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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Break?


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How long is your summer break? How long do you feel comfortable not dancing? I'm asking because it seems as though just as I'm finally getting into a good schedule of classes, along comes a break! I don't like having more than a week without class. Even with stretching and doing my own semblance of a barre, I feel more than a week without a class really sets me back. I am fortunate that I take class at two different studios and if I'm lucky the breaks are not in the same week (winter break, spring break, holiday break, etc.). However, it's getting to be time for summer break (a two week closure of the studio) and it looks like I'll be scrambling for a class during the first two weeks of July. Some times, if there are enough of us adults that want/need a class, the teacher will come in for one class during the week (at an extra fee), but we all have to get together to figure out what day, then hope the teacher is available. Agh!

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I was just going to ask if you could find a class or two to take. What about doing work at a gym in the meantime? I go to the gym and do major stretching, working on turnout in other ways, and my stamina, even when there's no class to take.

 

Fortunately, my school(s) are quite open-minded. I'm taking a five week, two hour a day ballet class four days of the week, during the day, and a few classes in the evenings if I can get them. I'll hopefully also be getting a few private lessons to work on specific things that I know I need to work on, without the distractions of other students around.

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Yes, I take a pilates class once a week, all year round. I also take whatever classes are offered at my local gym on the days I usually take a ballet class. And I take a step-aerobic class and a strength/tone class once a week from April untill December (that's the only time these classes are offered at my gym). It is a nice divergence to take the different exercise classes in lieu of my usual ballet classes, but I still feel as though I'm losing progress during a break.

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One of my schools is off of its regular adult schedule for June, to resume in July. My other school goes all year with a week off here and there after their performances. With my real life getting in the way of ballet ;) I'm resigned to taking very little ballet in June (which is what happened last year as well). It's depressing, but that's life.

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  • 1 month later...

Hmm. I'm surprised there hasn't been more response to this thread.

 

I 'quit' ballet just over a month ago and by the time I realized that I really, really missed it, there were no spaces available at any studio in the city that offers adult ballet. But that's my own fault and I guess now I know! I can't go back until the second week of Sept. which means I will have been away from ballet for 3 MONTHS! I've never been away for more than 2 or perhaps 3 weeks when injured, and even then I went to watch (just like you dancepig, I hated being away from class for more than a week), so it's kind of strange.

 

For those who have had longish breaks like this, do you find that it comes back quickly? Or do you find you've lost a lot of ground? Should one start at a lower level or just get back into it with full force and maybe adjust the level of difficulty based on the feedback your body gives you (e.g. doing singles of things, doing things on flat)?

 

It would be interesting to hear some first-hand experiences. :flowers:

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Last summer I had about a month and a half without class - between vacations, illness, and general summer to-dos, class fell lower on my priority list. When I returned, I remember my calves being sore and my hip and back muscles grumbling for a few days. But I also remember that the more I danced, the better I felt. I returned to the same level class that I'd left, but did modify some exercises until my body was ready. Listen to your body and muscles and don't stress if what was easy a month ago isn't so easy when you return.

 

Luckily this summer has been more manageable, so I've only missed a class here or there. Both studios where I study continue adult classes throughout the summer.

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For those who have had longish breaks like this, do you find that it comes back quickly? Or do you find you've lost a lot of ground? Should one start at a lower level or just get back into it with full force and maybe adjust the level of difficulty based on the feedback your body gives you (e.g. doing singles of things, doing things on flat)?

 

I think it really depends on the individual. I can't stand being away for more than a week. After a week, my body sounds like the Tin Woodsman from the "Wizard of Oz" movie! There's a woman in one of my classes who is the same age as I am (older than dirt) and she seems to have little to no difficulty after a month away. There is a difference in our attendance to class, I take as many classes as I can get each week, varying from three to four, she takes one, perhaps none, averaging about 2.5 per month. But she never seems to have the moans and groans coming from her that I do :flowers:

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My body now is at the point that if I take even ONE day off, it's almost back to square one with regard to flexibility. Strength? Well, that varies with how tired I am. I'm taking 5 two-hour classes a week, 5 one-hour classes and up to two one-hour privates per week right now. Throughout the year, I worked up to 6 classes a week (about 9 hours) but now I feel I may have taken on too much with all the dancing. The only trouble is that I've pre-paid the evening classes and don't want to lose the money. I won't be able to make up lessons in those classes, either. I only have the ankle issue - the rest of me is loving all the exercise.

