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Ballet Talk for Dancers

back and stomach


Guest heavenlydancer

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Guest heavenlydancer

When i do an arabesque, it doesnt look quite right bc my back isnt up, my teacher said its bc i have a short stomach. Well what am i suppose to do to lengthen or stretch it or whatever i need to do. Also how can i strengthen my back and stomach? Thanx

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Hi, heavenlydancer, and welcome to the Young Dancers' Forums here at Ballet Talk on Ballet Alert! Online!:)

 

First, tell us a little about your study history? First, how old are you, and how long have you been studying? How many classes a week do you currently take? Are you on pointe, or not? Do you take any other forms of dance beside ballet?

 

Ideally, the abdominals in the front and the back muscles balance the torso, and give you a "control zone" within which to work. Your weight may be placed way too far back for you to maintain control over a wide enough area of stability. This is where the backbend parts of the port de bras come in handy. They help give you a flexibility to maintain an erect torso in an arabesque and elsewhere.:)

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Guest heavenlydancer

Thank you. But do you know any stretches i can do to help my stomach and back? I am 15 years old and have been dancing for 8 years. In the school year I take about 8 classes a week plus rehearsals. Currently I am taking ballet, character, pointe, and modern, but i have taken tap. This summer Im only taking 4 classes a week:( but am trying to stretch daily and need some good stretches.

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OK, fine, but what you need is less a stretch than a building of both a back and a front that will be less allongée when the leg is working behind you. Generally speaking, I'd recommend a series of torso lifts done from the prone (belly-down) position. Keeping the shoulders straight, lift up first only to about an area just below your shoulderblades, then relax back down. Start with only about 5 repetitions of this, then move on to lifting the whole torso from the waist. Another 5 repetitions. Be sure do a passive sort of stretch forward, like just hanging out after you do these to reduce the chance of charley-horses or the development of a bulging back! As the strength grows, so increase the number of repetitions, but give it time!

 

In classwork, pay especial attention to the port de bras and most of all, to the ones where you go into a backbend with the foot in tendu back, whether ouvert or croisé.

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