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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Home stretching and conditioning


Lady Elle

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I'm wondering how much time your dk's spend at home stretching and conditioning (foot work, core work etc). I'm feeling like my dd would benefit greatly if she put more time into this. I do realize that her time is limited and she needs down time as well. She's just at such a crucial point in her training and she doesn't have all the bells and whistles as far as body type, great legs and feet etc. I think most dancers work pretty consistantly at home as well but maybe thats not really the case. What do all your kids do?

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My daughter takes Pilates 3x a week and does home conditioning approximately 3 times a week. She also stays after class to stretch nearly every day. She is 14.5 and JUST started to realize the value in consistency. Hope that helps!

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My DD doesn't really come home and do a set of stretching and/or conditioning exercises. It's more like she she's stretching while doing her history homework, planking while watching a favorite show on TV, working her feet while she has a friend on speakerphone ... that sort of thing. She has a hard time sitting still, so she's always moving around stretching or doing something.

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Right Pensive - that certainly counts for me. My dd doesn't tend to use her time like that. Homework I can understand that she just does better at the table. But while watching tv... She doesn't have much time to watch but when she does she usually doesn't stretch or work her feet. She probably does about 4x per week. I think doing foot excercises daily - maybe even 2 short work outs a day on her feet would greatly improve their strength and flexibility.

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My DS 16 stretches and does sit-ups and push-ups every night before bed. He used to stretch sometimes - and then at some point, I'm not sure when, it became a daily habit. My favorite thing, which I just happened to walk in on one night, is that he gets his older brother to help him stretch his feet. Don't know what he'll do when his brother goes to college next year!

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Lady Elle-your dancer will take this on when it becomes important to her. Until then, just as many young dancers likely don't stretch at home as do stretch at home. It's all about ownership of the journey and some take a little longer than others to own their journey. It's best for you to not mention it unless the teachers have and then only mention it once. At some point, she will take that ownership. But it won't come any faster if we, the parents, harp on it.

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Thanks Momof3darlings (love that name btw). That helps confirm what I already know but have a hard time doing!

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Mine is 16 and she's not quite as flexible as she needs to be, plus she has a couple of weak areas that she tends to neglect somehow in her training, she conditions for at least 45 minutes/day -- stretching and certain strengthening exercises (until recently because she's been injured). Now that she's healing she needs to start moving back into her at-home conditioning routine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lady Elle-your dancer will take this on when it becomes important to her. Until then, just as many young dancers likely don't stretch at home as do stretch at home. It's all about ownership of the journey and some take a little longer than others to own their journey. It's best for you to not mention it unless the teachers have and then only mention it once. At some point, she will take that ownership. But it won't come any faster if we, the parents, harp on it.

 

Awesome point! DS (13) get this, and DD (11) does not. I am the habit of saying "Did you take a shower, wash your face, brush your teeth, do your stretches?", but I think that's kind of harpy of me. I am embarrassed to admit that I do that actually :whistling:

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I'm constantly suggesting a nice long stretch to DD (17), along with the many other things I nag about, in as soft and pleasant a voice as I can muster. It's so gratifying when she actually does stretch at home (once a week? twice at the most).

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My daughter does very little at home, but honestly, during school there is no time. Between school, dance, and homework, she goes from 6:30 am straight to sometimes 11, 12 or later at night. It's grueling and shes exhausted most of the time, and I honestly am surprised she's as driven as she is (I'd have quit long ago!). I wish she had more down time to stretch and do strengthening. While school was still in we tried adding some private personal training to try to increase strength (as tall and leggy as she is, strength has been her biggest issue), but we just couldn't make it work with her packed schedule. She started some barre classes on the odd weekend she was free based on a recommendation by the personal trainer, and she has loved them and is really seeing increased strength. Now that school is out she's going much more. We've had some busy days even since school got out, so she's not really gotten into at home work much yet, but usually once she's had a little time to really relax and be a little lazy, she gets very bored and starts working on feet, core and stretching. But I really see much better results in the class. She comes out of the class with her legs and abs trembling from the hard work, and I think it's often hard to push yourself that hard by yourself at home, so we'll try to get her to those as much as possible. I really hope she'll focus on flexibility and feet at home once she's had a day or two to really rest up.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello. I think I brought up a similar subject not too long ago but I cannot find it in a search. I would love to hear from the moderators on this.

 

One of the moms at the studio this morning, who has a gorgeous senior dancer, was talking about how her dancer stretches 2.5 hrs a day at home! That seems like so much. I cannot even imagine my daughter stretching this much - even in increments. On a good day, she'll spend maybe 20-30 minutes stretching.

 

Is this kind of how it should be for those about to launch into a career?

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This is the thread you started Lady Elle. But, the answer is really still the same. 2.5 hours a day in my estimation is excessive. Now of course, some will stretch and watch TV or stretch while doing homework and that can add up to 2.5 hours. But it's important for musculature to be balanced in a healthy body. So over stretching and stretching too much can be problematic in a physiological manner.

 

I would still encourage you to let your dancer come to this on her own. If her teachers want her to stretch more encourage her but don't hound her. And turn off your listening ears in the lobby and turn them on when the teachers are instructing for growth.

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"Turn off your listening ears in the lobby". I like that. I work there so it's somewhat my job to be engaging but you are absolutely right. No, none of her teachers are suggesting she stretch more. Thanks for the reminder. I should have just read through the previous responses (I actually found this older thread after I posted, I made the mistake of searching in Cross Talk rather than here). Thanks again.

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