Friday, September 23, 2011

Talent For Ballet - Can I Get Into Ballet

Do you wonder if you have the talent for ballet?

Kids ask me "how do I know if I can get into ballet? "

Professional ballet teachers look for a combination of a physique - close to the ideal ballet body - and the spark of love for dance and presence, or magnetism, that they feel will develop you into a successful performer.

If it seems that you do not qualify for a professional dance career (sometimes you are not accepted because there are not enough places in a program), you can still get into ballet and love it.

Find the best local studio with the highest credentials. If a specific studio has been able to send any of their students to a professional school, they will be advertising that fact. Read everything in their web site, and check the teachers' credentials.

If you do get into ballet, take advantage of the current dance education that is available for home practice.
There are books and DVD's, put together to enhance your ballet training.

You can improve your talent for ballet with some extracurricular study:

Flexibility Workout for Athletes

Flexibility Workout For Athletes

The Perfect Pointe Book - professional footwork for men in ballet too!

The Perfect Pointe Book professional footwork

Inside Ballet Technique - anatomy as related to ballet technique/physical requirements and advantages:

Inside Ballet Technique

Increase your ballet turnout
Last but not least - what's talent for ballet without turnout?

Getting accurate information will help you get stronger and more flexible as needed, to practice safely and correctly at home. Understanding proper stretching and relaxation techniques will add to your muscle strength.

If you know how to take advantage of every ballet barre exercise, you will develop the following technique:

* correct natural posture
* ballet foot muscles and ballet footwork
* correct alignment
* high leg extensions
* strong ballet turnout

Talent for ballet involves the ability to concentrate.

In other words, a maturity to ignore all the distractions delivered to you by your culture. Peer pressure, emotional upheavals, and keeping up good grades can all alter your focus to varying degrees.

If you wonder "can I get into ballet", or "do I have talent for ballet" take a few months of ballet classes and find out!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Best Stretching Exercises - What's My Best Program

The ballet beginner and the adult going into ballet class both want to learn and understand the best stretching exercises.

Each wonders "what's my best program"?

Those in love with, and already watching ballet closely, can see that high leg extensions, long curving back bends, elastic knee bends and cat-like jump landings, and high leaps in the splits, are the mere norm in classical dancing. A tall order for most!

After training hundreds of ballet students, I tell you, everyone is different, and almost each one wished they had just one more physical attribute, the one that everyone but they, had.

Flexibility WorkoutFor Athletes
 The Flexibility Workout For Athletes (click on the pic!) is not for beginners but more for intermediate dancers and athletes.

You may be a ballet student with high arches, flexible hips, and yet - you have lousy turnout.

You may be a dance student with a long neck, elastic shoulders, a willowy upper back, and high arches, yet have a tight pelvic area.

Many of the most gifted ballerina has one area that needs a lot of stretching exercises, just to catch up with the rest of their physique.

Ballet is easy for practically no one, just in this regards. Yet, if you learn some functional anatomy, and if you KNOW what your least flexible muscle group is, you can get it up to par with your more flexible muscles.

Don't despair if you do not have the easy flexible ankle joints (get The Perfect  Pointe Book to solve that problem!) , but you have a deep, elastic, demi plie. Your long and stretchy calf muscles will provide you with a range of motion from the depth of your plie, to your highest point of foot, giving you a strong jump upwards.

If you have a shallow demi plie, but more motion in the ankle joint, that movement will give you a strong push off from the feet. Either way, you can work on the other, to get more movement, as well as more of a fashionable look in the result, which as we all know, ballet is very picky about.

If you have a small range of motion in both the ankle and demi plie (calf muscles), then you will have to patiently work on both areas. The good news is, no matter how slowly, you will improve, with understanding of your muscles and joints, and not with just forceful pushing on them.

Here is a tantalizing short Essentrics stretching workout - oceanside!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back To Ballet With An Adult Ballet Class

Who wants to get back to ballet class?

Depending on how many years it has been since you have done ballet, or any kind of dance related exercise, I always say go for it.


You may have to call several local studios to find an adult ballet class that is right for you.

You may worry about the dance wear dress codes and if you will want to comply.

If you are overweight, or have lost your flexibility, you probably feel very self conscious.

In an adult ballet class - you're not alone!

Most dance academies that offer adult ballet class level work will offer a one-class-pay for a new dancer, and after that you will be asked to pay by the month.

There are usually other types of class packaging that are further discounted, depending on the amount of classes purchased.

Will You Get Injured In An Adult Ballet Class?

There is always a possibility of injury, with ballet and most sports too, if you are out of shape. But bear in mind that every single ballet barre exercise is designed to train your muscles so that you prevent dance injuries.

The basic ballet posture, for example, is a natural posture. It may not feel or look that way, since most people slouch and are slowly injuring themselves just by that bad habit.

Standing up straight is not an exaggerated military posture, but maintains the natural spinal curves, placement of the shoulders under the ears, and is completed with a relaxed and curved neck.

Ballet turnout is the main technique that prevents knee injuries. The feet should not be forced out more than the knees can match the rotation.

You may never get into the performance standard fifth position - toes to heels - and yet over time you can still gain elegance and control from attending adult ballet classes.

You will achieve your artistic fulfillment with careful, patient hard work. You will feel the exhilaration of the air borne leaps and spinning pirouettes all the more, having the confidence that you can land from jumps safely.

You will reach your ballet position after turning, well grounded, without the room spinning on without you.

Control And Perfectionism

Ballet classes truly give an ongoing sense of control and mastery, through repetition, and slow increase of strength. Yet, the affliction of perfectionism is a dead end for any dancer, especially a self critical individual who perhaps feels disadvantaged in an adult ballet class.

If there is any quest in your mind/heart for a perfect kind of control and a harsh way to discipline yourself, you will be the dancer to most likely injure her/himself in class.

I caution about this because, a drive to be perfect usually entails over-working, not resting enough in between classes, and maybe not eating enough to achieve any muscle building.

I don't mean muscle shape or bulk, but just strength, and a normal recovery.

Dancing ballet, you can always get better, so there is no perfect.

The real control comes with practice, developing better foot control (use The Perfect Pointe Book for extra practise), and knowing how to do ballet stretches and relaxation techniques correctly.

I hope you DO get back to ballet, and find an adult ballet class that you love.