Either way, he general rule with hyper extension is that you should never pull "back" into the knee, forcing or locking it into hyper extension. Instead, the knee should be straightened using the muscles of the legs with a feeling of lengthening the leg - it may feel like your knees are not fully straight at first if you have been working back into the knees, but thinking of a long leg from hip to toe can help. There are a lot of articles in the forums of working with hyper-extension, perhaps reading through some of the ones on the teachers forum about working with hyper-extension could give you some more insight :)

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Thank you so much for the clarification! I was a bit surprised when I saw her mention just basically flex the thigh muscles, which didn't sound like it made sense on a functional standpoint. The rotation and use of turnout to activate them certainly made more sense to me. Thanks for the video recommendation as well. I will make sure to check it out.

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