Body Conditioning Incorporated into Classical Ballet Training

Classical Ballet characterized by the turnout of the hip, rising up on toes, elevation, beats, turns and toe dancing. Dancers must have precise body placement to perform ballet dance steps correctly. Because of the extremely high level of natural physical and artistic ability needed, only a small number of aspiring dancers will have the body type required to reach the level of professional ballet dancer. However, dancing can still be a rewarding experience for young children with an "imperfect body." Children learning ballet can gain poise, improve posture, balance and self-discipline as well as concentration, flexibility, endurance, speed, strength and power.

Our Programme and Teaching Director, Miss Cecilia Chan believes that a well organised conditioning programme is of vital importance for overcoming and improving some of the dance students' physical imperfections. Miss Chan has built a Yoga-Pilates based conditioning programme that balances each student's training. The body conditioning programme helps students achieve abdominal core strengthening, increased flexibility, elongated and sculpted muscles, balance, correct posture, greater range of motion, and fluidity of movement. Many students benefit most from adding this body conditioning programme to their practice.

The following exercises are specially designed to stretch and strengthen the entire body before classes.

Body Conditioning For Warming Up

Whole Body
By assuming the stance of a dog stretching, the whole body receives the benefits of the pose. Through the upward pull of the tail bone to sense the energetic lift of their imaginary tails.

Whole Body
Legs and arms extend allowing for maximum length of the spine and optimum health of the body.

Relaxation
Sit on your knees with your feet together and buttocks resting on your heels. Bring your chest between your knees while swinging your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the floor.

Core Strengthening

Start in all fours, bringing the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Round the spine and drop the head. Take the gaze to the navel.

Think of the spine as a straight line connecting finger tips, the crown of the head, shoulders, hips, to the toes. Keep the neck the natural extension of the spine.

Bring chin down and curl the upper spine up off the floor. Keep the shoulders engaged in the back. The gaze is down into the scoop of the abs.

Hips and Buttocks Stretch

Step 1.
Extend left foot forward bending left knee at about a 90 degree angle. Extend right leg back away from the body in a wide backward step, with heel lift off the floor and push back.

Step 2.
Bend the right knee down the floor. Place the hands firmly on the ground, with the left foot between the hands.

Step 3.
Bend both elbows down to the right side and try to lengthen the head down to the floor. Lift the right knee off the ground.

Step 4.
Angle the left shin under the torso and bring the left foot to the front of the right knee. Stretch the right leg back in parallel. Fold the body over the left leg. Feel the stretch in the left hip and buttock as exhalation.

Step 5.
Lift the upper body and support with the left elbow. Bend the right knee and hold the right foot with the right hand. Fold the foot towards the right hips to feel a stretch in the front of the hip.

Repeat Steps 1 - 5 with right leg step forward.

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