2 3 What Does “Pulling Up” Mean? | Ballet Webb

Friday, September 13, 2013

What Does “Pulling Up” Mean?


Teachers say it often, and students hear it all the time, but what does this common phrase mean and how is it actually interpreted?  I ask my students on their first day of class:  “What does it mean to “pull up”?  I get as many responses as there are students, or I get blank stares.  Obviously, “pull up” is not a clear directive.  The natural physical response for most students is to pull up from their chest, thus throwing their weight backwards. 

It goes back to correct posture.  “Pulling up” should come from the top of the head, or the ears, or the spine (or all three simultaneously) and that “pull” should go upward in a very slight forward trajectory (angled forward from the ankles – see the post on posture).  More advanced students can focus on feeling their pelvis lift (pull up) away from their legs.  The legs should be providing an opposite pull downward, toward, and beyond, the floor.

Secret #1b from The Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets is:

“Pull up from the top of your head.”

Help expand the knowledge base!  Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

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