Previous TBB Homework…
A dancer will hear the words ‘core’ and ‘centre’ many (many!) times during their training. So it’s probably best we understand it properly!
Classical ballet revolves entirely around core strength to execute the correct technique with control, grace and balance. This is why dancers from other genres (i.e Hip Hop, Musical Theatre etc) are encouraged to take ballet classes in order to improve their skills in their own genre.
Even more contemporary and modern choreography – while it may appear more fluid and off balance – requires extreme control and strength within the core.
So what is your ‘core’?
Core can be explained in many ways, however I like to focus on talking about your transverse abdominis. The ‘TA’ is a muscle layer of the anterior and lateral abdominal wall (front and side) which sits behind the superficial ‘six-pack’ that most people focus on.
So lets activate the TA!
Abdominal bracing doesn’t mean sucking in your stomach and consequently holding your breath. I’d like you to think about abdominal bracing as drawing your lower stomach muscles towards each other
In conjunction to activating the TA a ballerina must have strong spinal and pelvic stability. However a strong and activated TA will subsequently produce this.
- ABDOMINAL HOLLOWING (Hollow Rocks!)
- Tips: Try and keep the leg and arm height in line with each other and exhale on the lift to brace your core.
- Repeat 10 x consecutively with a small break 5 times!
- Tips: Keep your neck in a neutral position, shoulder blades broad and flat, tailbone neutral, navel drawn towards the spine with legs long and strong.
- Hold for 1 minute x 3 with a 1 minute break in between sets!
SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS BASIC
- PLANK TO PIKE
- Tips: Use all the tips previously mentioned about the ‘plank’ with extra emphasis on control during the ‘pike’ – go slow and steady.
- Repeat 8 times before resting!