How Do You Maintain Good Shape During These Corona Times?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, May 29, 2020

Thank you so much for the question, @sidsefog

What an unnerving time we are all currently living in around the world. I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. Truly.

To help me stay in shape, as close to ballerina shape as I can, I currently do these 5 things:

1- Run. I run 5k every other day. Running gets my heartbeat up, helps me maintain some sort of level of stamina, and the hard landings keep my ankles used to impact when jumping is rather limited without a studio. I do run on a dirt path so it isn’t as rough for my ankles. If you aren’t a runner, I do recommend it but start slow. Shin splints, knee problems, and ankle issues can appear if you do too much to soon.

2- Ballet Barre. On the days that I don’t run, I do a ballet barre. I was doing barre everyday but now the Royal Danish Ballet is officially on summer holiday so I’ve given myself a bit of a break. I want to keep my feet and legs moving but to also allow them to get a rest so they are ready for the 2020/2021 exciting season.

3- Single Leg Heel Raise Exercise. Many injuries start from a weak calf… I have found that by just adding this exercise into my daily routine, it is helping me maintain better calf shape and it helps prevent injuries when we eventually get back to a full time dance schedule.

The exercise is to stand on one leg with your other foot off of the ground. Slowly count to four to raise up to a demi point and then slowly count to four to lower down again without ever allowing your heel to touch the floor. If you can do 27 in a row then they say that you have a healthy and strong calf. It’s pretty tough though! I’m only at 17 in a row!

4- 3-5 minute plank. This one I do after my run. I’m currently building up to 5 min. Trying to keep my abs strong and my arms sculpted.

5- Stretch. Especially my calves from all the running and the leg heel raises. But I also do the splits, and some hip stretches. Trying to keep things loose.

These are the five things that I do religiously but there are so many different types of exercises that can also keep you in a good shape during these tricky times. Maybe you prefer the jump rope instead of running. Or a workout class with squats and weights. Or even learning a dance routine off of the internet. I’ve done these things too! They are fun. Take advantage of all the classes on social media. It’s a great distraction and maybe you’ll discover a new love!


What Is the Purpose of the Heels Being Lifted off of the Ground in Ballet?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thank you so much for the question, Amy Z.

This is a great question because it is a little tricky and there are many different opinions. When working at the barre your heels shouldn’t be lifting off the ground but you should be imaging that they are in order to create the feeling that your body weight is over the balls of your feet. We are training our bodies to have our weight NOT on our heels and therefore it can sometimes be seen as a exaggeration by lifting the heels off of the ground.

First position

Imagine that you have only one piece of paper that could slide underneath your heel. That is how much your heel should be off of the ground. It really shouldn’t be visible.

If you pile with your heels coming completely off of the ground then the calf and leg muscles aren’t being used or strengthened in a way that will benefit you.

When you are dancing a variation, you still want to use your full pile with your heels on the ground but sometimes you will see the heels slightly lifted as the dancer is changing or prepping positions. This is normal. Especially when you are working with speed because that is when it is even more important to have your body weight on the balls of your feet. You can’t move quickly if your weight is positioned incorrectly.

Jumps. Well… technically it should come from a pile with your heels on the ground. Honestly, it is common to see dancers jumping from a visible but slightly lifted heel. It’s again about your body weight. Getting your weight in to your heels is death to a jump.

The prep for a saute in the fast ballet, Ballo Della Regina. (the right foot heel is on the ground)
Top of the Saute.

All fifth positions, all pile’s, and all preparations for jumps, if done correctly, should have the heel down but with the weight on the balls of your feet. That way your legs are ready for any step that comes your way!