the next generation of Dance as Art

Use your break between classes to improve your alignment and strength with this short workout -


Lay on your side with your bottom and shoulders against a wall.  Most people will not have their back all of the way against the wall.  Bend your bottom elbow and allow your head to rest on your arm to help create proper neck alignment.  Take your bottom leg forward from the wall about 1 foot to create a more stable base.


Exercise 1 - Outer hip strengthener - helps with stabilizing the supporting leg -

1.  Lift your top (gesture leg) to be hip high and stack your hips atop each other - for some people your waist will lose contact with the floor for others it will not.

2.  Maintain a parallel alignment with your top leg - lift the leg as high as you can without shifting the pelvis or losing wall contact at your bottom or shoulders.  If you lift too high you will feel the top moving towards your waist.

3.  Hold this position for 8 counts and then lower - repeat 10x.


Exercise 2 - Side battement

1.  Same starting position as above.

2.  Turn out the top leg and slowly lengthen it away from you (towards the ceiling) as high as you can without shifting the pelvis or losing contact with the wall.  Try to use 8 counts to reach the end of the movement.

3.  Lower the leg back to the starting position, but maintain the turnout.  Use  8 counts to return to the starting position.

4.  Concentrate on both the rotation of the thigh in the hip socket in both directions as well as the stabilization in the pelvis. - repeat 10x.


Exercise 3 - Battement front version 1

1.  Same starting postion as Exercise 1.

2.  Maintain a parallel leg line, the leg at hip height and contact with your bottom and shoulder against the wall as you carry your leg as far forward as you can.  Try to use 8 counts to reach the end of the movement.

3.  Return the leg to the starting position, again using 8 counts per movement.  Repeat 10x


Exercise 4 - Battement front version 2

Complete Exercise 3 with the gesture leg turned out.


Exercise 5 - Battement back version 1

1.  Lay on your stomach with your legs parallel and feet in line with your sits bones (most people will have their legs open a few inches in this position).  You will not be against the wall for this exercise.

2.  Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine to engage your abdominal muscles.

3.  Most people will have an increase in the arch in their back when they lay on their stomach, this is created by the pelvis tilting forward.  To counter this and find a neutral pelvis you might feel like you are tucking under slightly.  Do not squeeze your buttocks together.  Instead, picture yourself wearing a pair of pants with back pockets and pull those pockets down towards your heels.

4.  Maintaining the position of your pelvis and abdominals, lift 1 leg as high as you can without any shifting going on.  Hold for 4 counts.

5.  Lower your leg back to the starting position.  Repeat 10x


Exercise 6 - Battement back version 2

Complete Exercise 5 with the gesture leg turned out.


Exercise 7 - Abdominal activator

1.  Stand with your bottom and shoulders against the wall.  For most people only parts of your spine will be in contact with the wall.  Your feet are under your sits bones and neutral (for some people this is feet parallel, for others there will be out toeing in the feet - everyone should have their thighs parallel).  Your feet will be 2 - 3 inches in front of the wall when standing straight.

2.  Lift your arms over your head, fingers reaching for the ceiling.  The arms only reach to the point where the ribcage does not change position.

3.  Take 8 counts to slowly move your body forward into a flat back table top.  Only go as far as you can maintain the contact between your bottom and the wall.

4.  If you can continue to maintain contact, allow your torso to round over continuing towards the floor.  If you cannot continue contact go to #5.

5.  Begin to roll up to standing.  Focus on the back of your hips and legs pulling down towards your heels to move your pelvis upright before continuing to roll through your spine.  Use 8 counts to return to standing.

6.  Releve' maintaining the shoulder and bottom contact with the wall and lower.  Repeat 5x






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