Ballet is hard, but it is where I credit getting most of my flexibility and strength from. I came up with flexibility exercises you can do on your back, that come straight from ballet!
~Ballet as an adult~
Ballet is difficult, I get that! However, there are so many benefits from ballet: strength, flexibility, body awareness, grace, coordination, and so much more. I always encourage adults to try and take ballet class, but I understand how overwhelming and challenging that can be, especially if they have never taken a ballet class in their life. So I thought to myself, how can I, not only, incorporate ballet exercises into my flexibility programs, but also make them easy enough to understand for adults who have zero ballet experience? And then it came to me...doing ballet exercises on the back instead of standing.
~Why the back?~
So I chose to do the ballet exercises on the back instead of standing for one main reason: the upper body form. Understanding how to hold one's body in ballet takes years of practice...ribs closed, shoulder blades drawn down and together, hips open, chin up, glutes engaged, spine neutral, and much much more. This form is very important. If the form of the torso is off, it makes the ballet exercises useless. But the exercises are so beneficial! So by laying on the back, we are able to execute many ballet drills, while also not needing to worry about the form of the torso. A win-win situation to me!
~Ballet and leg flexibility/strength~
I work with many different types of flexibility and strength levels. And the most common suggestion I give to people who want to improve their leg flexibility and strength is to take a ballet class. Ballet is the core of dance...every dancer needs to take ballet because it provides the fundamentals needed for understanding movement. It challenges one's strength, flexibility, body awareness, balance, coordination, and much more. So why limit that to only dancers? Everyone can benefit from ballet and gaining those skills. By doing ballet on the back, anyone is able to try out ballet technique and feel how much it can work the legs and hips. Ballet is all about turn out, so in my video Ballet on the back, we super work the hip and leg strength by focusing on turn out and movements within that position. It is challenging, but you feel AMAZING and accomplished after!
~"What ballet exercises can I do on my back?"~
Excellent question! You can do everything from plié, tendu, changement, développé, and much more! If those words mean absolutely nothing to you, no worries! I have my Ballet on the back video uploaded on my Vimeo. You can head over to my site, subscribe, and follow along to the video. Your legs and hips will be on fire, but they will feel amazing! Ballet is so important and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to try it, even as an adult. I hope you can watch the video, and let me know what you think about ballet on the back!
I hope all of this information was helpful to you! Let me know what you think about ballet on the back! Head over to my Vimeo page and subscribe for lots of flexibility videos! Also, enjoy these photos of baby Rochelle at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Russia with my coach Alina.