2 3 Arms and Water Towers | Ballet Webb

Monday, September 30, 2013

Arms and Water Towers


Closely related to geometry of ballet that I blogged about last week is the geometry, (or shaping) of the arms.  The curvature of the arms is actually quite simple – at least in form.  The shape of the arm is only a little bit different than a completely straight (but not locked elbow) arm.

 I usually have students stand and put their arms straight out to the side (like Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man).  I then ask them to relax the elbow just enough to allow the elbow to rotate and face the back wall.  I then show them how to rotate the wrist area slightly so that the palm of the hand faces more forward than downward.  There is a slight downward slope from the shoulders to the hand; i.e. the arm is not absolutely parallel to the floor.   The rule is this:  in a la seconde of the arms, the elbow is always higher than the wrist, but lower than the shoulder.

The arms in à la seconde should be placed slightly in front of the side of the body.  The image I use is this:  imagine standing on the inside of a giant water tower (an empty one!), and feel your back and arms pressing up against the wall of the tower.  This gentle curve of the arms is the correct one.


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #6b:
“In à la seconde and first (fifth en avant) position of the arms, the elbow is always higher than the wrist, but lower than the shoulder.”

 Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
-          Arthur Ashe


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