Forum: Ballet / Pas De Deux

question on promenade
By kuratenko
On Sat Apr 05, 2008 09:10 AM

Hi! I have trouble with promenading in arabesque with a partner...In adagio, I start in first arabesque, with my back hand supported by the partner. Then my back arm comes overhead, and he promenades me 180 degrees before going into a penchee.
I keep falling on my heel whenever my arm position changes. Any pointers?

Thanks!!

10 Replies to question on promenade

re: question on promenade
By Attitude1407
On Sat Apr 05, 2008 06:56 PM
I have trouble with promenades too, but I find it helps to keep my weight pushed forward, because changing my arm position or being turned by the hand tends to push me back, so I need to counteract that. It also helps for your pointe shoes to be well broken in so the shank isn't pulling you back at all. Hope this helps! :)
re: question on promenade
By kuratenko
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:44 AM
Thanks for your tip! I also realized that some pointe shoes that don't push me forward make it hard to go through a pas de deux class much harder!
re: question on promenade
By BalletdogPremium member
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 03:16 PM
Edited by Balletdog (120852) on 2008-04-06 15:18:16
Hand-supported promenades are a fairly hard pas de deux step - much harder than waist-supported promenades. I'm trying to picture exactly what you're doing.

- Is he promenading you part-way around with your arm still to the back...and then moving your arm overhead to in front of you to finish the promenade?
- Where is he standing in relation to you when he holds your back arm before moving it overhead? Is he standing in front of you facing you, or is he standing to one side of you and then moves himself in front of you as he takes your arm overhead?
- And is he finishing the promenade with him in front of you facing you, before the penchee?

I can tell you that in general, that for hand-supported promenades, the girl needs to concentrate on:

1. Keeping your shoulders square, not letting the shoulder of the arm being held/pushed to go back.
2. Keeping your arm being pushed strong, so when he pushes, your whole body goes around, instead of your arm going to a different position.
3. This is very important: as he promenades you around, keep your weight correctly over the box of your shoe. If you let your weight shift much towards one side or the other of your box, you will likely twist/fall off pointe.
4. This is also important: think of shifting your standing leg ankle in many, small increments, in the direction he is promenading you. This will help keep you from getting too far onto one side of your shoe box and falling off pointe.

However...since the problem occurs when he moves your arm overhead, it makes me think that you need to keep your force through your standing foot centered as he moves your arm. Also...possibly a problem...he needs to keep from moving your arm behind you or backwards as he moves it overhead. Otherwise this might push or twist you off pointe.

If I could picture exactly what the whole arm movement is, maybe I could add to what I think the problem and solution might be.

Rick
re: question on promenade
By kuratenko
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 09:54 PM
Thanks Rick for your advice!
So to fill you in with more details, this is from Les Sylphides first act.
My partner stands sidewise from me when I am in first arabesque, and moves my hand overhead without turning yet. Then with the hand overhead, he rotates me 180 degrees, while he stands behind me all the time. Then with the arm position unchanged, I go into penchee. He does not change the position in relation to me all the while.
The part I had trouble with today was the promenade with one arm overhead. Again, he is standing behind me all the time. We change our hand hold once to initiate the turn...but I sometimes get twisted while promenade and falls toward him. He is standing pretty close to me, which makes it kinda hard for me to feel the counteracting balance in the hand/arm. The question is:
How do I get the momentum (if at all) to complete the 180 degree promenade in this position? Does it come solely from the hand? It is adagio and music is slow so we have plenty of time.
I would appreciate your help!!!
Thanks.
re: question on promenade
By BalletdogPremium member
On Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:38 PM
Hey kuratenko, two questions: :]

1. Does he move your arm all the way from aside or behind you, to up and over your head? I think that's what you're saying, but I'm not sure.

2. You say "Then with the hand overhead, he rotates me 180 degrees, while he stands behind me all the time." Does he stand still on the floor, as he maneuvers you through 180 degrees? Or does he walk to take you through the 180 degrees?

Rick
re: question on promenade
By kuratenko
On Tue Apr 08, 2008 06:23 AM
Hi Balletdog,

1. Yes he moves my back hand of the first arabesque all the way to overhead.

and

2. he does not walk or move at all when he promenades me. He just changes his hold of his hand.

I wish he walks a bit to promenade because it is much easier for me!
re: question on promenade
By BalletdogPremium member
On Wed Apr 09, 2008 01:24 AM
Edited by Balletdog (120852) on 2008-04-09 01:37:43
Edited by Balletdog (120852) on 2008-04-09 01:40:02
Yeah, this sounds like a hard transition, to turn you 180 degrees just by moving your hand around. I have three suggestions that might help:

1. When he moves your hand from your side to over your head, he probably should move your hand to a position which is several horizontal inches or a foot away from the up-down (vertical) axis of your body (through which your weight is centered). It might be easier to maintain yourself over your box, and that will also give him good leverage on your arm to push you around the 180 turn. If he takes your hand too close to your vertical axis, I would imagine that could twist you all over the place as he moves your hand over your head, and even as he tries to get you around the turn.

2. He needs to keep your held arm in front of you at all times, as he moves your arm from your side to over your head (and as he does the 180 degree turn). That is, he must never allow your arm to get at all behind you, as this will almost for sure pull you off pointe. One of the foremost rules for a guy in partnering, is that he never take or allow his partner's arm to get at all behind her - always keep it at least a little bit in front of her.

3. It might help if you concentrate on keeping your shoe box properly centered. That is, don't let your standing leg move towards one side or the other, thus allowing your weight to move too far toward the edge of the box - from which you might roll off pointe. (I realize your partner has a lot of control over where your weight goes. I'm just saying that if you have a strong ankle, and keep your torso strong and your back straight, it might help keep you from rolling off pointe.)

I concur that it would be much easier if he walked you around the 180 turn.

Please feel free to ask additional questions if you have them.

Rick
re: question on promenade
By kuratenko
On Wed Apr 09, 2008 08:06 AM
your comments are so helpful! Thanks Rick!
re: question on promenade
By BalletdogPremium member
On Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:15 PM
My pleasure...
re: question on promenade
By danceDream1
On Tue Apr 29, 2008 06:15 PM
hey
ok - there are few things to remember both physically and mentally
1- keep your posture absolutely plank like - so solid that your partner could walk away and you wouldn't even waver. The reason why you fall on your heels is not because of your arm changes - it's because your posture is not right to begin with.
2- also keep your focus out and forward. I think that maybe your focus is too short and that causes you to loose your concentration
3- trust your partner. You are probably worrying too much about him dropping you or you messing up and that causes your blunders. I know its a promenade but he is still there to help you. let him.

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