After being asked by so many parents and students (adults and children!) for take home exercises that target certain areas, I thought I’d start a ‘homework’ post that documents what we’ve focused on fortnightly.
This new initiative is to help everyone become more balanced ballerinas! Any questions, please ask via social media or comment below… happy to help!
FOCUS: POSTURAL ALIGNMENT
The benefits of good posture are numerous, however it’s extra important for a dancer who wants greater mobility and beautiful form.
Beautiful posture not only eliminates back or neck pain and improves breathing, but has also been proven to improve memory and learning.
Posture is such an important (if not THE most important!) focus in ballet, therefore it’s the perfect place to start our Balanced Ballerina Homework series.
In classes this past fortnight we have discussed and worked on the following…
Ballerina Floor Posture
It looks like you’re sleeping but gosh you feel it!
- lying on your stomach (relaxed upper body)
- press the hips into the floor (lying this way doesn’t allow you to ‘tuck’)
- lengthen through the lowest part of your spine
- start switching on your deep external rotators
- stretch the knees
- press the feet from a first position to full pointed toes
- IMAGINE ‘energy’ shooting through your entire leg and out your heels as you flex
- this should help lengthen the body
- perform 6 repetitions (point, flex = 1) with a small break 4 times
- if you’re finding it difficult to find a strong first position of the feet, perform the exercise without the ‘point and flex’ against a wall…
SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS BASIC
Progressing Ballet Technique Port de Bras
If you have a swiss ball, perform the Progressing Ballet Technique Port de Bras exercises we’ve learnt in class. Mix it up between the seated and floor versions.
These exercises quickly tell you if your posture isn’t aligned because the ball will move from underneath you.
If you’re finding posture a major concern in your training, I’ve found the Posture Medic a brilliant tool for reminding students to maintain posture throughout class. The instrument focuses on keeping shoulders aligned, however the simple action of wearing one makes the student more aware of their overall posture.
This week I’d like you to become more aware of how you’re standing OUTSIDE the studio. It’s easy to have beautiful posture in the studio, so your challenge is to ensure your standing evenly on both feet in neutral spine without favouring one side or standing with a ‘ducks tail’. Good luck!
*There will almost certainly be another ‘posture’ focussed homework series as there are so many exercises that you can perform simply at home to improve postural alignment.