public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:25 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2001 6:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1278
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
I agree that sometimes doctors need a little extra help to remember that the requirements of dancers differ from those of "civilians." With your doctor's recommendation, seeking out a physical therapist who knows how to work with dancers is a great possibility. I'm sure there are many stretch/strength/balancing exercises which may help.<P>The balance component is complex. One other thought to keep in the back of your head is that you will only be at your current age and stage of development for a short period of time. Some of these issues may resolve on their own as you mature. I say this, not to dissuade you from taking action now (and certainly the scoliosis needs to be monitored carefully, as you are already doing), but to give you a little hope -- things are likely to get better in the not-too-distant future. I commend you for all the action you are taking now.<P>Just one other simple thought on balance. Sometimes balance is impeded by too much upper body tension. While we all know we need to stand tall in ballet, we need to be relaxed at the same time. You may wish to check this out at barre, before or after class. What's happening with your shoulders, neck, upper back and ribcage when you balance? It may be that relaxing a bit in those areas will let your body stabilize more naturally over your feet. <P> <BR> <BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2001 3:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 25, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada
Yes Nancy!! My teacher is always telling me I have to much tencion in my shoulders and neck. She also always tells me to tuck in my ribcage and all of that! Is that my problem?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 5:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Dancinglauren, Nancy certainly brought up a good point! I think there has been discussion in some threads a while back about placement of the ribcage. The placement of the ribcage is actually a matter of the spine being correctly aligned. The abdominal muscles are very important here. Also very important is not to hold your breath to try and keep yourself more stable. You must breathe and also work to keep your breathing from "pulling" your lower ribs forward, which creates too much arch in a part of your spine. I know this sounds complicated. But sometimes you can notice this if you stand sideways to a mirror and take some deep breaths. You can put your arms over your head in 5th en bas while you do this and it will help show if this is what is happening. Pilates exercises definitely help with this.<P>There is a whole interesting aspect about balance concerning the fact that we use our eyes to help us orient ourselves. Working with people that have been head injured, one of the things we do is to help re-establish this kind of orientation. People tend to "enclose" their view, or their peripheral and "long" vision is affected. On the other hand, there are some interesting yoga poses that work specifically on balance where, while you are in the pose you work to withdraw into an inner focus until you can close your eyes. Two very different ways to work on balance!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 5:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Interesting point, Maggie...<P>The prima ballerina Alicia Alonso is blind - not totally - but almost so -she has difficulty even getting through a doorway (I saw this when I was in the studio with her). Yet, she can balance - and spot her turns. She has learned that "enclosed view" - that "inner sight".<P>There was one time in her career, after an eye operation, where her sight was greatly improved and she experienced difficulties balancing and spotting because she was used to that inner sight. Of course, she had to develop this ability to be able to dance.<P>Unfortunately, that brief span of improvement for her didn't last. I believe she was in an automobile accident which re-injured her eyes. I think it was the jarring effect of the accident that did it - as I remember reading about it.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 9:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Maggie, there was a Scoliosis workshop at the Pilates studio I go to this weekend, given by Michelle Larssen. I didn't go (I just couldn't afford it) but I talked to some of the instructors who attended this morning. It seems like they learned a lot of useful exercises for helping clients with scoliosis. One thing I heard was that tension in the shoulders often accompanies scoliosis. I know this was the case for me, since I had a hard time making the connections to stay aligned with the small muscles on the lower part of my spine, I tended to try to 'pull it all up' from the top--which meant using my shoulders *a lot*! I'm amazed at how much they have released in Pilates.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 12:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 25, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada
After hearing what everyone has to say I think I should try thodre pilates? what exactly are they? what will they do and how can I get them???


