Feet, feet, feet! I have written before about the importance of the use of the feet. But after seeing unstretched legs and feet literally hanging from them, as well as young dancers stepping onto unstretched feet or even onto the heel, I feel strongly that this important part of training is so often overlooked or not insisted upon.
Try this: battement tendu, dégagé/glissé. Exercises with a Thera-Band are part of this training, but above all teachers must constantly remind young dancers to stretch the feet. Make a game of it—each time students perform a movement using the feet correctly they get a point toward a designated total.
Back legs in arabesque need to be fully stretched. So often the knee is relaxed and looks bent. Just give a little tickle at the back of the knee and the young dancer will stretch that knee!