2 3 Ballet Alleyways | Ballet Webb

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ballet Alleyways

Ballet Alleyways

The most problematic leg direction for students is usually the à la seconde (“side”) position.  Many dancers tend to place their leg too far back because the word “side” has such a specific connotation.  This is why I prefer to say the leg is going to à la seconde, and avoid the term “side” whenever possible.  Unless the dancer has 180 degree turn-out, the leg should never extend directly to the side of the body.  As discussed in a previous post on turn-out (Secret #3d) the leg instead follows the toes outward in the direction or pathway of the turn-out (established by the dancer’s correct rotation in first position).

A student expressed it well by saying that one should imagine an alleyway that runs in the direction of the turn-out in à la seconde, with brick walls rising upward on either side.  This provides a path for the leg whether it is high or low - in a tendu or a grand battement.


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret # 4c :  

“A tendu in à la seconde follows the path (alleyway) established by the degree of turn-out.”


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Quote of the Day:

“Be an opener of door for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.”

-          Ralph Waldo Emerson


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