CriticalDance Forum

Staying in shape
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Author:  glissade [ Fri May 18, 2007 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Staying in shape

Hi everyone! This is my first post.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone has suggestions for staying in shape over the summer before going away to summer dance intensives. I live in a small town, so there's not a lot available in the way of summer dance classes. I've been taking a 90-minute ballet class five days a week, which is great, but for the summer my studio's only offering one 2-hour class twice a week. Not enough! Are there any good ways to stay in dancing shape without very much class?

Author:  ksneds [ Sat May 19, 2007 10:20 am ]
Post subject: 


Two hours? Wow...I'm not sure that would be my ideal. After 1.5 hours I'm usually tired enough to need a break and I don't think I'd nearly as much out of a class when I'm really tired.

But as to staying in shape....swimming is great. Biking can be nice, but I don't think running is a great idea because of the stresses on knees etc. Brisk walks might be a good substitution for running. Are there any Pilates classes available? You can also stretch (carefully!) on your own after exercising so that your muscles are warm.

A bit of time off can also be beneficial, as it allows your body to rest and any nagging soreness or injuries to heal before the stress of the intensive. In Europe where summer vacations are just 6 weeks or so, summer courses are often around two weeks long and some schools encourage younger students to take the break off as rest. For instance, the Royal Danish Ballet School does not encourage their students to take outside summer courses until they are 14 or 15, as they feel that they should have time to rest and that the training during the rest of the year should be enough.


Author:  Gina Ness [ Wed May 23, 2007 10:37 am ]
Post subject: 

I'll second the welcome to CriticalDance! It's good that you have the two least, it's something. ksneds suggestions are good. I think just doing barre work can really be a plus for staying in shape. You can hold onto a ******* counter or a deck railing, whatever you have available in your own home! I used to give myself a barre on my deck during breaks from SFB. It made it a lot easier for me to get back into the full swing of things when work began again (or, for you, a summer intensive!). Good luck, and we hope you enjoy your summer dancing! :D

Author:  LMCtech [ Wed May 23, 2007 10:58 am ]
Post subject: 

I third the welcome to CD.

I often give myself a barre in my living room holding on to a chair. That is incredibly helpful. I also do plenty of stretching. It's amazing how quickly everything can tighten up. I have also found yoga to be very helpful in staying in dancing shape. If there aren't classes available in your town there are plenty of great DVDs and videos available on the internet.

Author:  glissade [ Fri May 25, 2007 10:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow, thanks for all the great advice!

I think that there are a few Pilates and yoga classes around, but I'm not sure how much I can afford to take. My parents aren't particularly happy about how much my summer dance intensive, classes, etc. are costing already, and I'm still working on getting a summer job. However, I do know that I can get ahold of a few DVDs, and the ******* counter has served as a barre before! Oh, and the city pool is about 100 yards from my house. I guess I have more resources than I thought.

I'm 16, but this will be my first summer away from home. I started ballet 3 years ago, so it's been something of a catch-up game. I'm just happy that I got into an intensive, and I don't want to blow it by showing up out of shape. It's only 10 days long, so every minute counts!

Thanks again, everybody.

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue May 29, 2007 2:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Keep in mind everyone else will probably be out of shape too, so you needn't worry too much about how you compare to everyone else.

Author:  ingve [ Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi there,

I agree to all sugestions here, but I have a bit of another experience than kneeds considering running. For me running became a great way of stabilizing my stamina. With the right shoes and technique it is much less stressing for your knees than ballet often is, you just have to start carefully and if you feel uncertain, in any good sports shop where you can buy good shoes, they would also give you a lesson on the threadmill.

The advantage of running (or biking) is that the moment you leave the door of your house, you can start the training. When going to the swiming pool, you have to get there, change, shower, etc.

And the barre at the citchen counter is of course a must :wink:

Enjoy your summer course.


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