Class #4883

Mat for Ballet Dancers

45 min - Class
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Learn how you can improve dance technique with this Mat workout for ballet dancers by Troy McCarty. He starts with a pelvic lift series to warm up and mobilize the spine. He then moves on to exercises that focus on maintaining pelvic stability and finding the connection of your arms to your back so that you can feel stronger when you're in a ballet class.
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Hi, I'm Troy McCarty. I want to thank you for watching us. My dancers are Ben and SK, and we are doing a mat class for ballet dancers today. All right guys, if you'll just sit up nice and tall, let's bend our knees and let's be parallel in our legs and let's roll down to a lying position. All right, so I want your heels right across from your two sit bones, and let's go about six to eight inches away, all right?

So let's bring those heels up just a little bit more. Now, I want to make sure that your knees are going over that second toe. What we're gonna do is we're just gonna start with a pelvic lift series to start warming the spine up. So let's take a big inhale through our nose and let's exhale, let's curl the pelvis up slowly bone by bone. Right, now let's take another inhale at the top of the movement here and let's exhale.

Let's roll the spine down slowly, always touching those bones softly back down onto the ground. Let's try that again, let's inhale, let's exhale. Let's curl the pelvis up slowly bone by bone. Good, now hold there. Now, as you start to lower down, see if you can soften your chest and keep your bum up in the air.

So go ahead, lower down, soften the chest, much better. So you go into a much bigger, deeper pelvic tilt. Let's try this one more time. Let's take our inhale, let's exhale. Let's curl that pelvis up slowly bone by bone.

Great, now reach those arms down. Your scapulas are down in the palms of your hands, right? Take another inhale, now let's exhale. Let's soften, let's roll that spine back down one bone at a time. SK, let's bring your feet just a little bit closer together and make sure you're absolutely parallel.

All right, let's add just one more element to this. So let's take another inhale and this exhale, let's curl the pelvis up slowly bone by bone, perfect. Now, I want you to take your right foot and dorsiflex it, so flex it back. Now, I want you to take your left foot and do a releve. Now, switch your legs and see if you can keep your pelvis absolutely stable.

So switch your feet, good. So one foot flexes, one foot goes up into releve. That's it, now switch the other side. Go, good and switch. Perfect, let's do two more and switch, one more.

Good and switch, very good. Now both feet down, good. And let's roll the spine back down softly. Let's try this one more time. We'll start with the opposite foot.

Take your inhale, exhale, let's curl the pelvis up. Keep those feet down on the ground. Right now, let's flex that other foot. And releve the other foot. Now we take that and we switch, go, switch one.

Switch two, switch three. Switch four, good. And one more, switch five, very good. And bring it back down and roll that spine back down. All right, so it's a little bit of coordination.

It can get tough. So I want the dancers to really think about articulating the spine more one bone at a time. So what I want them to feel is that I'm gonna put a wheel on the right hip and a wheel on their left hip. We're gonna spin the wheels and it's gonna peel that pelvis off one bone at a time. You know, I can remember Romana telling me to think about a strand of pearls and we lift one pearl up and there's space between the next pearl coming up.

So this is our spine, all right? So, let's take a inhale. We got the wheels on your hips. Now let's start spinning those wheels and exhale, curl up. Now think of your legs reaching.

These knees are reaching forward over that second toe. Now take another inhale, exhale. Let's roll that spine back down slowly. Let's try this one more time, we're spinning the wheels. It's gonna peel that pelvis off slowly.

The thighs reach forward. The knees reach over that second toe. Good, we take the inhale at the top of the movement. Exhale, we soften that sternum and we roll the spine back down one vertebra at a time. Bring your legs together, feet together.

Let's sway the legs over to the right, your head to the left and let's stretch that back out real quick. And let's sway over to the other side, very good. And bring it back in. Let's go ahead and extend your legs all the way down. Grab your right leg now and let's pull that thigh into your chest.

Now with your supporting leg down on the ground, I want it to be flexed, all right? So flex that foot and I want you to feel like you're reaching out through the soles of your feet there, that sole of the foot. So we got the leg reaching, we have the ears reaching the other side and you're pulling that knee right into. You're giving that hip some warmth. Now with your hands, let's take the leg and let's make circles around.

So circle it around and think of that pelvis staying absolutely still and you're supporting leg absolutely still. Good, now let's go the other way and circle it around the other way, good work. Perfect. That's it, very good. And let's go ahead and extend that leg down, let's try the other side.

All right, so bring that leg up, grab it, pull it in there. Almost think that you're taking your sit bone and reaching it towards your ankle there. So you stay square in that pelvis. All right, now take that leg and let's do some hip stirs. Let's get that hip nice and warmed up before we move forward.

Just a couple more, excellent. And then the other way, please, and go around. Good. Very good. And bring it back in.

All right, very good, let's go ahead and put our legs down. Squeeze your legs together and point your feet softly. Now your arms are reaching down, so I want you to feel your shoulder blades are way down in the palms of your hand. We're gonna do the hundreds, all right? So we're gonna do Joe's way of doing the hundreds.

