Erin Baiano

Dear Katie: How Can I Drop My Hip in Développé à la Seconde?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm confused about what my hips are supposed to do during grand battements and développés à la seconde. My teacher is always telling me to "drop the hip," but how is that physically possible when your leg is higher than 90 degrees? Even in photos of professional dancers with gorgeous extension, I see a raised hip on the working side. Am I misunderstanding something?

Marie


Dear Marie,

It's tricky to find that sweet spot in développé à la seconde. Unfortunately, there's no straightforward answer here, because different ballet techniques have different rules. In the Vaganova method, the hips are indeed "stacked," with one hip lifting so the leg can extend flat to the side. (But the hips should never be allowed to stick out toward the back.) In the Balanchine technique, as well as several other styles, the hip must be down in à la seconde, and sometimes the leg is moved slightly in front of the shoulder to allow that to happen.

Whatever the style, the key to a beautiful développé in à la seconde is to think of your supporting side. The more you take the focus off the working side, the less likely you'll be to hold the position by gripping your quads. Work on lifting the leg from underneath—ultimately, that alignment is more important than the position of the hips.

For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

Latest Posts


All photos by Jayme Thornton. Wardrobe styling throughout by Chloë Chadá Van for The QUIRK Group.

Lizzo's Leading Ladies: Meet the Big Grrrls

Rising pop superstar Lizzo is changing the game in all kinds of ways. (A singer who also raps and plays the flute? You'd better believe it.) But she's become an especially important leader in the body-positivity revolution. And that emphasis on diversity and self-love extends to her fabulous group of backup dancers, known as The Big Grrrls.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

The Best Apps for Dancers Who Are Social Distancing

We're living in unprecedented times, and for many of us, that means unprecedented screen time. (So please cool it with your Screen Time notifications, Apple.)

For dancers used to moving their bodies and working collaboratively, social distancing at home can come with particular challenges—not to mention the fact that many dance artists are out of work and losing income.

We rounded up the best apps to make this difficult period a bit easier—whether you need a distraction, a workout, a meditation or some inspiration:

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search