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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Yoga or Weight Training?


artsRus

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Hi!...

My 14 year old will be taking the maximum hours of ballet training at her ballet school which I believe will be about 13, plus jazz and modern and rehearsals.

 

There are no fitness or strengthen classes at her dance school this year and she has the opportunity to participate in either Yoga or weight training at her academic school for about an hour after school 4 days a week.

 

This seems to me a great way to add to her ballet training in a cost effective and time effective way.

 

I am seeking advice as to which of these would be more helpful with her serious pursuit of ballet. Would a combination of these help most?

If she were to do the weight training should she consult a ballet teacher for an altered program or should she participate in the general program meant for health and wellness.

 

Does Yoga help with ballet?

 

Thank you for your responses.

 

 

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I am definitely not in favor of putting a young teen female in weight training. Not a fan of weight training for female dancers of any age. Resistance work, as in Pilates, is one thing, lifting weights is another. A lot of dancers like Yoga, put I feel that Pilates or Gyrotonics would be more beneficial to ballet. Just my opinion. However, I would definitely talk to her teachers before enrolling her in anything. You need to know whether they feel some additional conditioning work is necessary or would be beneficial for her at this time, and if so, what and with whom. There are many former dancers teaching these forms of conditioning, and, as with orthopedic doctors, it's always better to work with someone who understands the kind of training the student is already doing.

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Thank you for the information. Sports is a requirement at her school, though we have some input. Her AD said to take the weight training over the Yoga. Her evaluations usually say that she needs a stronger core. Since these classes are offered at her school and gyro.. and pilates are not, they are what I have to choose from.

I could propose to opt out altogether and see where that gets us. I could pay more and drive her to a pilates class somewhere else if that's needed I guess. I just thought maybe we could work with her academic school to get some of the conditioning in...Her schedule can be so hectic.

 

I don't want to hurt her. That's why I'm asking.

I wonder if someone could give her a program she could do in the weight room to satisfy the academic school while moving forward with ballet. Who would I talk to about that? What should I google? Is it possible for her to do a program on her own with minimal supervision or is that asking for trouble?

 

Maybe Yoga is the lesser of two evils? But what I'm hearing from both you and her AD is that Yoga is not necessarily beneficial to ballet.

 

Thanks

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Isn't there a sport she could do instead of either weights or Yoga?

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You mean this requirement has to be an after school activity?

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Yes. There are three seasons of sports. She can take one independent study for one. A second is all set, I wont say how as it may give away the school, and the third is supposed to be a team sport. She cannot play a team sport due to the time commitment and games. I was thinking of trying to make their program work in her favor by proposing to take advantage of their facilities and supervision while coming up with some sort of middle ground to propose - such as participating in yoga or weight training, even though these classes are not offered to her in this instance. I thought the school would appreciate the effort in participation in some manner. If it would be detrimental I would prefer just ask to opt out. If they say no, I can revisit. If yoga or weights (even if altered for her) are detrimental or even just a waste of time, I will find another way to for her to fill the requirement.

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Yoga might not be a waste of time. Many like it very much. I think if one has to do one or the other, the Yoga would be better.

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My DS, 13, has yoga offered at his homeschool SI once a week, but they do way more pilates. They do pilates year round, but yoga is a summer thing only. In fact the pilates teacher said too much yoga not ideal and they have worked with the yoga teacher to make sure it's the kind of yoga that will help not hurt what they are tying to achieve for ballet. So it make it sound to me like too much yoga isn't really so helpful. That is just my limited experience, but I trust the pilates teacher who told me this.

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There are indeed many kinds of Yoga, but nynydancer, it sounds like what your son is getting is organized by the ballet school and geared for ballet students. Yoga taught in an academic school could be a very different thing. For the most part I don't think it is harmful to ballet, with the major exception of the "lotus" position, which appears to me to cause the feet to be in a sickled position. That alone is a huge no no, and a reason I am not in favor of it. I have never studied it myself, so not sure about any other things, but in terms of 'too much yoga', well, too much of anything can be less than ideal! :)

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My daughter REALLY loved yoga as an older teen and wished she'd started it younger. She took yoga class every day right before ballet and found that it eliminated headaches she'd been prone to for years. She was equally happy that she felt all warmed up and ready for class. She actually had MORE energy in ballet class when she took yoga beforehand; she'd initially thought she'd have less. A friend encouraged her to accompany her to yoga, saying that it made her technique classes better. Daughter was very grateful.

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My DD, who needs to build core strength (and strength in general) has been taking a weekly Vinyasa Flow yoga class this year with great benefit! The class is definitely strength-building, although of course some of the postures involve flexibility as well. It has been especially good for her upper body and back strength. I think it really depends on the type of yoga and of course, like anything, on the quality of the teacher! She also attends a Pilates-yoga fusion class when she can and enjoys both.

 

I have done a lot of yoga over the years and have found that classes can be incredibly variable, even classes labeled as the same style, so it might be worth some investigation to find out what sort of class it is and what the teacher's training has been.

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I would opt for yoga over weight training, for my DD.

 

In my opinion, the upside of yoga is the relaxation aspect. Ballet training, academics, social and family life can all create stress, yoga is great at de-stressing.

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My DDs started doing yoga regularly last year and absolutely love it as a supplement to their training. If you have a super-hyper mobile dancer, it might not be the best though. My DDs are not and love the deep, long stretches it gives them. They definitely gain strength from yoga as well, particularly core and upper body.

 

They treat it as pre-hab, instead of rehab. Over the past year, they have found that regular yoga keeps the aches and pains away.

 

Not sure about school-led yoga but traditional yoga teachers encourage students to find their own range of motion and modifications. She might want to take a few yoga classes with a teacher who was a dancer so she can get some insights and tips for dancer specific modifications or things to watch out for. One of DDs favorite, and most challenging, teachers is also a professional dancer. He gives a tough class and has know my girls since they were 8 year old angels in nutcracker.

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My daughter's classes were Bikram "hot yoga". They too were like dances.

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