Ballet dancers are always working to build a body that is both strong and flexible, a mixture of power and agility.
Stretching is a very important part of the Ballet Beautiful program and an integral part of every dancer’s daily life. I want that to be true for all of us! Stretching keeps the muscles loose, helps fight stiffness and even fatigue. I think of stretching as a potent anti-aging tool. It benefits our bodies and our minds.
If your body is stiff or maybe you haven’t touched your toes in years, don’t despair! You do t have to be flexible to work on flexibility. The opposite is true. With stretching and flexibility the sum is in the parts. A small amount of daily stretching goes a long way towards opening the body and increasing range of motion. Remember that with the right approach towards moving the body, you can change the way it looks and feels.
If you are a beginner, add in small stretches throughout your day - a quick opener for the arms and chest in the morning. A hip release when you have spent too much time in the car or at your desk midday. Standing hamstring and calf stretches when you come home from school or work are also great for lengthening the muscles in the legs! And don’t forget to check out my favorite Ballet Beautiful stretch videos here.
Remember to start slowly, always work within your range of motion, and enjoy! Happy stretching!