Improving Arabesque

Arabesque is another one of the most sought-after positions in ballet, it’s a signature step.  It’s important that you represent the art form well with a high and correctly-placed arabesque.  That’s what I’m going to show you how to get today.


Here’s a video all about arabesque for you:

What your teachers say

Here are some corrections that your teachers may give for arabesque.  Please note that these a great corrections, they demonstrate how to correctly do the step.  But, we’re going to dive a little deeper and find out how exactly we can apply them best.

  • Higher leg.
  • Keep your back up and as straight as possible.
  • Straight back leg!
  • Tuck the heel in.

The muscles

Let’s go ahead and overview the muscles that you must use in arabesque:

(NOTE: Click on the image to learn more about the muscle).

Analysis of your corrections

Now that we know the muscles that work, let’s examine them further to see how they can help you in arabesque.

How can I get my leg higher?

Use your gluteus maximus and your back muscles to get your leg higher.

Keep your back up and as straight as possible.

Keeping your back upright is going to come from the engagement of the back and the gluteus maximus.  Keeping it straight is coming from the eccentric contraction of the abdominals and core. (Click HERE to look at my Quizlet sets where we talk about the types of contractions).

Straight back leg!

Thinking of contracting the center of your hamstring on your working leg and slightly engaging your quadriceps will get that straight working leg you’re looking for.  Again, the hamstrings are the primary movers and the quadriceps are the secondary movers.

Tuck the heel in.

You’re going to want to use the inner thigh (adductors) on your supporting leg as the primary movers and your quadratus femoris as you secondary movers.  On the working leg, you quadratus femoris is the primary mover and the inner thigh is the secondary mover.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post.  You can look forward to information-filled blog post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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2 thoughts on “Improving Arabesque

  1. You know so much about the muscles used for the arabesque! Sickled feet is a new one for me and I didn’t notice that you had them!

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