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Full Arabesque Stretches!

Guest Gigi1

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I really need some help with getting a full arabesque, I am barelu up to 90 degrees - could

you tell me some stretches and/or exercises to help me improve!


love Gigi

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Gigi, I think, based on your previous posts about flexibility and stretches, that you have the necessary flexibility to hit a 90º arabesque every time. What you need here is a combination of strength to hold it there, and the proper alignment to allow the leg to travel that far.


Very often, students trying to keep the hips square in quatrième derrière compromise their ability to get the leg to the proper extension. The problem is, we all (well, most of us) have backsides! Now, if we didn't have those things, we'd look kind of funny, but at least we'd be able to take a perfect arabesque every time! What has to be done is for you to allow the hip to open slightly in taking your arabesques, while at the same time working to keep it as square as possible. It's sort of isometrics - working one set of muscles against the other. You can open up and keep a good line while at the same time making a good 90º back extension, and keep your rotation and turnout looking good as well!:(

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Also, Gigi, in addition to the excellent advice above, just be sure that you are not pulling back in your upper body. Many students seem to view an arabesque as a backward instead of a forward movement and this limits their ability to get the leg up. The upper body must move forward and upward, against the movement of the back leg. The weight of the body also moves forward. When you practice at the barre be sure that when your leg goes up in the back that your arm slides a bit forward on the barre as you move your weight forward.

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Guest Luv2DancePointe

THat is one thing I have been confused about - my teacher that I had a couple of years ago taught us to keep the hips square. She told us that after working like that and practicing, that eventually you would be able to get your leg higher, than if you opened your hip. But my teacher now tells us to open our hips. what do you think?


(P.S. this is my 100th post!!)

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Let the hip open slightly. There's no way to do an arabesque and keep the hips perfectly square. Human anatomy just doesn't work that way. You have to keep from letting them splay wide open, but you can release them a little bit.:)

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