Archive for the ‘Ballet Steps’ Category

Ballet is Great Exercise!

July 26, 2011

A fellow instructor posted a link to a ballet article on Livestron.com , a website supported and promoted by Lance Armstrong.  The article gave some ballet barre exercises that you can do at home.

What amazed me the most was that this was not the only ballet article on the site. There are at least 20 entries about ballet! And there are also videos that demonstrate ballet moves, although I had trouble viewing them.

All of the ballet-related information is under the fitness section of the website. I know from experience that Ballet and Balletone (a cardio fitness class that incorporates ballet movement and pilates based strengthening exercises) are great forms of exercise. Looks like more people are catching on!

Simple, Yet Breathtaking

July 10, 2011

Have you ever seen the opening of George Balanchine’s Serenade? It is absolutely breathtaking! The movement is very simple; mostly arms. Yet, you are drawn to the beauty.

I have told my young students that it is not always about the spectacular steps.  Yes, it’s important to be able to do multiple turns without falling out of them. And the leg lifted to split-like heights is amazing to see. But, there is so much more to dance.

I wish my students were at the NYC Ballet performance of Serenade at Saratoga Performing Arts Center the other night.  Then they would understand what I keep telling them.

I did find a YouTube video of Pacific Northwest Ballet performing the opening. However it doesn’t do it justice. It is more beautiful when you see it live.

Video clip of  opening piece of Serenade  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ra_L_wPo0

Plié – The Dancers’ Friend

September 4, 2010

“Plié is the first thing you learn and the last thing you master.”  Suzanne Farrell ( Pointe Magazine, August/September 2009)

Plié, which means ‘to bend’, it is one of the most important dance movements. We use it to warm up the muscles and joints of the legs and also to establish proper placement. This is the first step that is done in every traditional ballet class (and is used in other forms of dance).

Plié is more than a warm-up step. We soon find that it is used throughout class to join or link each movement to the next one. This step is the foundation of turns and jumps. Plié provides momentum for turns and then helps the dancer stop in the right direction. Plié is also used to push-off the ground when jumping and then as a cushion when landing.

To reap the benefits of this step, it must be executed properly. Here are some tips:

  • Knees must be aligned over second and third toes.
  • Keep weight even on two feet (unless you are landing on one foot).
  • Keep heels on the floor.
  • Collect energy by bending with resistance both going down and on the way up.
  • Take the same time to go down as it does to come up.
  • Stretch thighs through to the hips as you straighten.