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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet & Orienteering - perfect combo?


dansair

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I don't know what happend, but I suddenly found myself attending an orienteering event. I've never held an emit in my hand before and using a map&compass is not exactly my forte. And I forgot my glasses. But I did it, found all 7 points in time.

It was fun. Except that my shins and ankles are busted. I will never do a releve again :D

Is there anyone here who does both ballet & orienteering? Orienteering calls for stiff ankles and ballet, well...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting. I have done only basic orienteering and don't compete, and take ballet classes in the summer (the only time I really have time is during DK's off-season). I haven't necessarily seen a benefit between doing them together.

 

I do try to get both my dancing children outside as often as possible, to offset all the time they spend indoors!

 

One thing they both have in common is that I can often be found with my feet/ankles in an ice bucket afterwards. Condolences to your ankles!

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If you have these ankle problems - keep it slowly!

Tendons strengthen slowly, much slower than muscles. And as an adult, most of us have a longer offtime since high school sports, so the tendons are weak.

I think strengthening them outside of ballet for ballet is a good idea, and supported from sport medic - but slowly. This means a power up over a few years, not from 0 to 100 in half a year. Especially if you aren't 2x anymore and notice problems.

 

Yeah, and to myself, get rid of completely unnecessary pounds.

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I found a training manual of one orienteering club. The manual was created (as part of a thesis in physiotherapy) because there were too many ankle injuries among the club members. The exercises focus on developing ankle and foot proprioception.

 

Interesting connection between these two activities. :)

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I did some orienteering in college and cross country running before that, and started ballet at 27. I like to run on hills whenever I can - it's good for leg strength and endurance. However, I've found that distance running can make me stiffer, particularly in the hips and hamstrings, and it can also burn muscle, most notably in my calves. It's almost like my body is getting rid of muscle in order to maximize running efficiency, and then releves on one leg take all the strength I've got. The strength comes back if I cut back on distance running and do only sprints, maybe some hills, and do barre/weight room exercises.

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As adult dancers, we're also adult everythingelsers as well : runners, walkers, workers. It seems to me it's about finding a mix of activities which you enjoy and which help you reach your goals - or have no goals at al and just enjoy doing hem (that's me, I'm afraid - I know I should have goals!)

 

I had a breakthrough about running 3 years ago, and I now do it for aerobic fitness and for strength - all for my study of dance. But I do notice that it has an impact on my injury rate & Achilles tendons, so I have to do a lot more stretching. And I should add in some strength/weights training, although at the moment I'm finding yoga is really amazing for my strength training. Go figure ...

 

About ankle health particularly: on World Ballet Day last October, the Australian Ballet Director, David McAllister, told us how all their dancers do a set of ankle rises on one leg in parallel at the end of barre each day. 3 sets of 10 rises on each leg I think. And that their rate of ankle injury had been noticeably reduced. So maybe that's something to do each day?

 

I do the Alfredson heel drops most days, and work on doing them on one leg as well - 3 x 10 drops on both legs, then alternate legs 5 times each in a row, repeated 3 times. It's a tough work out, but I can do it on the stairs at home while I'm waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning coffee!

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"Adult everythingelser" - I'm considering adding that line to my business card :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
About ankle health particularly: on World Ballet Day last October, the Australian Ballet Director, David McAllister, told us how all their dancers do a set of ankle rises on one leg in parallel at the end of barre each day. 3 sets of 10 rises on each leg I think. And that their rate of ankle injury had been noticeably reduced. So maybe that's something to do each day?

Thanks, Redbookish. I've added the exercise to my daily routine.

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