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Practice and Perfect - Arabesque

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Practice and Perfect - Arabesque

Arabesque

Photo © Tracy Wicklund
The arabesque is one of the most common steps used by ballet dancers. An extremely versatile step, the arabesque is executed by lifting one leg behind you. It is often combined with other ballet steps, such as a developpe or battement.

An arabesque can be done in several ways: on a straight leg, on a bent leg, en pointe, on releve, in the air, or while turning. The working leg, however, is always long and stretched.

Perfect the Arabesque:

  • Keep your back strong and arched at all times. In order to allow the leg to rise, let your shoulders move forward with the chest lifted. Allow your pelvis to tip forward as well.
  • Try to resist opening the working hip as you raise the working leg behind you. (This takes practice!)
  • Make sure your shoulders don't hunch forward or twist.
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