Welcome to Ballet Pages-a place for ballet teachers, ballet classes, technique, teaching tips and stories.
My observation is that students are eager to try products that they perceive as being able to immediately or directly improve a skill so desired (like flexibility, particularly in arabesque or splits). It usually doesn't matter that there is way more involved in actually executing a position like arabesque than flexibility. It's harder to be patient and work on the task as a whole. Something like this is enticing because it's one action, one device that they think will make all the difference. How effective it is or how well it's made, I can't speak to but some will successfully use this tool to improve their flexibility and if they're working correctly otherwise, they may improve that arabesque. Others, will move on to the next quick fix when they find that this one thing isn't enough to do everything they'd hoped.
And of course those hyper mobile professional dancers do make it look soooo easy! It seems to be a fancy version of the basic old yoga strap with a theraband attached.
That old yoga strap was my first thought too :) And yes, truth is they'd be pretty poor salespeople if the marketing wasn't designed to play directly to its potential customers' desires.
The reason this device so good, especially for students, is that they often are not strong enough to hold a proper arabesque position. With the Flexistretcher they are able to feel the position and stretch and strengthen within the position. All of my students have one and I have seen great results. It is made of an elastic resistance so there is no forcing the leg up. The leg will only go as far as the person is flexible so, it really is great to be able to work to the students maximum ability. A great exercise is to have the students work with the straps to a loose setting and then have them lift the leg up and hold it themselves. This is great because they will not be able to cheat with the flexistretcher and it offers a little help. Really a great product!
my suggestion - buy maybe 3 and do a class with a few students doing a few different exercises for a few weeks and see if they like it and see if you and they can feel and see a difference. when you decide if it works for them and you, recommend them to others.they work so well and you can use them for so many different things. i have been using mine for a month and im now flat in my second splits and my arabesques are quite amazing and i am in love with my second developes! i would seriously recommend one to any dancer that wants to improve in any section of dance. :
Hi! I am an older woman with children and at this time I can not go and take ballet classes. I studied ballet briefly many years ago. I have lower back pain now. I would like to regain/increase my flexibility and strengthen. Does the Flexistretcher help to perform the arabesque properly??? I need to be able to roll the femur head forward in the hip joint/socket (the problem is I can make it do that on my own)! This also helps the leg to rise higher. I do not want to just lift the leg creating crease & compression in the lower back. Please help. What do you suggest?Thank you!
Hi, and thank you for your comment. I do not actually have any experience with the Flexistretcher. After talking with Hilary Cartwright, who worked with Julio Horvath to create the Gyrotonic system, I decided that the Flexistretcher was an expensive tool that was best for dancers already strong and flexible. Like you said, it can put compression on the low back if those muscles are not already strong. I opted not to use it.For your situation, I would recommend a floor barre routine. There are several on the market that you can buy in DVD format. Maria Fey, Zena Rommett are two names that spring to mind immediately. Dear Readers, anyone have any other suggestions?
Hello, My daughter is 10 and has been taking class sense she was four. She told me last year that she wanted to try to do this professionally. How lost is her Mom. Easter is coming and I would love to put a basket full of tools that will help her in training. Can you tell me if this fits children as well? Thank you so much, Leisa
I'm a dancer who decided to take a chance on this product. I've seen a huge improvement in my arabesque and has helped me correct a number of things I was doing wrong. It teaches you to engage the right muscles, and helps keep things in the right position. It's not an instant fix, but rather encourages proper placement while helping build strength. My instructor has commented on the improvement and is quite happy with the results.
You have an interesting product here. You made ballet exercise easier and comfortable.
Join the conversation