It’s Time for Change

IT’S JUNE!!! It’s time to start a 30 day challenge!

My lack of classes, and lack of consistent training like I had two years ago is starting to show. My arabesque is HORRIBLE. My extension is HORRIBLE. My turn out is HORRIBLE. My core… could always be better. My flexibility is HORRIBLE.

So here I go. Stretching , at home barre , and core strengthening every day this month. Erryday! I’m thinking about doing a youtube live feed for FAQs while I stretch one Saturday or Sunday. Would anyone be interested? Comment to let me know!

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30 Days and A Man

So a man walks into the studio. Says he’s studying Karate but would like to take dance lessons, thinks ballet would be cool. Um, sign this man up meow!!

My Mentor was upstairs when he came in, she said a nice good looking man about 20 y/o or so.
I desperately want him to join do I could possibly have a PDD partner!!! Squeeee!!

And… I’m still working on it and I’m so close!

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Final day!!

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So close, may have ’em in another 30 😀

Edit 11/06/12 –

October 5th 2012, before:

My back leg is straighter, my front leg calf is on the floor, and in general I am much closer to the floor. Though I didn’t get my splits, I was quite successful at getting really close! I’m not far off, but I also still need to push my right leg more since my left side is my best.

Wait, I forgot NEXT Monday is 30 days- haha!

Oh you guys I’m pretty bushed. I’m not belligerent yet, but I sure feel it coming on. Today was supposed to be a day off for me, but got called in to work anyways- retail- sigh. Anyways anyways anyways. I’m just raising my arms not trying to make 5th so… yea. NEXT Monday I’ll be 30 days, I have one more week! Yessssss!! SO close! I was really cold when I got home so I bet it could be better.

 

10/29 splits

 

In other news I get to dance the Solo Doll dance one night for our performances!!! En pointe and everything. Such an awesome moment especially since I just started pointe in February. My first solo dance en pointe. I need to buy recital stuff. Ugh. New positive? For the Russian/Cossack dance we’re doing I get to wear a faux mustache- yea!!

Tomorrow is Halloween and I’ll be passing out lolipops to the girls in my class and dressing up as Minnie Mouse! I can’t wait to see them!

 

Hoping you all have a safe and fun Halloween and those of you on the East Coast stay well and safe too!

Pressure’s on

Not only am I’m upping my time at ballet with extra rehearsals and memorizing 4 dances and occasionally paying attention to the other dances of the classes I teacher assist; there’s only 20 days left in the 30 day challenge! My third Friday is coming up in the next couple of days!!!! I wonder if I’ll be able to be any closer to the ground in my splits. Here’s some new tips on splits!

 

• right or left splits be sure that you’re pointing your toes, your weight is evenly in the middle and your knee is not holding you up.

This is difficult for beginners who aren’t as far, but you can use your hands to hold you up if you can. You’ll get there regardless!

• if you feel you’ve reached as far as you can get but not completely grounded, use an elevated surface to prop a foot/heel on 1-2″ off the ground.

The elevated surface will lift you above your norm and force you to expand and relax things that were being stubbornly tight in your thigh and hip. Be sure you do it slowly and cautiously so you don’t injure yourself.

• place your front leg up so your knee is bent and your back leg as straight as you can get it. Bend forward and reach your closest shoulder under the crook of your knee and prop your arm underneath to support. Then gently lift your shoulder and back and you’ll feel a stretch in both thighs.

This feels wonderful!

• for straddle splits, standing open your feet into your widest second. Bend over and place your hands on the ground, now walk your hands slowly away from your body and then prop yourself there when you feel the stretch.

 

Here’s a new video for stretches to help too!

Tips on Splits!

Some tips that will help you improve your flexibility and limberness for your 30 day challenge!

