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  • Jackie Heinz

Improve Your Arabesque!


Improve your arabesque balance and get a higher leg too with two simple exercises. Follow these short tips to see a difference quickly!


1.) Be a model & get a book

To improve your arabesque balance, you must feel a central line through your body. Improving your posture  is essentially the first balance we attempt to achieve in life! Try this classic postural exercise and apply it to your arabesque.


When I was growing up, there was a rumor that models learned their perfect posture and stance from walking around with a book on their head!


So next time you're in ballet class take out your school book and place it on top of your head while in arabesque. Two things will happen:

You'll balance longer.

Your legs will be higher.


The book created a two way energy from the top of the head, through the spine and into the shoe that gave them an instant sense of elongation and line.


2.) Back strength exercise

To improve the height of your arabesque, you need to be strong enough to hold your back up! This short exercise will give you that additional strength.


This exercise is with a partner. The goal is to develop the strength in the upper back, not flexibility. Thus, concentrate on your optimal height and improve a little bit at a time.


Start -Lay on the floor, legs together in parallel, engage the deep abdominals.

-The dancer will initiate the lift of the upper back as she (he) if rolling a ball away with their nose. This will keep the neck in neutral and create a gradual curve that is needed for a beautiful stress-free arabesque.

-The partner holds the wrists of the dancer and lifts the dancer upwards. This is an assist and the dancer does the majority of the muscular effort. There should be no jamming in the lower back.

-Check in to make sure that the abs are continually engaged.


3.) Try this with any one-legged relevé

Once you have developed the feeling of long length from head to toe with your "book" exercise, you are ready to test other difficult balances!

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