Basic tips for Ballet Barre
Basic tips for Ballet Barre:
by Sarah Wilkiamson
1. Know the six positions:
1st Position - turn both feet outwards, heels touching.
Second - this is the same as first position except there is a 12in gap between the feet.
Third Position: Same as first position but your heels will overlap.
Fourth - similar to third position but with a gap of 6-12 inches between the feet.
Fifth - similar to fourth position but with the big toe of one foot touching the heel of the other.
Sixth Position: Both feet are parallel and side by side.
2. Plies exercises for beginners are always in first or second position, but intermediate/advanced ballet dancers use all positions except third and sixth.
3. Begin tendu steps in 5th. Push forward with the food, then to the side, backwards and complete the step back in 5th position.
4. Stand either facing the barre or with your left hand on it - beginners will usually face it and more advanced ballet dancers will rest their left hand on it.
Barre Leg Exercises:
1. Stand up straight with your feet in fifth position. Either face the barre or stand at a right angle to it depending on your ballet skill level.
2. With your foot pointed, raise one leg sideways or forward depending on how you are standing in relation to the barre. Keep both of your knees straight and don't use your buttock muscles to raise the leg. Your leg should always be turned out, never in.
3. Keeping your leg in place, let go of the barre. This exercise will increase your strength. Remember to stand straight.
4. Keep correct posture and technique by standing in the position you started the leg exercises with.
1. It takes years of training to become a ballet dancer. Don't get discouraged. Keep up the practice and you will improve.
2. Buy your ballet shoes either from your ballet school, or a store that specializes in dance clothing.
3.Your toes and fingers have to be active. Keep energy throughout your body to keep the flow of your dancing. This also keeps the audience attentive.
4. Costumes can be expensive. If you don't have money for a new one try to find a second hand costume in a consignment store. Alternatively have a family member make one for you, or if no-one sews, engage the services of a seamstress - make sure you leave plenty of time for this however as you may have to reserve her services several weeks in advance.
5. Pointe work isn't for everyone. The body needs to be strong enough to support your weight. The years of strengthening exercises will help with this but it could be that your body isn't yet able to do this. If not, then continue with your exercises but take part in ballet work that doesn't need you to be up en pointe such as modern ballet or jazz ballet. All forms of ballet will give your body flexibility that will help you as you get older.
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