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 Post subject: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 4:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 45
Location: Gainesville, Fl
I have pretty large, muscular calves left over from my track days. They're great for jumping, but not landing. When I demi plie my legs barely form the diamond shape you look for, and I only go down about 4 inches. So other than doing them by the hundreds, how can I increase my demi plie?<BR>~K~


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 4:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Wisconsin
Maybe it could be a tight Achilles tendon. I used to be a sprinter in high school and I know that after a season of sprinting my Achilles tendon was much tighter and inhibited my plies and landings from jumps.<P>After you do a nice, thorough warm-up, try sitting flat on the floor, legs extended with toes pointing towards the ceiling. Then slowly flex your feet until you feel a stretch in your Achilles. This is what I personally do to stretch the area, as I find other stretches to actually irritate the tendon. Don't know if it's a "good" stretch, but it works for me!


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 7:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
That is a good stretch, Bree. All stretches should be gentle - especially for the Achilles tendon. Personally I do the one where I stand with feet parallel and then slowly walk back one foot at a time and gradually stretch the back of my calves and Achilles tendon.<P>When doing this stretch you really need to keep the derriere well tucked - straight with the spine.<P>Kyle - the amount of demi plié available to you is a function of the tightness of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in that area. It can be increased with stretching (after warming up) but only to a certain degree. Everyone has a limit. <P>What I would not recommend are any of the drastic stretches - like standing on the edge of a step - in my view that is dangerous. <P>It might also help your landing - to feel yourself going through all the parts of the foot - toe, ball, heel, plié. That might minimize the "plop" sensation. <P> Also make sure when you are in ballet class that the music allows you enough time for your plié. So many times men find themselves in class with many women - and the music is geared for the women's tempo - rather than for a male. <P> A man needs more time for his jumps. If he doesn't get this time - it will foreshorten his jump and plié. If you listen to music in ballets where the male does a solo - you will hear that whilst the music may be more dramatic - louder - it will also be a bit slower. This gives him time for his higher jump and doesn't foreshorten his landing.


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 45
Location: Gainesville, Fl
thanks guys, I'll just keep stretching like I have been and work my plies more in class. I am the only guy at my studio and I have a horrible time in petite allego trying to keep up with the girls, makes me wish I could be in place that had male classes...<BR>~K~


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I can readily understand that KyleS - you would have trouble with the petit allegro at a tempo set for women. And you really should consider if at all possible taking class from a man - along with your regular classes. That is really quite important.<P>The tempo and impetus for men is quite different. It can be quite stressful for a man to try to jump and move at the pace set for women. You should at least have your own music in class - the teacher should see to that, in my opinion. You might want to talk to her about that.<P>Have you seen this thread:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum7/HTML/000182.html><B> SEX - MEN ARE DIFFERENT</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 45
Location: Gainesville, Fl
I just got done with a semester and a half with two different male teachers, and a workshop with a few others, but in both classes there were at most 3 males in the class. With only 3 of us very little if any attention was given to us regarding specific male technique. This summer at the intensive I'll hopefully get the attention to this problem I need, its exciting to think about being in an all male class, and not having to compare my extension and turn out to all the primas I normally take class with...<BR>~K~


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 Post subject: Re: demi plie
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2001 3:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Kyle, as Basheva mentioned, there are many factors determining a demi-plie. Tight calf muscles and/or a tight achilles is certainly one that is common. May I suggest getting an assessment from a knowledgable person to determine which structures specifically may be affecting your demi? There can be a lack of flexibility that can affect the flexion of the foot in plie, and there are also things to consider regarding the hip. <P>Simply put,the flexion of the joints in the leg, and to some degree, the back, act as shock absorbers when we run or jump. If there are areas of restriction in any of these causing an imbalance in that shock absorbing activity, it can affect the structures. If you have this checked out, you can address more knowledgably ways to work. Watch that your weight is not back. If it is, you will be using your quads to "brake" your jumps instead of both the quads and calf muscles, which can make the calves even tighter. Also, it is important to know that while the calf muscle can be stretched, the achilles tendon cannot.


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