Showing posts with label Ballet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ballet. Show all posts

Monday, December 12, 2016

BALLET MOVES - Put The Grand In Grand Plie


Practicing ballet is great not only for your body, but also for your mind. It teaches you discipline and determination.

Here is a great ballet move that also doubles as a great leg workout. Ever wonder how those ballerinas have such great legs?

English: A ballet dancer doing barre work.
A ballet dancer doing barre work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grand Plie

To do a grand plie, which is one of the most graceful ballet moves, you will begin at the barre. You want your back facing the bar, and one arm resting out on the barre.

You want your feet to be together at the heels, toes pointing away from each other. The further you can point your toes the better.

If you can't do it completely, where your feet are completely pointing away from each other, don't worry. With all ballet moves, practice makes perfect.

Next, you will perform the grand plie by allowing yourself to bend your knees slowly. While you bend your knees, your arm that is not on the barre, will move slowly up until it is straight out and in line with your shoulder.

You can let your elbow on that arm drop some, so that the movement is fluid and elegant. You want to sink all the way down, keeping your heels together, until your thighs and calves are touching each other.

You want to be in a complete squat. You will hold that position, and then allow yourself to come back up, arm going back down.

You should give the illusion that you are floating, and after practicing ballet moves such as this one, you will be able to perform it in one smooth movement. Here are some tips that you should pay attention to before you attempt to do ballet moves.




Make sure that you stretch completely before you start. You don't want to pull a muscle or injure yourself.

Warm up as well, with some type of exercise that gets you loosened up and ready for ballet. Jumping jacks, running in place and things like this are good warming up exercises. You can do it if you practice and stay motivated.

Keep practicing these ballet moves and before you know it, you will have the Grand Plie down perfect. You will also have much stronger legs to boot. If you want to read up on and discover some more great ballet moves, tips and advice visit http://www.balletmoves.net




Sunday, November 27, 2016

BALLET Can Avoid Common Foot Injuries

Ballet dancers will complain of some foot injury at some stage in their training, and professional ballet will often be plagued with chronic foot injuries, ranging from mild ones that are nursed for years, to severe injuries that may be career ending.

Three ballet dancers
Three ballet dancers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The truth is that many common foot and ankle ‘injuries’ occur as a result of poor “intrinsic” foot muscle strength. The “intrinsic” foot muscles are tiny little muscles that start and end within the foot, that help control the position of a dancer’s arch, and are responsible for the control of her toes within the shoe en pointe. If these small muscles are not working effectively, larger muscles called the “extrinsic” foot muscles that originate further up the leg become overused, as they attempt to perform two roles. This often leads to conditions such as “Anterior Compartment Syndrome”, “Stress Fractures” of the shin bone (tibia), or ‘Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome” , commonly known as “Shin Splints”.

Weakness in the intrinsic foot muscles and overuse of the extrinsic muscles will also result in the toes ‘clawing’ both when rising, and en pointe. This is the biggest cause behind the nasty blisters that are often seen in photos of professional ballet dancers; however this does not have to be the case. Control of the intrinsic allows the middle joint of the toes to remain straight while fully pointing the rest of the foot. This does not affect the look of the line of the foot, but does make dancing much more enjoyable when free of pain!

In many other sports, orthotic devices may be worn in the footwear required that will help stabilize the arch and settle symptoms related to poor intrinsic muscle strength. Unfortunately, in ballet slippers these orthotics cannot be worn (although many have attempted this!) so the dancer is often left to ‘live with’ symptoms, or have repeated extended breaks from dancing.

With correct strengthening combined with gentle stretching however, many of these ‘chronic’ injuries settle very quickly. “The Perfect Pointe Book” is a comprehensive collection of many exercises designed to specifically strengthen the foot muscles needed in any ballet dancer. While initially designed to help girls strengthen their feet before going onto pointe, this book is essential reading for any dancer, especially if they have had, or currently have any foot injuries. The exercises have been developed after years of working closely with ballet dancers, and seeing first-hand what is most effective in regaining control of these small muscles.



Often ballet teachers find the specifics of training the foot strength needed for pointe work difficult as it came naturally to them. However for many people, the isolated strength needed in the feet must be specifically trained, especially nowadays, as many children who grow up in cities spend little time bare foot on different surfaces, which naturally trains the tiny intrinsic muscles of the feet. Understanding how these muscles should work when dancing is imperative in a long, injury free, career in dance.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

BALLET DANCING – The Ideal Physique

Are you a ballet dancer, thinking about taking ballet dancing to the next level?

First, let me say that I truly believe that whatever you put your mind to, and become completely focussed on that goal, you can achieve...

This article is just highlighting some of the centuries-old beliefs as to what constitutes an ideal physique for a ballet dancer...

It is well recognized that a ballet dancer MUST possess a physique that can be trained to the finest degree of coordination, combined with complete flexibility, endurance, and great strength from head to toes. In spite of this all important fact, some students train till well on into their teens before being defeated by some physical characteristic which undoubtedly existed at ten years old, but overlooked or ignored by their trainers at that time...

So what is the ideal physique, you ask?

Ballet Dancer - Edgar Degas
Ballet Dancer - Edgar Degas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well, most experts agree that your body’s proportions are critical to having an ideal physique. Apart from aesthetic considerations, a well proportioned body will weather the stresses and strains of the exciting work required of it with greater ease than one in which there is some disparity in the relative length for instance, of limbs to torso, of width to length of the body, or of the relative size of shoulders to hips and so on...

Unlike the musician, the ballet dancer cannot tune their instrument by lengthening or shortening their strings, increasing or decreasing the tension until the exact pitch is achieved. In the world of ballet dancing, your body is your instrument, infinitely complicated and it becomes your servant only after many years of desperately hard training...

