Dance Stretch 3

A more advanced version of the last stretch.  Start with hands over your head (first position), then reach toward your left leg.  Be sure to keep your arms overhead and your body facing forward.  Keep both legs and hips on the floor.  Come back up to the center and stretch over toward the right leg.  Now, bend forward with your nose toward the floor, arms overhead.  

dance sketches1

This will stretch your legs, hips, and work your abs as you support the balance of your body in the stretch. Hold each stretch 20-30 seconds.  

Dance Stretches 1

Stretching is so so good for you.  Before I dance, I always stretch–it warms up the muscles and gets you focused on the next part of class.

A very beginner ballet stretch is to stretch the feet to prepare for pointing the toes.  Here’s how to do it: (How do you like my little bunheads?)

BS toe stretchFirst sit up tall on your sits bones, legs outstretched. Point your toes up to the sky, flexing toward your torso until you feel a good stretch.  Then point your toes forward trying to touch the floor with your toes. Make sure your knees remain on the floor and you back stays straight.  Do 10 reps holding each stretch for 10-20 seconds.

30 Day Improvements: Dance

After starting the Paleo Whole30, I realized how easy it is to set a goal to change things up for 30 days.  And heaven knows I need some changes now and then!  Something I’ve been coming to terms with lately, is when I’m stressed, I’ve lost my outlets.  I don’t have a hobby or activity that I flee to when I need a break.  I’m going to change that.  And I’m going to use the 30 day model to stay motivated in doing so.

The first challenge I’ll be giving myself is to dance again.  I can teach my children and I can get back into shape doing it.  I used to teach ballet and lyrical dance and I miss it like crazy. I taught classes up until I was 8 months pregnant with my son and after that, I was part of a team and took several college dance credits.  But it’s been a good 5 years since I did anything serious. So for 30 days, I’ll be blogging and instructing how to do a simple ballet class.

Here’s my outline and goals:

1)  To teach my children, myself, and my readers how to do simple ballet exercises

2)  To become more flexible again (achieve the forward splits, a right angle arabesque, and a reasonable backbend)

3)  To choreograph.  By the end of the 30 days, I want to have an entire dance choreographed and I’ll post the sketch here.

If the love of dance returns after 30 days, maybe I’ll take it up as a permanent hobby, if not then I’ll continue the search for another activity. Here I go…!