Perfecting Pirouettes, Turns…How to always find your focus & “your center”!!!
As dancers, we talk a lot about “finding our centers”—but what does that actually mean? It refers to the invisible pole of support in your core that makes you feel like you could balance for days. Once you experience the freedom that sense of stability can provide, you’ll want to find a way to access it every time you dance.
Here are few exercise to help you…
💖The Toe-Heel Rock
Purpose: This exercise strengthens the muscles in your ankle to promote stability in relevé.
Stand sideways about one foot away from a wall. Lightly touch the wall with your right hand and lift your left leg to a parallel coupé. Place your left hand on your left hip.
Rock forward onto the toes of your right foot, lifting your right heel as high as you can.
Rock backward to the starting position, then lift the ball of your right foot off the floor as high as you can, keeping your body upright and your hips centered over your foot.
Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
Because dancers’ big toes tend to be stronger than their pinky toes, rocking back to the heel often looks like this, with the pinky-toe side of the foot tilted toward the floor.
Focus on lifting up the pinky-toe side so your metatarsal stays even.
Purpose: This exercise helps you access your deep transverse abdominal muscles, which are essential to balance.
Stand with your back against a wall, your feet parallel and hips-width apart and your arms by your sides.
Curve your head forward and begin to roll down through your spine. Keep your hips and heels connected to the wall.
Once you reach the bottom of the roll-down, grab on to opposite elbows to keep from relying on the floor for balance.
Beginning at the base of your spine, roll your body back up to the starting position.
Repeat two more times.
💖The Horizontal Tilt
Purpose: This exercise promotes balance in turnout by strengthening your oblique muscles and the external rotators in your hip.
Begin in a “T” position, standing on a straight, parallel right leg with your left leg reaching behind you (foot flexed and parallel). Tilt your torso forward, so your body—from the crown of your head to your heel—forms a straight line parallel to the floor. Reach your arms toward the floor with your palms facing each other.
Bend your right leg, making sure your knee tracks over the center of your right foot and your left leg stays in line with your torso. Hold the rest of your body still.
Stretch your right leg to return to the starting position.
Open and unfold your body by turning out your left leg and reaching your left arm to the ceiling, so your body faces out instead of down. Gaze down at your right arm as you continue to reach it toward the floor, and squeeze your abdominals. Hold for a count of three.