Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to Improve at Ballet - Define Your Weaknesses

The elegant art of ballet has a mechanical side to every position and movement. Understanding anatomy and which muscles create the movement you want, helps you enormously in knowing how to improve at ballet. You can learn to define your weaknesses in an impersonal way. Sometimes your weakness in ballet technique comes from just not knowing how your muscles work.

If you are a young ballet student or an adult beginner, organize yourself by learning the correct way to execute ballet movements, one at a time.

Or start before you make a move - you can improve all your ballet by learning correct posture. Good posture in ballet is the same as general good posture. There is no extra tension in the upper body as all the elongating support is in the lower abs and pelvic area. This doesn't mean that the upper torso muscles are not pitching in as the lower muscles change position and tension level - but the upper back/shoulder/neck muscles don't "hold" your posture at all.

Your core muscles - lower ab and pelvic/low back/hip muscles hold your posture. Then you add turnout.

So if your next exploration is turnout, it is best to find a good illustration of the low back/pelvic/hip area showing the muscles and joints clearly. (A picture is worth a thousand words....).

Learn how to stretch the rotator muscles, the piriformis and the adductors (inner thigh) muscles.

With correct posture and turnout you have a basis to develop beautiful basic ballet positions. If you can define your most basic weaknesses in classical technique, and search for every detail as to the solution that you need, you will learn how to improve at ballet with an excellent understanding.

Here is more info about where to get ballet turnout exercises.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Learn Ballet To Speed Up Your Calorie Burning

If you choose classical dance as a workout, you can expect some degree of health results, even if you do not target that particular goal.

If you learn ballet correctly and keep a slow, relaxed focus on progressing through the levels, you have a chance at reversing typical aging effects and rejuvenating your body.

Here's a nutshell version of how you speed up your calorie burning twenty-four/seven. How your body uses insulin and burns energy (instead of storing it as fat) depends upon lowering the glucose content in your muscles. The way to deplete the glucose in your muscles is by high intensity exertion, to the point of "muscle failure".

For example, when you execute a simple sequence of developpes (slow unfolding and lifting the leg) at the barre, you may feel shaky by the time the exercise ends. Your quad, or thigh muscle may be burning a little. This is good! You shake out your muscles to relax, and turn to the other side. This kind of exertion exhausts the big muscle, triggering the cellular events that uses insulin properly and burns energy.

The calorie burning speeds up as the muscles must now recover and rebuild. This requires a faster metabolism, even as you sleep.

Ballet classes have a combination of slow, intensive workouts, and short bursts of activity (fast footwork at the barre, and jumps) that require a different exertion from the cardiovascular system. This is similar to the Pace Express program, though not as exacting.

When you learn ballet arm movements (port de bras) you will feel the exertion on arm muscles as well. It's not the same as weight lifting, but done properly (which involves correct spinal posture) arm positions and movement in ballet is toning and sculpting. Everyone sculpts differently with exercise, but most people will see some visible result.

Running, jogging, and even brisk walking, done long term, can wear out joints. Learn the controlled workouts of ballet correctly, and you'll find out how to prevent joint injuries, and speed up your calorie burning at the same time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Learn Ballet Positions Faster, 3 Essential Tips

When you, especially if you are an adult beginner, learn ballet, there is a lot of information to absorb about basic positions. You might be dreaming about doing split leaps and beautiful elegant ballet arm positions. Learn the ballet basics slowly and carefully. You will progress faster with classical technique and movements by seeing, and reading about ballet.

Adult dance beginners are a pretty devoted bunch. The attention to finer detail that it takes to learn ballet is not attractive to everyone.

First tip - how to learn balletic technique using the correct spinal posture is crucial to achieving correct ballet positions. This includes a neutral pelvic position. Discovering that you have been building tension in certain muscles in your every day standing and sitting, and that you have the need to stretch, adjust, and correct your posture, brings you a life long benefit.

If you do not have the time or money to take more than one class a week, you can still learn more!

Once you have discovered an area you need to stretch, make a routine of relaxing and stretching your muscles. You can use a pinkie ball (a small rubber sports ball) to help relax muscles.

Second tip - learn the real deal about turnout. How much you have, how to hold turnout securely, and how to strengthen turnout muscles.

Third tip, learn to develop your foot muscles with daily exercises. This will strengthen your barre exercises, your jumps (allegro) and your releves (quick movements from a demi plie up to your highest arched demi pointe position). Foot exercises are also exercises to prepare for pointe work - if that is a particular goal of yours.

TRY - TUNE UP YOUR TURNOUT by Deborah Vogel.

TRY - THE BALLET BIBLE for ballet barre exercises, with video and photos.

(just for starters!)

Ballet is an art form that increases the magical and imaginative dimension of life. Understanding how to learn ballet increases your enthusiasm and brings you real physical results. It's your journey, it's your dance. Enjoy!