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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Introducing myself and an anatomy question

Guest distantdancer

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Guest distantdancer

Hi! I'm new here and let me just say that this forum totally rules. It's so nice to know there are other adult ballet students out there going through the same struggles I am. I have had lots of dance and gymnastics experience but am a beginner to ballet. I am very curious about the mechanics my body uses to perform the ballet steps. As a beginner I am mostly being taught the basic plie, releve, tendue combinations and I have a question about muscle groups if there are any anatomy experts out there. OK, I hope this makes sense: When I am in a grand second plie I am able to hold a wider turn out than when standing upright or when in releve. I have been told that the knees must always be in line with the second toes when in plie and when I go into a grand second my knees slowly push back behind my baby toes and I have to move my feet to realign them with my knees. Yet, in releve, the higher I go, the more my knees turn front. Why does this happen? Is a different muscle group more responsible for holding turnout in a low plie than the ones responsible for holding the turnout in a high releve? And I should probably ask if anyone can recommend a good book that deals specifically with anatomy and ballet. Thanks guys! I look forward to hanging out here...



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Hi dd, welcome to the Adult Ballet Students' forum on Ballet Alert! Online :) We are glad you found us, and thank you for the positive feedback!


Yes, different forces are in play when doing a grand plié in second, which allow better rotation than when standing flat and much better than when in relevé. However, watch out for the coming up part of the plié, as very often the amount of rotation one can achieve at the bottom of the plié is not the same as one can maintain on the ascent! While you may be able to turn out the feet more when you get down there, what happens to the knees and the ankles on the coming up? If you can maintain it, fine, but if there is any forward rolling, then you must not turn out to that extent.

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Guest distantdancer

Thanks for the reply Ms. Leigh! Yes, when I come up out of a deep plie my knees want to turn back towards the front. When I'm in class I tend to use the amount of turn-out I can hold in releve as my guide that way I'm not constantly adjusting. This was just something I noticed while experimenting with plies. I know I will slowly get stronger and one day be able to hold the same turn out. I'm discovering that the hardest thing to acquire when it comes to Ballet is PATIENCE!

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