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 12:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
DancingLauren, to get an idea of what pilates is, have a look at this web-site.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.ronfletcherwork.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.ronfletcherwork.com</A> <P>There are other sites you can view, and many teachers around that you can find to help you. Marie may know more of them in Canada since she lives there.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 1:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
I don't know any of the instructors in Calgary but if you call the Dianne Miller Pilates Studio in Vancouver, BC, 1-604-879-2900 during office hours they will be able to give you a very good recommendation. Dianne has worked with a lot of dancers over the years (she brought Pilates to Canada) and certifies teachers from across Canada.<P>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 1:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 56
Location: United Kingdom
I too have had problems with balance on my left side.When I was younger my foot turned in slightly and so I had it straightened when I was about 13. Up until that time I could never balance on that foot and it was generally accepted because if the alignment of my foot. After the operation my balance improved but it still needed a lot of work. I had physio and was given some exercises to help strengthen the foot but no attention was given to my balance, either by the physio, or by my ballet teacher. I thought to myself if I want to go to college to dance I need to improve my balance. I found another ballet teacher who was fantastic and she told me not to concentrate or think about my foot so much as this was the source of the problem. This really helped as I think as far as I was concerned i could not balance because of my foot. Taking my focus off of it really helped. She also made me practise constantly just like Basheva said. I would practise everywhere. You don't even have to make it visible to other people. When I was younger I used to do it standing at the bus stop just by lifting my foot off the ground, nobody noticed. My balance really improved though when I went to college and was introduced to Pilates. My instructor gave me lots of exercises to strengthen the small muscles in my foot and around the ankle and to help relax my foot as tension was causing me to be come unstable. But what I really found helpful is the wobble board (this is discussed in an earlier thread)I believe this piece of equipment is invaluable to a dancer. I started off just standing on two feet, then progressed onto one foot and now I can stand on the board and perform exercises from my ballet class e.g ronds de jambes, developpes, attitudes etc. I cannot get my leg as high as the other one yet without wobbling or loosing my alignment but it takes time. It isn't something that is aquired over night you have to work at it.<P>Pilates does not concentrate on just the one body part that you need to work on, it promotes muscle balance, strength and flexibility throughout the body, therefore each body part is just as important as the next no matter how insignificant it may seem. Therefore I believe that strengthening my foot was not the only aspect helping my balance. Doing Pilates has developed my core strength, and strength in the lower back, inner and outer thighs and the glutes as Trina stated. It also taught me to release a lot of tension from my muscles which ultimately helped me to balance and this is another good point that was mentioned earlier. I think I aquired this tension because I was nervous about balancing on my left foot and knew that it wasn't so good. I didn't have quite so much tension when balancing on my right foot.<P>On a final note I would like to say that core/abdominal strength has played an important role in improving all aspects of my balance thanks to Pilates. It is definately something to address.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 4:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Jane, thanks for that glowing commendation about pilates! For those unfamiliar with this kind of work, it is about core strength as Jane says. But what about this core strength and strong abdominals? Why not sit-ups and back flexions done in any gym? Here's what. The development of core strength is based on the premise that all movement comes from the center. The movement of the extremities comes from the center. Core strength is about developing inter-vertebral articulation, or strengthening and suppling the movement aspects of all the vertebrae within their capacities. It is about developing the breathing apparatus and correct breathing, as that is also a part of core strength and necessary for correct posture. It frees and develops the body, and when well taught, promotes artistry in movement beyond just a calisthenic approach. I could go on, but many people have articulated in various threads why they like this work. I enjoy teaching it because it's one of those things that while teaching, you are continually learning. Like teaching dance, it never becomes stagnant.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 5:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
And don't you find, Maggie - that part of the excitement of teaching something like Pilates or dance is that each student is so individual? <P>Each one is like a puzzle - to help figure out, to try to "reach" - solve, (or attempt to!)the ways and means of progress for that individual person.<P>Each student standing at the barre - or wherever - is not another blip on the screen, but an entire universe. That's what always turned me on.<P>And, yes, I agree that it all comes from the core - the center. And that center has lots of names - the heart, the mind as well as the core of the body. And emanates outwardly.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 7:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
The whole concept of Pilates and strength coming and emanating from within sounds to run so many parallels with the type of strength we require in ballet that I wonder why it has taken so long for so many parallels and uses to be drawn into ballet training, and why it has taken so long to become the "in-thing". Obviuosly I know Pilates has been around for a long time and that techniques have been used in ballet probably without us knowing it - but why the sudden resurgence now? Does anyone know? i really am interested.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: BALANCE
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 8:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Yes, Basheva. That's the only way I teach pilates. Each individual has their own unique requirements, not to say thay no one has the same things they are working on, but I teach very specifically to the individual and give them my undivided attention. My students are my teachers.<P>Joanne, I think there are numerous reasons that pilates has enjoyed a resurgence, the same as yoga. Pilates certainly isn't as old as yoga, but in it's time it has been "trendy" several times. To me, the trendiness of something doesn't decide whether it has staying power or not. The work ultimately speaks for itself, not because a celebrity endorses it. Pilates may not be for everyone although all can benefit from it, anymore than something like yoga or ballet or playing the violin may be. It is a discipline as well as a therapeutic tool.<P>I'm probably as mystified about its new popularity as you are, Joanne! <p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited May 30, 2001).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group