public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:26 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 5:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 10
Hello,<BR>I'm 16 years old and have been dancing for a year. I think I'm progressing well.. I started pointe in September and I'm really enjoying it. The thing that bothers me, though, is that I know I could have really been good if I had started younger - I have the "right" feet, flexibility, etc. At the present I'm only taking two classes a week - one for flat and one for pointe. My school has divisions of "ballet" and "intensive". My pointe class is with the intensive girls, and it's challenging but I can keep up. My ballet class is with girls who are younger and just fool around all the time. I would like to work up to the level of the intensive girls.. I apologize that this is getting so long, but I've needed to vent for awhile. Image Anyway, I guess my point is that even though I'm a late starter, I know I can be good, not necessarily professional, but I've never been really proficient in anything besides schoolwork and I've finally found something I love and am built for physically.. I get really frustrated when I'm doing Nutcracker rehearsals and I see girls younger than me doing 10 pirouettes when I can only do two. After Nutcracker I will be in 4 classes per week, which I know still isn't very many but it's the max I can take at my level. I don't want to change schools because mine is the most serious in my area.. the school for the Cape Cod Ballet, which I know is a small company but a company nonetheless Image<P>Okay, so to get to the real point, I'm sorry about all those details, but I was wondering if all of you experienced dancers had any tips for helping me catch up to my intensive class. My particular weaknesses are my arabesque (hate those darn back-lifts) and I also wish I could do more than two pirouettes - any tips on those? My foot tends to drop back from passe..<BR>Any help would be greatly appreciated.. thanks to whoever reads this Image<P>*Amy*


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 5:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Welcome to the board Amy!! It's a pleasure to see you - and don't worry about a long post - we need the information in order to try and help you.<P>First let me assure you that it is not too late for you to do anything you want to do. I started much, much later than you and I danced professionally for 30 years and taught for 25yrs. Don't let anyone ever tell you it's too late - <P>As for your pirouettes - you mentioned that your leg drops from passe' after the second pirouette. This is a big problem because if the leg is not help in passe' and and you let it drop - then it is dragging you off and down. That leg must be help up - sustained.<P> You can practice for additional rotations by practicing quarter turns. Get yourself to the point where you are doing two rotations with the leg firmly in passe'. Then start adding one quarter of a third turn. Then add another quarter of a turn - until you have added a complete turn. If you feel comfortable enough you can do this by halves instead of quarters. But that passe' leg MUST be firmly in place. Feel that toe against you passe' knee as you go around - don't dig it in - that would be wrong - just feel it there.<P>As for arabesques is the problem that you can't get them up? Try this - stand at the barre with your outside foot pointed back to fourth position. Now without putting any weight on that pointed foot, do your best backbend and as you come up lift that pointed foot with you - use your powerful back muscles - engage them to help you. Keep lifting that arabesque leg until you are straight up and then keeping the back muscles fully engaged, go forward into penche'. Never let go of your back muscles to do the penche' - that won't ever help. It feels like it will - but it won't. Those back muscles have to be holding that leg. You also have to remember never to scrunch down into your arabesque , but to pull up out of it. Feel like you are floating up out of the arabesque.<P>You should do this after every class. I did them without fail after every class and rehearsal. It won't help immediately but it will help.<P>As you said, two classes per week is not very many. After the Nutcracker when you are scheduled to do four classes per week you should make a lot of progress. But be patient with yourself. Work hard and thoughtfully and it will happen for you.<P>Actually if you have only been dancing for one year and only a short while on pointe you are already doing quite well to have a double pirouette. And, I think if you really count what the other girls are doing it probably isn't ten!! Probably three - or four. And, Amy, it doesn't really pay to compare yourself to anyone else. Just do your very best, that's what counts. <P>Concentrate on the work you need to do. Let us all know how you are doing and ask questions - that's what we are here for. Lots of luck to you in your studies and in your Nutcracker!! <p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited November 10, 2000).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 6:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 10
Thanks Basheva!<BR>Actually, my problem with arabesque is that I have no strong back muscles.. can you think of any ways that I could build them? <BR>Thanks again!<P>*Amy*


