A type of performance dance which was born in the 15th century in Italian renaissance courts, ballet is a dance form which involves many complex moves and positions. It developed further in France, Russia, and England, and transformed into a concert dance. Ballet is a very hard type of dance and takes much practice to perfect. Let us have a look at some exercises for ballet that can be practiced in homes.
Ask any ballet dancer and he/she can tell you ballet barre exercises not only mean the handrail that is used for warm ups, but also refers to a number of stretching exercises that are essential to form a foundation in ballet dancing for all levels. These are some ideal examples these exercises.
One of the most popular ballet barre exercises, plie means "to bend" in French. It is an important exercise to develop balance. Dancers bend their knees, keeping their toes pointing outwards. The more they bend, the more unstable they become, and the point is to develop balance. It also helps in keeping the joints and muscles flexible.
Dancers practice this exercise to obligate their instep in an outward direction. It also helps to perfect the curves, as it is focused on the movements of the ankle and feet. This is one of the best exercises for legs.
It is a movement in which the foot is elevated from a secured position and then straightened. It helps dancers train in strength and balance as they lift their foot, and also strengthen their instep.
This exercise aims at the back muscles, legs, and abdomen. The dancer lifts the leg up and maintains this position while extending the foreleg. This forces him/her to try to maintain balance. Developpe is one of the best exercises to lose weight.
Ballet dancers need to jump high in air. These jumps help to strengthen the leg muscles by the slow bending of knees.
- Rond de Jambe:
This exercise consists of two sub exercises ― Rond de jambe a Terre and Rond de jambe en l'air. Rond de jambe a Terre brings the toe and heel into the same line, which helps to perfect the balance of a ballet dancer. Rond de jambe en l'air unwinds the joints of hips and turns the leg outwards, preparing the dancer for the next dance position.
Exercises for Beginners
Ballet exercises for beginners help a novice in this field to achieve desired fitness and flexibility needed in this ancient dance form. Let us have a look at some basic exercises for flexibility.
You can practice these exercises even at home. One of the most difficult aspects of ballet is to have the strength to stand on your toes. Your calf muscles will benefit greatly and you will also excel in maintaining balance on your toes, which is very essential while performing this dance form.
- Ankle Work:
Strong ankles help to avoid injury in ballet. Lie down on your back with legs raised up in the air. Point and flex your toes and try to roll your ankles. Performing this exercise efficiently increases flexibility and strength of your ankles.
- Inner Leg Lifts:
To perform this exercise, place a regular-size chair near you and lie on one side of your body. You can balance yourself on one elbow. Raise your upper leg until it reaches the bottom of your chair. This works out the inner thigh muscle, which is of great help in ballet and can improve your turnouts in regular leg lifts. This exercise will improve your flexibility.