At best it becomes an instrument of great beauty, but it will fall short of this if it is endowed with that extra inch here or too short a length there to fall into that perfection of line and form that the art demands. In the well-informed, well-proportioned physique there is less likelihood of muscles thickening in unwanted places, and less proneness to the minor and sometimes major mishaps caused by the effort to overcome obstacles which are inherent in the build of the body...

The neck line is important, rather more on aesthetic grounds than from anatomical point of view. To conform to the ideal physique the neck should not be too square, and above all not too short; the head should not be disproportionately large nor too small...

The ideal ballet physique embodies a perfect balance between the upper and lower halves of the body. A good guide for the best proportions may be taken from ancient Greece where the length from the crown of the head to the pubic arch or fork is equal to that from the fork to the ground. Following the same pattern, the length from the fork to the lower border of the knee cap should be equal to that from the lower border of the knee cap to the ground...


According to the classical tradition, the shoulders of the man are broader than the hips, in the woman they are somewhat narrower. Here we diverge somewhat, for it has been found by experience that the ideal ballet figure is the better for some slight extra width across the shoulders, whether male or female...

Limbs are next on the list. Pretty arms and hands are naturally an asset; extra arm length or lack of it is not a really a problem, but for the lower limbs the standard of beauty is set high. The ideal leg will of course be straight and shapely, showing little or not muscular development when standing, with smooth line from the back view, and knees which do not protrude too much from the front...


There will be a straight line down the center of the thigh, through the center of the knee, down the front of the leg to about the middle of the foot. The foot will be flexible, showing at least a potential arch. With toes of medium length only and preferably with the first two or three approximating the same length...

Finally the perfect candidate will have an upright carriage and well-poised head.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into some age-old views on the physique of ballet dancers and the art of ballet dancing.



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Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Guide To BALLET

Ballet is a dance that beautifies our movements and builds gracefulness into our body and limbs. Transcending centuries, ballet has a long history. With roots in the Renaissance court spectacle in Italy, ballet has taken its form from the French ballet de cour.

English: Irina's oil paintings: Mikhail Barysh...
Irina's oil paintings: Mikhail Baryshnikov  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Enchanting and graceful with unbelievable steps, ballet is an extremely difficult dance to be learnt perfectly. Great determination, undying spirit, hard work, unbounded practice, and pain are required to master the steps and make a graceful and superb dancer.

To enable dancers to perform perfectly, there are special shoes available - simply called ballet shoes or ballet slippers - made out of leather, satin, or canvas which makes ballet steps and movements possible without causing any injuries to the dancer.

Research shows that some brands are particularly known for making good ballet shoes of different types, materials, and designs. Angelo Luzio, Freed, Gamba, Grishko, Leo, Patterson, Sansha, Art Stone, Bloch, Capezio, and Danshuz are some brands among others which specialize in ballet shoes or slippers.

Ballet slippers are always preferred to be snug but not tight, and to have enough room for the toes to spread out comfortably. Good ballet shoes also have ribbons and elastics to allow for flexibility and feet comfort. Options exist as to the type of sole pattern desired - split or full sole.

Multitudes of ballet schools exist which have brilliant teachers imparting ballet lessons to people of all ages. Apart from the normal ballet lessons, there are even summer intensive courses and some special courses to children of aged 3 or 4 years. Such courses help to tune in their movements to music. However, most professional courses begin at the age of 9 years.


American Repertory Ballet's Princeton Ballet School, School of American Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet are some schools which impart professional ballet dancing lessons.

Some talented and famous dancers include Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Alicia Alonso, Briely Movric, Paloma Herrera, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, besides many, many others.

An expressive dance form, ballet continues today in its ever-growing popularity, stealing hearts of millions of people all over the world.

    By Jennifer Bailey
    Ballet [http://www.z-Ballet.com] provides detailed information on Ballet, Ballet Shoes, Ballet Classes, Ballet Dancers and more. Ballet is affiliated with Ballet Flat Shoes [http://www.e-BalletShoes.com].
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Saturday, March 26, 2016

BALLET Music Through The Ages

Right from the beginning, ballet and music have been uniquely intertwined. Without music ballet is nothing more than the empty motions of a ritual. Without the movement and rhythm of dance, music looses all vitality. And so, ballet as a doorway to human expression hinges on both music and dance.

Publicity shot of the original cast of Tchaiko...
Publicity shot of the original cast of Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, St Petersburg: Mariinsky Theater, 1890. Carlotta Brianza starred as Aurora. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the Italian-born French composer who founded the national French opera was not just a court composer to Louis XIV, but also a choreographer who produced court ballets for Molière's plays. This probably explains why his productions never lacked an accompaniment. However, theatre productions of the eighteenth century turned composers away from ballet and toward the music of ballroom dancing.

This phase sustained its self straight through the nineteenth century with the exception of pieces by Russian classical composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) which include the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty.

In the twentieth century however, ballet came back to the spotlight. Once again considered a respectable art form, choreographers looked to the works of classical composers such as Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Brahms, and Handel to perform the art of ballet dancing too.

Many agree that ballet owes its very existence to the likes of those who are both composers and choreographers. Because being musicians in nature, they naturally pay close attention to ballet following the rhythmic structure of its accompaniment precisely. One who does not understand music can easily create ballet that looks good that in of itself, yet at the mercy of a great classical piece the novice falls short of expressing the true nature of the piece. Instead, they turn the production into a form of movement that is devoid of both art and beauty. The experts instead know when it is appropriate to go against the grain of the accompaniment to heighten those dramatic periods which capture their audience's attention and leaves them breathless.  


As we dawn a new era of music and dance, it's undeniable that ballet will continue to change. However, just as music and dance have always been the best of friends, ballet will continue to find its new identity in the constantly changing music of today.