Lately, a lot of my friends have been experiencing pain in their ankles, feet, hips, etc. An important lesson that I had learned from my foot injury is that there IS such as thing as overdoing it! If you don’t rest, and ice, and give the treatment your injury needs, it wont get better. In fact, the injury that you are trying to avoid is only going to get worse! I am not saying that you should stop dancing, I am just simply giving the advice of taking it easy.
I have actually experienced this, myself! When I had\have my foot injury, I didn’t dance all of spring break, AND school testing week (ok, ok, maybe I took two classes over testing week) Surprisingly, the rest truly helped and when I came back to dance, I didn’t feel the pain for a long time! As a result, I started telling myself that it was “all better.” I started to act as if my foot was totally fine and normal, I stopped thinking about it, and did a lot of pointe work and jumps. I didn’t want to tape my foot anymore either, because I felt “fine” so I stopped using it. However, my foot was coming back little after little.
It is important to take it easy after or during an injury. It may not be fun, but it can help you from future injuries and it can keep the injury from getting worse. So, when you are experiencing an injury, don’t keep saying “i’m fine” when you are really not! When you do that, you aren’t hurting anyone but yourself. You know your body, and remember, it is important to push yourself, but sometimes it is also important to treat yourself to a break. DONT OVERDO IT!
Last week was my spring break from dance and school and I made sure that I relaxed and prepared myself for these next couple of weeks. It was hard to not dance for an entire week, but it was also nice to have a break! My spring break was full of excitement from 4D movies, basketball games, and even museums! Today was the first day back from break and I was very excited to get back to dance. When I got to the studio, I suddenly remembered all of the dances that needed to get done, and the pressure started! I have to prepare myself for my variation solo for the showcase, rehearse for Infra, my Tap dance, my lyrical piece, the ballet dance for the little mermaid, and the ballet dance for the showcase! I also have my end of grade testing next Monday that I had to study for! The break is now over and I had to snap my head back into reality! I have a busy week ahead of me!!! 🙂
By now, I am sure that a lot of dancers are familiar with being told the phrase, “Ballet is not a sport.” Most people don’t understand how difficult dance is to master, and how many years of training it takes to be a dancer! There is, in fact, a football player; Steve McLendon; that had said that ballet is the hardest thing that he had ever done. One of my favorite quotes is, ‘ Ballet is the strength of a football player, Ballet is the flexibility of a gymnast, Ballet is the agility of a soccer player, Ballet is the hardest thing I have ever done.‘ Ballet is not just flexibility, it is not just agility, and it is not just emotion or strength, it is a combination of a great verity of sports that create the word; ballet.
Want to try a day at dance?
-Try lifting your leg as high as it would go to the side, and hold it for one minuet on both legs; Make sure that your leg is as straight as it can do, pull up in the thighs, and point your toe as hard as it can go.
-Jump rope for 3-5 minuets is probably equivalent to the amount of jumps we do in a day at dance.
-Slide down into your splits and hold for one minuet on both sides
-(For the men) Lift something above your head that is more than 90 pounds and hold it for one-two minuets is probably the amount of lifting a male dancer does in a day.
This isn’t even half of what a professional likely does in a day! A professional’s day is most likely tripled or doubled depending on the amount of shows or classes they have! Do you still agree with your statement??? “Ballet IS a sport.” (Don’t ever forget that.) 🙂
Amazing and truly inspiring!
It is common for many dancers to have trouble with their turns, or to favor one side more than the other. For example, I personally favor my left side more than my right. In this case, I would constantly turn and practice my left side and not even attempt my right side. Soon, I learned that you have to practice both sides evenly. My advice is to practice your bad side more than your good side. If you are practicing your bad side more than your good side, then you will be kind of balanced on both sides. I am not asking you to totally ignore your good side, because it is good to practice your good side every now and then too, but it is important to be strong on both sides. So, if you start to practice your bad side a lot more, then you will start to see progress and be able to turn just as good on that side as you can on the other side. Here are some helpful exercises that you can start to do to help your turning troubleshooting. If you have any questions, just feel free to let me know.
It is important to first address the problem and figure out why you are falling out of your turns:
Then, here are some tips to help you with the problem:
I remember, when I first started dancing again after I had quit for a long time, one my old studios dancers Constance Doyle had always been there for me. She kept me dancing, and kept me inspired to dance. She was one of the studios best dancers and had always been there for me. She had helped me when I needed help on something, and she always had faith in me. She was the person that truly kept me dancing and when I needed a little boost of confidence, she was always right there. If I needed someone to look up to, I always had her. She reminded me every time I watched her dance, why I was dancing and why I was doing this with my life. She kept me motivated and on my feet. I still remember, it was Christmas time and we were preparing for the Nutcracker ballet, and she walked in a brought me a card. I still have it saved and in a box, and it had said, “Dear Munchkin, Happy Nutcracker and Merry Christmas! Your enthusiasm and energy make you so much fun to watch… if you keep working hard, you can go FAR! 🙂 ❤ I hope you have a wonderful performance and a blessed Christmas! Isaiah 43:1 ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine.’ 🙂 Love, Constance Doyle” She always brought me cards and hugs. One day, she got accepted into the American School of Ballet and left. She had moved and I never thought I could ever find her again. Ever since then, I had been working to try and inspire younger students at MY studio and keep them motivated just as she did for me. If it weren’t for her, I would probably look at dance much differently. I want to be like Constance and be able to do everything she did. I still look up to her and get inspired every time I think of her name. I miss her dancing, and watching her everyday… but then it hit me, I looked up her name and found a video of her dancing. I checked to make sure that it truly was her, and sure enough it WAS! I watched some of her videos and how beautiful her dancing was. She is so graceful…I don’t know what I would do without her. I love you Constance!!!!!
Lately, I have been very busy. We have two upcoming performances in a month that HAVE to be finished by this week. I am in the middle of learning seven dances right now, and I am getting very excited! One of my favorite dances we are learning right now is called “Infra”. It is going to be one of the dances I will perform for our studios professional training showcase. Anyway, in “Infra” I am constantly being lifted and carried and turned. I feel bad for the other girls though, I am the only one who gets lifted. But besides that, I feel like I have a close connection with that dance, and I feel like I can put some real emotion into it.There is one lift I have to do where I run as fast as I can and jump where the boy catches me, (if it is done correctly, picture me standing on shoulder, but a little below shoulder height) Then, on count eight, every one else on the floor drops while he drops me a little so that he is holding my knees and I fall over his shoulder, and just lay limp. The first time I did this step, it was a little scary, but now I almost feel like I am flying! Too, after the showcase, this is not going to be the end of it because it sounds like we are going to take it to Tennessee to show and compete. Maybe soon, I can get a video of me doing this dance and post it so that I can share it with you as well…