 

Hydrate. Those who work out or do any strenuous activity always hear about drinking water. Drink such and such amounts of fluids etc. And everyone goes yea yea yea… Lets make this so we understand why and not just be told. It’s gotta concern us or we won’t care. SO – the Human body is composed of 70% of water. You need to maintain this level to create the optimum human being. Consuming alcoholic beverages dehydrates your body because it’s- ALCOHOL! What does that do? Dries up moisture! Most adults enjoy their occasional glass of poison, one speaking here- no shame. It’s important though to stay hydrated afterwards to replenish what was lost. Same goes for when we sweat when we dance, or when you exhale. Moisture is evaporating from your body. If you are dehydrated your body will react badly to being stretched, it’s elasticity will dissipate because it’s reserving the moisture to keep internal important organs moist instead of caring about your leg and if it bends too far. In conclusion, staying optimal moisture level will keep you limber and flexible! Take care of your body even when you’re not in the studio, did you have a couple glasses of _fillintheblank_ , remember before bed and in the morning to drink a couple glasses of water to rehydrate.

 

Warm up! It takes me 5-10 min to get a small warm up going. So 15-20 min is optimal. If you’re working on your splits you want to focus on your core/lower back/ all the way to your toes. I start off with back leg battements. In general that’s how I start warming up anyways. Swinging back doesn’t really pull or strain anything severe, and the motion really gets your heart pumping to get blood to your hip and foot. Be sure to swing in a second position battement or off to the side to start opening up the hips and creating oxygen/blood flow into that area. Work even your feet and ankles by placing your feet parallel go on demi on your right foot and shift to your left on demi right on floor. Several reps will start working blood into that area. Also just swivel and move your ankle and foot and wiggle your toes. Just get it jumping and jiving down there so you can feel your body hum with preparedness.

HIPS! Oh- such an overlooked object of splits. A lot of people are concerned about their hamstrings and they should. I’ve pulled mine at least twice in the last year and half studying ballet. BUT, if your hips aren’t OPEN your splits aren’t going too much farther. It could be what’s actually holding you back from your complete splits. Ahhh… betcha didn’t think of that didja? Do runner stretches! You can stand or lie down for this, lying down is preferred if you want to go into the next step easily. Lying down, lift your leg up as far as you can to your chest. Grasp your ankle with both arms and lightly pull towards yourself keeping your pelvis flat on the floor and use your other leg on the floor to pull you in the opposite direction or pushing it against the floor (We’re not in a runner’s stretch yet.) Holding onto your leg back into a taught but relaxed and comfortable position away from your body- push your leg against your arms pulling at your leg so you create a neutral pressure for 20 seconds. Relax your hip and pull the leg closer towards your chest, did it move farther than last time? After you’ve done both sides bend one leg at your chest and hug it. You can twist your leg in the socket to each side for a prolonged held stretch- of course not hurting yourself just until you feel that good stretch. Do for both legs. Release and relax when you need it.

Now with your pelvis flat on the ground and one leg stretched out on the ground as well. Create a passé and get your knee as far down to the floor as you can get it, then place your foot back in first. Passé in parallel, open your passé, get your knee to the floor, then place foot back into first. You’re just moving that hip joint around to open it up. Do both legs. You can do however many you want.

Standing, pull a leg behind you bent so that your foot is as close to touching your derrière as possible. Be sure not to twist your foot and keep it straight- so holding your ankle is ideal. Keep your back straight and tail bone tucked and just pull at your leg back towards your back, like you want to touch your toe to your back. This stretches more the front of the thigh than it does the hip but y’know. Since you’re working with your legs :B

Diamond stretch! My favorite. This improves turn out and your splits because it helps your hips! Lie belly down on the floor. Pull your knees up along the floor until you can get the soles of your feet touching. Then try and get your heels to the ground while holding that position. Oh feel the buuuuurn. If you find at some point that your heels together is no longer creating a stretch place your feet in second position with your knees still out and you’ll be good ;D Promise! For those of us still struggling ask a kind and gentle family member to apply pressure to ankles- make sure you have a safe word. The benefit of doing this stretch this way is that gravity and your weight is working against you instead of you sitting and forcing pressure onto your legs as they naturally push back in the position.

Basic barre stretch and more floor stretches:

With a partner! I love these ladies, btw you should watch ALL four videos on you tube- truly inspirational!

 

I hope some of this helped you! Please be careful when doing these stretches and never stretch so that you’re in pain or cause yourself pain.