A dancer's life in a box. How to keep your freedom?
Suddenly, dancers have lost their luxury of dance studios and stages where they could stretch and fly through space and theatres. But artists can't stay still so they look for ways to stay active.
Well, I have a developing artist. A small nine-year-old majorette who's been training since she was 3. Mummys and dads, we focus on cooking and home office and we kind of don't have time to pursue the activity children love.
I found out that if I pop at least a piece of her favourite activity into our routine of studying, cooking and cleaning, also a different, happier, nicer atmosphere will sneak in. I eased the atmosphere and returned the joy of exercise. Proudly I watch and learn her training rituals. She spends hours on homework, computers, her back is round her legs swinging in the air, so let's first stretch the body before she starts her usual training. And you know what? Join in, although I don't sit most of the day, but run around so stretching with my daughter will bring us another pile of laughter and relaxation. As a former dancer, I will show you exercises that can be practised by children, parents or even bigger dancers at home.
Let me introduce my daughter Isabela. Hi!
Let's jump to the first exercise.
1. Stretching the thigh muscles
These muscles extend from the hip to the knees. They are often painful, stiff or you may feel discomfort from sitting for a long time or from repetitive impacts (exercises).
Lie on your back, bend your knees. Slowly lower your knees to one side and stretch your upper leg. Turn your head in the other direction. The torso and shoulders remain in place. Count twice to 30. And stretch the other side.
2. Thigh strap tensioner
It sounds like a chapter in a children's book, but it's a muscle in your thigh, it acts as an inner "rotator" of the hip. While stretching, place the ankle on the other knee and slowly move it from one side to the other, then change legs.
3. Calf stretching
Your calves are made up of two main muscles, the biceps muscle and the deeper oblique calf muscle. Both of these muscles usually work overtime with all the jumps, rotations and treads in the world of dancing. However, the fact that we are at home does not mean that we can forget these muscles.
Start by taking a step forward. Make sure the rear foot is not turned out. Keep your heel on the ground, grab a handle, table, or heater if you lose your balance. If you want to stretch more, transfer the weight to the back leg and back to the front. And count to 30.
Can I hear ouch?
4. Stretching your big toeHow strange, right? But believe me, this exercise is also essential for dancers and is especially pleasant.
Start by standing by a wall (a wardrobe or, in our case, a bed) and place your foot on this surface. Slowly pull your foot down over the area until you feel a pull in the section along the sole.
So I have described 4 exercises to stretch places that you, as dancers, use and which we must not forget at this challenging time. Of course, there are some exercises that Isabela will show you in other photos. Every majorette Tuesday and Thursday begin with these exercises.
Stretching the neck and shoulders. Honestly, I don't get up in the morning without doing this.
And because she's a majorette, after all, she needs to stretch her wrist and ankles. The reason why this is also in place is that no injuries imply. I played a crunchy symphony while circling my ankles. I'll probably add it to the morning routine in bed (diary note).
And finally, some more stretching of the back.
We had an open window for fresh air and a bottle of clean water near the whole time. A necessary part of exercising, remember that lockdown does not apply to windows. Keep them open, get the body cleansed and rested also with clean lukewarm water.
I'm sure we warmed up together, we laughed and I learned some of her exercises in majorettes. At the same time, I made sure that I would definitely not be a majorette.
And the result?
Now you're surprised, but I mean, when you get back to the studios, gyms, stages and theatre, your body won't feel like it hasn't been practising in its familiar place for months. You won't feel tired, stiff, or sore. Gracefully continue where you left off before this awkward time. You or your Mini-me.