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 7:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
dear amy, basheva gives you good advice! welcome from me too. Image you sound as if you are making a sensible effort at what you want to do, and i agree with basheva that it is NOT too late! not at all. <P>firstly (and i know basheva has already said all this!) - your classmates are NOT doing 10 pirouettes - if they are, i'd like to know what planet you live on! Image ..... but i know you need to 'vent', so your exaggeration is understood. frankly, if you are doing 2 clean pirouettes, if i were you, i'd just be happy!<P>likewise with your pointe work: it sounds as though you are making good progress, and need to be patient with yourself, while also making sure you are getting the best possible tuition.<P>re your classmates who 'mess around' - just ignore them, and work for yourself. YOU know what you want, and you sound like you know how to get it: just be quietly persistent.<P>if you want to supplement your ballet classes with any other training, i believe the best method is Pilates, but sometimes this is expensive -and again, it requires great patience and diligent application to get results. <P>don't worry about 'long' posts - we need that information to be able to understand and help you better. glad you have joined us...

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 7:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 68
Does your ballet school have a website we could look at, Amzey?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2000 8:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Amy - if you need to build up the muscles in your back - the idea I gave you about lifting your arabesque from your backbend will help that specifically.<P>But also - when you do your grand battements in any position - front, side or back - don't just let the leg drop - lower it with control. As you lift it up to the front feel as if a hand were swishing underneath your thigh to lift the leg from below so you don't develop the front of the thigh - but gain strength in the back part of the thigh. Then when the leg comes down - feel the control as you lower it - and not just drop it.<P> As you do that it will strengthen your stomach muscles and your back muscles - and it will help with all your extensions - including arabesque.<P>And NEVER allow your body to sink down - scrunch down - during either arabesque nor grand battement. I think you will find this will help - it takes time - but it does help.<P>And Grace is so right - two beautifully done pirouettes are much better than several wild ones. If you can do two clean ones - after only one year of lessons - you are doing very well. The trick with pirouettes is to learn exactly how much power it takes to get around and no more. The test of the pirouette is how beautifully, quietly and cleanly you finish it. No one cares how many you do, if the finish is messy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2000 6:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Amy, here is another exercise for your back.<BR>Lie on your front with your arms along your sides. Stretch your legs long behind you on the floor and point your feet. Pull your shoulder blades down as if you were going to put them in the back pockets of a pair of jeans. Pull your abdominals in toward your spine, and slowly lift your sternum (breast bone) up from the floor, and slowly lower.<P>Important points to remember here are keeping the abdominals long and pulled in. you also want to feel your pubic bone pressing into the floor. These two things help to protect your lower back. As you lift your sternum, keep the back of your neck long by not arching it, and keeping it in line with your spine, in other words, don't try to look at the ceiling, or even the wall across the room! <P>When you feel more comfortable with this exercise, you can have fun with it by adding some port de bras. Arms in second, high fifth, first arabesque, etc.<P>This is a very strengthening exercise, but must be done correctly for the best results.<P>But wait, there's more! You have just finished contracting these muscles in an exercise. Now is a good time to stretch them out. Sit in a pike position (legs straight out in front of you.) Make your spine long and pull your abdominals in. A strong exhale helps here.<P> While holding the abdominals in, curl forward with your torso, reaching out in front with your arms. This is *not* the ballet stretch where you try to put your body onto your legs. Remember, you are holding your abdominals in very strongly, and you want your pelvis to remain "sitting" not tipping. You are stretching your back muscles here. It's not how far you go, it's how you go.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2000 12:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 10
Thank you to everyone for their responses!<BR>You are all very helpful. Image<BR>My dance school does not have a website.<BR>One more quick question - is there anything I can do to lengthen my quadriceps, or even prevent them from building up? I'm small and my legs can get "stubby"..<P><BR>*Amy*


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Catching Up" ( long.. sorry :)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2000 1:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Amy - you have to be sure to stretch in every class - when you are thoroughly warmed up. If you are given time - I always found it very helpful to stretch after the barre - and again after the center. But the stretch after the center I always used as a cool down - the one after barre as a prelude for the center. <P>But I know some teachers don't give very much stretch time and sometimes you have to leave the studio so another class can come in. I always used to find a place to stretch even if it was in the dressing room after class. And, then dress up warmly to go outside -especially on cold days. <P>It will also help to never sit in your plies' that builds up the thighs. Just because you are small dosen't mean you are stubby. One has nothing to do with the other. It is how you work and how you think that makes the difference. Most of the great ballerinas are quite small.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group