Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Ballet Series: Tendus

    Hello everyone. Hell yes, I'm finally free and have a full month to relax and have fun. Welcome to another installment of the super popular ballet series. Today I bring to you another ballet basic move that you learn during your first dance class. Tendus. Tendus are huge in ballet. You do a tendu before pretty much everything (ie. pirouette prep). Tendus are an awesome foot warmup when done correctly. I’m going to be mainly talking about tendus from fifth because that’s what we all seem to have issues with. I have also described my favorite tendu combination at the end. So with that said, let’s get started.

As always, you need to have good posture. The thing I’ve done in the past and have noticed other girls doing is sinking in the hips. When you’re sinking in the hips your legs won’t have enough room to fully stretch to the front/back or side. This will also prevent you from having a full turnout in fifth. If you really lengthen your upper body your legs will have more room to move around.
The way to get that lengthened feeling you need is to bring up your shoulders as high as you can so you feel your upper body lengthen and then slowly press your shoulders down.
Fifth Turnout
I’m not going to go into huge detail on turnout because I’ve talked about it before. (You can read that article here). In short, turnout comes from the hips, not the knee and do not force yourself to turn out 180 degrees. It takes a while to get perfect turnout and forcing it could lead to knee injuries (been there…not fun!)
If you have hyper-extended knees, you can’t turn out in fifth without bending your knees. The tip to kinda cheat that rule about “do not bend your knee” is to do it right before you hit fifth position. This trick also works if you don’t have perfect turnout quite yet.
The exercise I do to train my feet to turnout correctly is half tendus (just release the ankle) in devant, seconde, and derrière. This is also a good foot warm up.

Tendus in the center
Lots of people, myself included, have issues with tendus in the center. The trick to stay balanced is to lift up when you close fifth. 
For the side, think of over-crossing (chances are you won’t actually over cross). Thinking this way will put your balance on your standing leg which will make tendus in second so much easier, especially if they are fast.

Tendu warmup combination
This is my favorite tendu warmup combination. I do it every time I do a barre by myself or on a rare occasion when I get to teach a class.
   You’re going to stand facing the barre with both hands on it. Next you’re going to do eight tendus with the right foot, then eight tendus with the left foot. After that do six tendus with the right foot, then six tendus with the left foot. Then follow with four tendus each foot, two tendus each foot, then one tendu each foot repeated four times. After that you work your way up to eight tendus again. Do this as fast as you can.

    So that will be all for this post. I really hope you liked it and if you did don’t forget to share this post, give it a +1 on Google Plus and leave me a comment below what ballet move you want me to write about next. Have a lovely week!

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