This is one of my favorite dance conditioning sequences that I developed to challenge balance, core and coordination. Using a small pilates ball increases the level of difficulty to maintain the lines in the lower limb and spine. Breath control and ease of movement are all challenged here. This exercise prepares for choreography and provides musicality that gets you out of your head and back into your body.
In one exercise, the following will be developed and challenged:
1. Dynamic core stability
2. Ability to move in neutral spinal alignment
3. Strong leg lines
4. Controlled, graceful ports de bras
5. Diaphragmatic breath without compromising transverse abdominus engagement
6. Thoracic extension
7. Lumbopelvic stability
8. Pelvic floor activation and endurance (hello!)
And most importantly,
You are conditioning while you dance.
Dance gets you out of your head and back to your body so you can begin again.
You don’t have to be a dancer to try this out.
What dance skills do you think this will prepare you for?
Jump performance is not just about height. It’s about how your foot can articulate and push off the ground to initiate a chain reaction of movement, breath and core control. Learn to dissect the jump and how self-care tools and conditioning techniques can help you take off.
Register for part 1 of a 4 week Street Ballet Conditioning Workshop Series with Dr. Blessyl Buan.
With over three decades of dance experience, she completely understands the journey of the young dancer, the audition process, and the demands of the professional. While studying her Bachelor of Kinesiology at McMaster University, she was scouted by a talent agent and began her professional career as a commercial dancer. Select credits include: Dairy Farmers Milk Rap Commercial (2002), Step Up Revolution Flash Mob: New Music Live-Much Music (2012), and the biggest highlight was the opportunity to dance with Madonna at her Grand Opening event-Hard Candy Fitness (2014). She is a member of ACTRA (Apprentice).
Using the Merrithew Tower Trainer™, Dr. Blessyl fuses her clinical expertise with dance conditioning and pilates. This innovative equipment allows the dancer to work through barre work and matwork with access to elements of the reformer and cadillac using resistance from body weight and springs. Her work is profiled on her Instagram and Youtube channel.
Outside of the studio, she is the contributing writer on dance health & conditioning for The Dance Current and is active with Healthy Dancer Canada (HDC). She is a former faculty member of Equity Showcase Theatre and was a presenter for HDC and the Performing Arts & Medicine Association (PAMA). She was also a guest teacher at York University’s Dance Program.
Stability must be established before movement. In dance, the shoulder girdle must be strong to support the movement of the performer’s arms. Arm movements help to counter the movements of the legs and neck. In dance, movement will not be controlled or graceful without strength and stability in the shoulder girdle, abdominals and pelvis.
Endurance in the scapulothoracic muscles ensures the following: 1. The dancer avoids developing tension in the upper traps 2. Graceful movement in the arms and shoulders 3. Balance, jumps and turns are effortless
Here is a lat pull down and core strengthening exercise on the Pilates Tower Trainer.
My philosophy is that optimal alignment in your body is important to developing proper movement patterns which will improve performance and avoid injury.
Chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, myofascial release techniques and Kinesiotaping methods are all strategies that I use to re-educate your body to undo abnormal muscular imbalances, scar tissue and joint misalignments that have developed over time as a result of poor posture, inactivity and improper movement techniques.
One-on-one individualized programs teach your body how to progress to more sophisticated movement and is important to maintain the healthy alignment that is achieved through chiropractic care.
The multifunctional Tower Trainer™ can be used for Pilates, dance and traditional fitness training, facilitating hundreds of exercises, from simple to complex multi-planar movements – including the majority of the exercises done on a STOTT PILATES® Cadillac, along with full matwork repertoire. Portable and foldable, the Tower Trainer™ features a comfortable, cushioned mat surface with accessories including springs, straps, handles and bars that will add variety to any workout. Ideal for all fitness levels from professional athletes to active adults and for all body types and abilities.
On February 16-17, the Performing Arts & Medicine Association are hosting “When the Artist’s Body Says No” at the Toronto Regional Meeting. I will be presenting “Demystifying Flexibility and Stability in Dance Training”
Check out the brochure below for more info and to register!