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Tai Chi

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I was wondering if there were any ballet specific benefits of Tai Chi.

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I tried that a couple of times maybe 15 years ago. There may be benefits but I couldn't take the "dancing without music" feel of the thing. My dad went with me once and fell asleep during the relaxation exercises at the end. He was snoring right there on the floor. He was too embarrassed to ever go back. Sad though, I think the sleeping thing is pretty common.

Actually I thing I remember standing around in 4th position a lot of the time????




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There are classes starting up tonight and I have always wanted to try it as its supposed to be good for stress.


I have googled it and and found this


"Tai chi (pronounced "tie chee") is an ancient Chinese discipline that integrates mind, body, and spirit. Practitioners use meditation and deep breathing as they move through a series of continuous exercises, called "forms," which resemble slow-moving ballet. " Its supposed to help balance and strengthen core muscles in a pain free way!


I bet I fall asleep in my first class :(

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I know this is cheesy but I used to follow along with a tai chi public television show. I found it calming, but it's very low impact. I even used to lead friends in the exercises! The concept of chi, that is, feeling your life force or energy is a good one though.

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Yes it is great for stress. Pay attention to the breathing instructions and go ahead and sleep if you need to. Someone will wake you when it is over. Try asking them to turn on some music; even some gentle new age stuff. I'd love to know what they say. I wasn't brave enough to ask.



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I did tai chi for a few months. I never really got into it and found it boring. It was however relaxing, if that is what you are looking for...but I prefer the relaxation at the end of a good yoga class (where I get better stretch and extension) as opposed to what tai chi could offer.


Just my two cents...

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There was a little old Chinese man in my neighborhood growing up. He did this every morning in his front yard at around 6AM. He was in his 80s and moved very fluidly. So there must be some benefit.

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Kitty, I did tai chi seriously for over a year. Did it help my ballet, hard to say. It taught me to loosen up everything as if you have any blocked channels your chi can't flow. for me it was tense shoulders, and after going to Tai chi for ~4 weeks, my shoulders were a lot better. It teaches you balance and poise and basically doing Tai chi won't be detremental to your ballet. The health benefits of Tai chi are plenty.

The form I did was Yang style, and you bascially learn a 'form' which is a set of ~120 movements. You learn them one at a time until you can do them all in one continuous sequence. An important part of it is learning breath control. This is important in ballet and so may help you there. Aparently, when done properly you are able to slow your heart rate right down to some ridiculous level <60bpm.

We do it to chinese music, but you can do it without.

I don't do it anymore as I moved away, but I carry it with me now and can practise on my own.


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I did some tai chi before I began ballet. I feel it taught me to find my core and to "relax into movement". I really don't have a good concept for that last bit, but it is the thing about not fighting a movement, and just using the muscles you need to, not more. I think you all know it, as we learn about it in ballet too, but I find that for me it is easy to forget, especially when I am striving to "get" something.


This was at a time when I was not so physically active, though, so I cannot comment on whether it would help someone who already knows those concepts from dance. I think if there was a tai chi class available that I could easily take before or after a ballet class, I'd give it a try, though.

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I'd say it is good because I read a report about the Zürcher Ballett who went to visit the Cloud Gate Ballet and they do a lot of tai chi as part of their training.

I also found the link to the report.....but it is in German (on page 16) http://www.opernhaus.ch/pdf/positionV/PositionV_No2.pdf

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I know two retired ballroom dancers who have taken up Tai Chi and think it’s great. Of course, if they didn’t think it was great they wouldn’t be doing it either.


The rule of specificity applies—i.e., you get better at ballet by doing lots and lots of ballet. Auxiliary activities (e.g., Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, swimming, take your pick of about anything) is most likely to neither help you improve your ballet, nor will it likely hurt it either. Adult ballet students usually do a variety of things and not just ballet alone because they are looking for a more all-around recreational life. In that case, Tai Chi can be wonderful if that is what you like to do.

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