I don’t know about you, but my arabesque has always been a position I struggle with. No matter how hard I work on it, it just doesn’t look how I want it to look. And when I try to apply some of the corrections I’ve heard over my ballet lifetime, it seems to get even worse.
Why does my arabesque feel like such a grind when other dancers make it look effortless? How can she achieve that line when it feels impossible for my body? What am I doing wrong?
If I am still questioning this common position in the ballet syllabus after being in the biz more than three decades, I’m guessing I’m not the only one struggling with it. That’s exactly why I’m collaborating with two other (totally awesome) working professionals to bring you a new series that breaks down common struggles for us dancers. The series is still being built and won't begin until early 2019, but I can tell you that our first event (January 17!) is set to address your arabesque and penché problems;)
Even though arabesque is a common position, it is a complicated one. And it is a position that can be enhanced or limited by several different factors – back flexibility/strength, the structure of the hip joint, stability and grounding of the supporting leg, excessive tension in the upper back and neck, balance – just to name a few. Many of these factors are impacted by genetics, making it easier for some of us gifted in this department to achieve the desired arabesque line. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us are destined to have a sucky arabesque. Making improvements just requires you to understand your body...and then have the proper knowledge of how to address those areas holding you back. That is precisely what our series is designed to do – break down the issues and discuss more effective movement strategies for your body.
Break down the movement. Break down your barriers.
I am quite familiar with the sticking points I run into, but in order to help YOU with your unique body, I want to know what your experience is with your arabesque. What do you struggle with? What are your problem points? What do you feel limited by? Where do you feel you get “stuck” on your body? Where do you feel weak? What feels impossible physically when you know intellectually what you are supposed to do? What are the common corrections you get that just don’t work on your body no matter how hard you try? What is the most difficult part of doing your arabesque?
If you interested in finding out more about this Dance Dissection series, follow us on Instagram and sign up for our email list to get updates as we get closer to our launch. I’m so excited to have this real discussion with real dancers on real issues we all have but are either too busy or too afraid to bring up. Let’s break down some of these barriers and find ways of improving your arabesque for your body. The more research I have, the better I will be able to help you. So, I thank you in advance for sharing your arabesque issues with me!
Stay tuned for more updates and save the date for January 17 to join us for this interactive event!
Photo credit: Rachel Neville Photography