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Dancepig, maybe you could get some sort of video to do when there aren't any classes available to you? It might be better than your barre or give you more ideas at least. I only have 2 exercise videos & neither one is ballet so I can't recommend one.

 

Je Dans, oh that's a shame you have to be out of class for so long! I would really try to keep your flexibility up while out of class, that is my biggest issue-the strength/balance/ etc. comes back naturally when I am back in regular classes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been having quite a hard time with my "summer break" too. I'm most concerned with keeping my muscles toned and flexible. So of course I've been doing some pilates, and stretching every day. I also do a couple floor barre exercises, and thera band for my feet and ankles. But you know, it honestly just gets boring doing the same thing everyday. When I'm going to classes daily I feel so motivated. Now, I don't seem to care as much.

 

Can anyone suggest some things I could add to my routine to stay in shape? What are some of your favorites?? Or maybe just something that helps keeps you motivated through a "dry spell?"

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Hello Jaybird, welcome to BT4D! I have been forced to another week of only one class, and have to entertain myself at home for any other form of ballet. I have found watching ballet movies and trying to copy different combinations to be an interesting experiment. Unfortunately, I don't have a pas de deux partner, not even a big chair to use, so I'm limited in the combos I chose, but it has been a learning experience for me to try out the marrying of steps I've seen.

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I've been on a short hiatus from ballet classes because of some tenderness in my knees and the way I handle it is with extra ballroom lessons. It's taking me a little while to get used to the somewhat "slow and gentle" nature of the dances (except for latin, of course) but it sure is feeding my need for movement and music. The strange part is that I have to "follow" the lead instead of learning the choreography ahead of time and then performing. Very, very strange having to go with the flow...But it's so very good for me! I'll be back to ballet class this next week having missed two weeks of ballet but feeling very satisfied with the interim dance classes in it's place. (BTW, counting the music was a breeze because of ballet and memorizing the basic steps was pretty easy, too. I count my ballet training as a plus in these two areas.)

 

Sometimes it's nice to take a little time off for relaxation and to re-charge. I have found that my dancing is sometimes better when I do this. I know my turns are somehow miraculously smooth after a class or two off. I think it has something to do with the absent nature of my psyche, I'm just doing it instead of trying to think too much.

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Hi Everyone,

 

It's been quite a while since I have posted, but I am also in the same boat as many. I haven't danced since the end of May or the beginning of June roughly and it feels like Forever!!! I was in transition between finding a studio holding regular classes and trying to keep up with the open classes I was taking. I ended up just getting flustered and decided to take a break until I started at my new studio instead of trying to juggle everything.

 

At any rate, I will finally be going back at the beginning of September and I can't wait. The worst part is I have been doing absolutely nothing while off, so I feel I have lots a lot of strength and felxibility that I had just built up prior to my break. On top of all of that, i've gotten a bit puggy and so i'm dreading getting into a body suit and tights lol.

 

So i've been doing some yoga and trying to start eating a bit better in preparation for September. However, I'm a bit affraid to go back and not be able to even do a demi plie. Plus, I have scaled way back and will be dancing only one night a week (2 classes back to back, but still, just one day).

 

Any advice on getting through this rough patch?

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have a 2 week break between late June and the fourth of July, and a one week one between late August and Labor day. The municipal pool is open during these times, so I go there and swim laps, or do water aerobics.

 

There have been a couple of evenings I haven't gone to class because the outdoor temperature is near ninety, with a similar relative humidity. The studio is on the second floor, not air conditioned (but well ventilated,) and it is always hotter up there.

 

Consistency in training at times has to take a back seat to avoiding heat prostration!

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Consistency in training at times has to take a back seat to avoiding heat prostration!
I hear you there! I was unable to attend last night - got stuck at work - but after I walked outside I thought whew! Perhaps it was a good thing I was stuck at work. I don't mind the warm weather (it's good for stretching) but the humidity really zaps the energy out of a person, plus when you add 8 bodies moving around to a room - it can get "not so nice".
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