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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Higher Developees a la Seconde?


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Hi :)

Be prepared for a long question with lots of background information, sorry!! :/


I'm generally a dancer who was born to get flexible pretty easily, but I can't pinpointe exactly what is keeping my developee from reaching past a certain pointe to the side. It's at about 130˚ but I want to know how some dancers get theirs to like 170˚!

I think I pay enough attention to turning out my working leg, and it doesn't feel very difficult strenth-wise to hold it with arms in fifth, yet sometimes I feel pain holding in my hip-flexors/psoas as if I'm not turning out enough.

I have decent turnout (my frog/butterfly is flat, but I have trouble holding it in fifth) but it's also hard for me to get it really out to the side rather than forward (like if I do a developee or battement with arms in second, my arm has to come forward a bit so that my leg can go behind it).

When stretching, I can pull my leg behind my head at least a little on both sides, but at that pointe my standing leg turns in a little because it somehow hurts underneath my pelvis on my supporting side, like it's the skeletal limit of my bones even though I have open hips.


Also on this topic, just a question on the position... How square are your hips supposed to be? How far is acceptable to lift the hip of your supporting leg so that your torso is leaning a little towards the barre before it starts looking like a jazz tilt?


Is it just a strength issue? What can I do about it? It feels like something is inhibiting me from getting it really high even though I am flexible and it's not hard to hold it at the height I'm currently stuck at. It also doesn't help that I have barely any hyperextension, which would automatically make it look higher.


Sorry if I overanalyze everything, my questions always turn into novels! But any help is much appreciated :)

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balletglitter your question is filled with enthusiasm and interest, yet I am confused when you say, how far may one lift the supporting hip in developé to the side. The hips must stay square to your front, but the supporting hip actually cannot lift. You must pull you supporting hip up into your waistline so as not to tilt toward the barre or pull away from the barre, but it does not actually lift higher than the working hip.


I suggest you speak with your teacher about how the hips work when using the working leg to the side at various heights. It is important you learn how to use your hips at each height.


As for how to get your leg higher, figure out your hips and then let's discuss the height issue.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Administrators

Emtheballerina, please read the email that was sent to you yesterday. I have had to remove several of your posts, including the one above. I explained it to you in the email.

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Sorry, let me rephrase, I was just trying to help.


I had a very similar problem ballet glitter, and I found it very helpful to imagine disconnecting my leg from my hip and extending from there. I also stretched a lot and eventually I got really high extensions.

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Of course, we understand your good intentions, emtheballerina, however there are rules about posting that we all must follow :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrators

Ballerinaaaa, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


Since you are brand new here, I need to ask you to please slow down a bit in your enthusiasm to post, and do some reading, especially the Rules and Policies for this forum! Young Dancers are not allow to give advice here. You may relate annecdotal experience, like what you works for you, but do not phrase it as advice. That is given only by our Teacher Moderators, and they must reply to all questions prior to any member responding.

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