Cambre In Ballet

cambre in balletCambre in ballet is a french term in ballet that means arched. It also means ‘to throw out one’s chest.’

In ballet, we don’t literally throw our chests out, as you would do some serious damage. Instead the dancer would bend gently to the back, side or front, or even in a circular motion.

If the dancer does a cambre forwards, she bends from the hips.

If the dancer does a cambre sideways or backwards, she bends from the waist.

Why Do We Do A Cambre In Ballet?

Cambre is a wonderful way for the dancer to stretch. When the cambre is done forwards, the hamstrings are stretched. The entire torso is stretched and the spine is loosened. Flexibility is gradually developed in the upper and middle back while the upper body enjoys a wide range of motion.

Here is a video that demonstrates how to do a cambre in ballet.

Points To Watch For When Doing A Cambre

  • Never pull backwards on the legs when doing a cambre forwards.
  • Move the chest up, out and away from your legs and don’t just think of going down.
  • Keep your hips firmly in place, especially when going to the side.
  • Resist the temptation to sacrifice form for stretching.
  • Think about your shoulders. They shouldn’t hunch up at any time.
  • Hold the turnout at all times.
  • Lift the torso well before stretching.
  • Try not to pull on the barre.



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