Develop Long Lean MusclesGet your dancer's guide (The Perfect Pointe Book) to build strength for the long lean muscles every dance student wants,to achieve optimum results in ballet pointe shoes.
The finer details are both physical and conceptual, and will improve all your ballet exercises. These tips will also help your pre-pointe homework exercises.
Length is the goal in ballet, and here are some ways to think of it as a realistic goal.
For example, when you start a demi plie, you pull up. But to make that an extra pulled up strength, think of bending your knees, maximum turnout, and not lowering your body for a second.
That's right, pull up the lower abs so that your belly button moves up your torso and stays there!
This is different from pulling in your stomach into a bundled knot.
Whether or not you succeed in bending your knees and staying up, you will stretch your lower abs long and flat.
To practice, open and close your knees a little several times and try to stay up at the same level.
Then, when you sink down into that plie, keep the lower torso long and flat, still pulling up and away from the motion, still letting your calves relax, turnout held, and your feet flat on the floor, heels firm.
If you do this every time you do a plie, it will make a huge difference in the lengthening feeling.
Lowering From A Press Up
Another place to feel a lengthening is from the top of a press up. You've reached the top of your demi pointe or full pointe.
As you lower the heels, pretend you are not lowering. You pull the heels down, away from your hips and torso. Your thighs stretch out long, in your mental image, like a stretchy band (which they are).
You keep trying to stay up even as your heels touch the floor.
At this moment, if you are continuing into a demi plie, you again hold the lower abs long and up, as you open the knees, as if you are not lowering.
Here are just two places that will make a tremendous difference, if you do the lengthening technique every time you do a plie or pull down from a press up.
This helps control the pelvis, posture, and turnout, and you'll become the best you can be in developing long and lean muscles and build strength.
With expert instruction on dancing in with The Perfect Pointe Book you'll find more articles on technique with all the details.