Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Use All Your Ballet Bar Exercises To Get Into Pointe Shoes

Learn how to get into pointe shoes with your ballet bar exercises.

In ballet, every exercise is designed to build strength and most ballet exercises approximate a full body workout. The accuracy of your daily routines determines how you build the best muscle memory, and affect how well you progress to the perfect pointe, just for one example. Consider battement fondu, A French ballet word meaning melted, referring to the quality of the movement.

Battement fondu can be done as a melting adagio exercise, or as a crisper faster movement. It is always elastic in quality, as it is designed to develop the thighs for strong jumping. The coordination required in the exercise is needed for the grands sautes such as grand jete en tournant, fouette saute and all the many other jumps found in the solos of classical ballet.

Battement fondu develops the quadriceps, or thigh muscles. It's beautifully elastic stretch up from the demi plie, to a full rise onto demi pointe and full leg extension, is a challenge for all the basic technical areas. As a habit, check for the points below during your battement fondu exercises:

***Are you on balance in your demi plie - can you lift your hand off the barre just before you reach the bottom of the plie, and keep it off as you press out of it?

***Does your presenting leg fully extend at the same moment your supporting leg reaches its fullest demi pointe? Can you lift your hand off the barre right here?

***Is your postural plumb line stable from the depth to the height of the movement?

***Can you feel an elastic resistance resulting from the quality of your press up from your demi plie, and also a resistance you create, pressing your extending leg out to its stretch? (It's like you are using an invisible stretchy band tied to your ankles).

***Are your foot muscles working and engaged throughout the whole movement, both up and down, strengthening the foot and ankle without over-working your calf muscles?

***Are your arm movements also coordinated, without strain?

***Can you do battement fondu without the barre, en croix, at a 45 degree height?

Aside from being a whole body workout, the building of strength for your pointe work and jumps is accelerated with this exercise. Keep at the finer details in your daily routines and you'll have a perfect pointe - and wonderful jumps too.

Get your special dancer's guide on how to get into pointe shoes. It will take you way beyond your current progress if you follow it as carefully as it is written for you.

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