Ballet Dictionary: Fish dive
Step: Fish Dive
How: A fish dive is a partnered lift where the male dancer supports the female dancer in a retiré position with her upper body held low to the ground. A fish dive can be executed from many steps. One could be where the female dancer is in an arabesque and the male dancer would wrap one arm around her waist and one under the thigh of the leg in arabesque. He would then lift her off the floor and the ballerina would fold her underneath leg into a retiré as he lunges onto his back leg. A more advanced version is shown in the picture where this fish dive is performed after a pirouette. The male dancer wraps only one hand around her as she dives into a retiré position from the pirouette. He would then stop her, holding her inches away from the floor.
Tip: Holding the ballerina properly is of importance as holding her in the wrong position would cause her pain. For the male dancers, make sure that she is on her leg in the preparatory step so you can hold her properly around her waist - supporting, not squeezing. For the female dancers, back strength is really important. Let the male dancer lead the dive as you hold your back up for proper alignment and safety. (Don’t drop the back going in for the dive!) Partnering takes lots of practice for familiarisation and synchronisation as every partner is different.
Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, Act 3, Grand Pas de Deux
Dancers: Brian Ramos Sevilla, Company Artist and Eva Chatal, Ballet Manila 2