CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  little tutu [ Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  extensions

I am trying to work on my extensions and I tend to really grip in my hips to the point that is not only hinders my extension, but it hurts! I know i should be using my abdominals and inner thighs more and my rotator muscles, but i just can't figure out how to make that happen. My psoas takes over the movement immediately and I can't feel anything else.
Does anyone have any tips or exercises I can do to retrain myself?

Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Little Tutu -- Yes, and you must do it. The effort is mental, a case of getting in touch mentally with the muscles that are getting in your way and getting them to let go.

Here's one way. If you have a portable barre in the studio, turn it so you can hold on with both hands facing the mirror. Stand in first position. Take hold strongly with your ab muscles, lifting the front hip bones upward. Relax your hips and try to move one leg to the coup de pied position without moving your hip at all. If your hip moves up, if your leotard gets a wrinkle at the waist on that side, if your waist band goes from horizontal to diagonal, then your leg is not really free. Try again.

When you can do that little thing perfectly with both legs, then try to get the leg up to passe. Same story. If the leg is really free the hip will not go up, the waist band will not go cockeyed. You need to keep your abs strong during this exercise -- strong abs will help free the leg.

When you can do that little thing perfectly, try to move the knee toward the shoulder. Same story. Keep the abs strong. And so on, and on, and on -- slowly to the extended position of the leg.

Then try the grande battement.

Good luck!

Author:  little tutu [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you Beth- I will certaintly work on this! From doing Pilates, I know how hard it is for me to do the littlest movements of my legs without involving my hips- but I know it is so important for me to do! I am going to get started right away at home- sometimes in class and when dancing, you just can't think about how you're executing the movement.

We actually met awhile back- I took a lesson from you and you were very helpful with alignment issues. Are you still available?

Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, of course -- just let me know who you are! :lol:

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