In my favourite dance resource book ‘Dance Anatomy’ by Jacqui Greene Haas there is an explanation for executing and arabesque prep.
Here is it:
1. From a standing position with legs hip- width apart, slowly roll down until the hands are touching the floor (inverted V position). Reorganize your trunk for balance awareness. Move your right leg into tendu derriere position.
2. As you inhale, move from tendu to arabesque, stopping the movement at 90 degrees. Hold this position for 4 counts as you exhale. On inhalation, continue to lift the leg as high as you can, focusing on the hip extensors.
3. Hold this osition for 4 counts as you exhale. Return with control to tendu as you inhale. Resist gravity on the downward phase and focus on eccentric lengthening of the hip extensors. Repeat 3 times parallel and 3 times turned out on each side.
Try this with your class!