Saturday, April 19, 2008

Improve Your Ballet - Basic Ballet Positions

If you want to improve your ballet, the simplest way is to first check the basic ballet positions.

Start with your normal standing position. Before you put on your pointe shoes or soft ballet shoes and go to the barre, try this.

In ballet wear so that you can see your posture, just stand in front of a mirror, relaxed. You'll see the qualifying factor and know if there is something basic to correct to improve your ballet classes.

Sometimes the simple things are the hardest to explain, but here goes:

Stand with your chest lifted, your shoulders relaxed, and your feet hips' width apart. Get your weight positioned evenly at the ball of the foot, the outside near the little toe, and the center of the heel (like a tripod). Notice how your hips and legs are positioned, naturally. If your pelvis is neutral and your ankles, knees and hips stack up symmetrically, you have the minimal requirement to proceed with nothing to fix.

If a hip or shoulder is lower than its opposite, you may have a skeletal misalignment, residual tension, or both. See a chiropractor, or you will be fighting this condition with lots of unnecessary tensing. It is also possible that one leg is shorter than the other, and it is good to know that, so you know how to work properly and use foot levelers if needed.

If your knees rotate in a little, causing a slight bow shape to the legs, then you need to use your rotator and thigh muscles to get your thighs and knees facing front, in line with your feet. Also note where your pelvis is here. (You can get a special book on how to increase ballet turnout).

Now keep that placement and turn sideways. Turn your head, relaxed neck, and see if you have a plumb line going down through your body, from the top of your head, through the natural curves of your spine, hips, legs, and to your ankles. See if anything is pulling out of line. This can be very subtle if you are already trained. Your skeleton should be able to line up well without much work. If you are feeling a little tense, shake everything out and then place yourself again.

If your knees over-straighten and curve backwards, you have hyper-extended knees. You must learn to hold them straight so they can support you with strength. If your knees are bent a little forwards you can work on stretching and relaxing your all your hip and leg muscles and you will get gradual improvement.

Regardless of your training level, you can always check this basic posture to see if there is any misalignment or extra tension. It truly affects the quality of your work. It also affects your risk of getting injured.

Checking postural habits and skeletal alignment is how you know if your good work, or talent, is hiding a potential problem. The qualifying factor may be the need to build strength in your core muscles, or do better relaxing and stretching.

Get the most important ballet tips to improve ballet work, and you will be progressing with confidence that you are doing things right.

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