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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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Yoga, if specifically modified for use by ballet dancers, can be helpful. There are various positions and movements which encourage the feet to sickle out or the femur to turn IN from the hip, which is of course, not what we're looking for. Yoga programs which have been designed with the desirables of ballet in mind are fine, but they are hard to find.

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I don't think I could get that here...

Pilates doesn't have that (excercises that create bad habits, that is)? As Pilates and yoga seem very much related...

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No, Pilates and yoga are quite different. Pilates is excellent for dancers, and most trainers are familiar with ballet-specific Pilates, even though it was originally designed to help boxers!:D

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I'm starting a course of yoga on the recommendation of the woman who gives me sports massage. She says it will 'open' me up at the shoulders and hips. Perhaps it is useful to dancers in different ways. I am hoping that I will become much looser in these places, and after just a few classes I have noticed a difference as I am slightly more turned out and can kick my leg higher!

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Sorry Miriam but unless you are young and skinny now, Pilates is not likely to give you that nice flat stomach that you see in the ads. Gotta burn fat to get that and Pilates is not a good fat burning form of exercise. Pilates will help your abs get really strong which is good for the dancer, however.


I’ve been doing yoga on and off for almost 30 years now. I don’t think it helps or hurts ballet, quite frankly. I’ve studied several of the different styles of yoga and evolved a style of my own that is almost like an odd modern dance. And I do it because I enjoy doing it. I really don’t think it has much effect on either my ballet or modern.


I think by far the best way to get better at ballet is to take more ballet classes. Direct the money and time you might spend on Pilates or yoga toward class.

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Would Pilates be beneficial for adult ballet students ?.

Can anyone recommend any good Pilates video's ?.

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Guest alisonmcmullan

Does anyone have any other recomendations for exercise that benefits ballet (or isnt detrimental to it). My classes all stop over the summer and I need something to do.

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My teacher was impressed when I had been supplementing my ballet classes with 'popmobility' aerobics a few years ago. I got a lot stronger during that time. It was fun, too.:) If your knees can take it, I'd recommend it. In fact, I'm going to see if there's anything like that near me that I can do. I need a good 'fatburner' at the moment!:D


If you just want to keep your fitness up and stay toned all over, there's not much better than swimming regularly, IMO.



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Guest alisonmcmullan

Oh thats good. I like swimming. I might try out the aerobics thing too, or some circuits. I definately need something fat burning or the leotards wont look so nice come september :eek: !!

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I tend to build bulky muscle very easily so when I am looking for exercise to supplement (or temporarily substitute for) ballet I always have to keep that in mind... I don't mean to suggest that bulky muscle is bad in general - it's just not the look I'm aiming for in the ballet studio.


I find that bicycling and rollerblading both work for me - good cardio workout, low impact, non-detrimental to turn-out. I like to stretch for at least 0.5 hrs afterwards... especially the calves and hamstrings. Swimming is good too... but I tend to stay away from butterfly now :)


I bought a stationary bike for over the winter and found that it's much less boring when you pop a ballet video or dvd in to watch... somehow the time just flies by so much quicker when you get lost in the performance.


I'm not sure exactly what level of ballet technique you are at... but perhaps ask your teacher if it was okay to practice simple things like releves/eleves and balancing at home. You wouldn't want to reinforce negative habits... but you probably don't want to lose too much foot strength either!



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Guest alisonmcmullan

Thanks for the suggestions Garnet.


I have been doing Ballet classes for about 9 months now and i take 5 classes a week. I will ask my teacher what i can do at home to keep the strength up. Dont want to lose that!

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Happy to help. :)


Sounds like me a couple of years ago... switched from a lifetime of doing various sports... to as many ballet classes a week as I could take! Looks like there are a bunch of us on this board.


One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post - keep your brain in shape too! If you are interested, I would suggest reading about ballet (not just technique books - but also historical and biographical as well) and watching it (if not live, then on video/dvd). I have ordered a lot of great books through online used dealers and have found a lot of treasures as old as the 1930's for good prices in good condition. As I'm in Europe I usually use abebooks.co.uk to search.

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Just found out, after lots of searching :) , that they actually have some biographies at our local library!! :D

Definitely took a while to find them though.. :mad:

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