We’ve received countless inquiries on how to become a better dancer. This month, we took the time to direct you to the right blog, asked our teachers and professionals and provided answers to many of your questions!
Injury, stretching & strengthening
A few tips from stretch instructor, Jessica Howard:
For your lower back, focus on bridges, where you lay on your back, place your hands by your shoulders and push up!
A few variations to try once you’ve mastered the bridge.
1. Bridge on elbows – once in your bridge, one hand at a time lower down onto your elbows. Then, push towards straight knees to stretch the lower back.
2. Bridge against the wall – stand with your back to the wall and your arms reaching up. Arch back placing hands on the wall. Walk the hands down towards the floor keeping your knees straight as long as you can.
3. Arches – while on your stomach, push up and lift your right arm with the left arm on the floor, arch back and catch your left leg. Roll forward onto your right elbow (watch your chin!) and pull your leg towards the ceiling. Engage your core and hold for 20 seconds.
REMEMBER: Keep a spotter around while you are starting out and only go as far as you are comfortable.
Check out our Protecting Your Pointe tip here – tips on some much needed R&R for your feet and ways to strengthen your feet / ankles. This can apply to any dancer, not just ballet dancers!
Listen to your body.
Know the differences between good pain (i.e – soreness) and bad pain (i.e – injury). Ask your teachers, staff, whenever you feel unsure.
If you want to improve your splits or dévelopés, be sure to check out our Safe Stretching tip here.
Pilates is a great way to strengthen your core and work on your balance, which ultimately will lead to better pirouettes.
Additionally, take time out of class to practice spotting (while turning, focus on a point in front of you, and have your head be the last to leave the spot and arrive back on the same spot as you complete the turn) to help prevent dizziness and strengthen your ankles (resistance band exercises work well).
In addition to taking a variety of technique classes, it is important to stay hydrated, fuel your body, cross train & stretch, and remember that you love what you do.
Most importantly, set realistic dance goals and visualize yourself reaching them!