We start in a lying position. You're gonna take an inhale, you're gonna raise your arms up, raise your legs up to eye level and bring your head forward up to the thoracic curl. So bring your chest up right to the thoracic curl. Now, you can take your legs and just turn out just a little bit and let's pulse our arms. Here we go, pulse.

One, two, three, four, five. One, two, four, five. Two, two, three, four, five. Two, two, three, four, five. Three, two, four, five.

Three, two, three, four, five. One, three, four, five. Four, two, three, four, five and five. Three, four, five, five. Two, three, four, five.

Six, two, three, four, five. Six, two, three, four, five. Seven, two, four, five. Seven, two, three, four, five. Eight, two, three, four, five, eight, two, three, four, five.

Nine, two, four, five. Nine, two, three, four, five. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one and just go ahead and relax down. That was the best part of the hundreds. When I was working with Bruce King, he would tell me to contract all my muscles, bring that body up, pulse those arms nice and strong.

Now, remember the arms are pulsing and we want to be about eight to 12 inches away from the floor. And I can also remember my teachers telling me it was an accent up, it was a strong pulse. We're getting the heart to beat. We're really getting the abdominals to warm up. Things you want to look for is that you're not bobbing that head up and down, all right?

Just the arms pulsing, the legs are reaching out. All right, let's go ahead and let's bring our body. Let's go ahead to a sitting position, so come on up there. Very good. And let's sit up and let's bring our legs together and let's flex them.

All right, now we're gonna do a roll down. So I like to start with my students by sitting up 'cause I feel it's much easier to teach the articulation of the spine instead of having 'em come down. So let's reach the hands out. Let's take a big inhale, now exhale. Let's pull the pubic bone back and let's roll that spine down one vertebra at a time.

Very good and flex those feet strongly for me and squeeze your legs and bring your arms up over the head. Now, when the arms go back, you want to make sure that you're not popping your ribs up, that you're still connected. So, we're gonna bring the hands up to the ceiling. Now we'll notice that this creates a window. I want you to bring your head through your window.

Really flex the feet, squeeze through your glutes. Now come up and roll that spine up. It's very common for those legs to come up and we go up and over, right. Now, we're gonna take an inhale and you're gonna start pulling the pubic bone back and you're gonna roll that spine back down. Keep that head down and then bring the hands back and behind you and make sure you don't open the ribs.

Let's give a good, strong flex of those feet. You're reaching out through the soles of your feet. All right so, again, hands come up to the ceiling. Now, we bring the head in between the two arms. That creates a frame.

Now we continue rolling up and we go rolling up, reaching through those. The head goes down and what we're looking for is a nice flexion. I'm also looking for clarity between the rib and the hip. Let's inhale and let's pull that pubic bone back and let's see if we can touch those vertebras one at a time. Very good and bring it back in.

And your hands go back and let's try this one more time. Arms come up. Head comes forward, there is that frame. All right, so bring your head forward. Now, if we were on that raise, we'd hold that.

We'd bring the body over. And over you go and we're reaching out through the soles of the feet. Now you're gonna pull the pubic bone back and roll that spine down bone by bone. Very good and back, go ahead and relax again. You know, this exercise is so important 'cause we see so many elements of other exercises from Joe's repertoire.

We see the tendon stretch, we see elements of the hundreds. I'm always telling my students when I see them struggling on the reformer, maybe we need to go back and really roll that spine and really work that out. Let's move on, so we're gonna go into single-leg circle. So I want you to take your right leg and just raise it up to the ceiling. Now, your supporting leg is flexed.

This is the foundation leg, this is not gonna move. It's like we're standing on it. And this works so well for dancers because they have to do so many things, keeping that pelvis absolutely still. The leg is gonna cross over the body. The pelvis stays absolutely still.

This leg stays parallel. It goes down, around, and back up, good. We go inhale, over. We go exhale, around, and back up. We go inhale and go exhale, around, so two more times.

Inhale over, exhale, one more. Inhale over, exhale, very good. Now let's reverse that. It goes out, down, around and back up. Good, now pelvis stays absolutely still.

Goes out, down, around and back up. It goes out, down, around and back up, let's do two more. Go out, down, around. And one more, it goes out, down, around, very good. Bend that knee, place it down and let's try the other leg.

Before you bring that other leg up, just rest a moment. So, I am looking for the leg to move, the pelvis stays absolutely still. I'm also looking if that supporting leg can stay absolutely stabilized. That it doesn't follow the movement of the gesturing leg. A little bit more control, let's try the other side.

All right, so bring that leg up, right up to the ceiling. That's a strong, supporting leg. You're reaching out through the sole of the foot. You're reaching your ears the opposite direction. Now we take the leg over, it crosses the body.

It's an inhale and it's an exhale around. It goes inhale over, down and around. We go three, over, down and round. Use that breath and we go over four. Let's do it one more time and we go five, very good.

And let's try the other side. We go inhale, sorry, the other way. And we go inhale, over, down, around, good. It goes inhale, over, down, around, nice work. It goes three, that pelvis stays still.

We go four, good. And let's do it one more time and go five. All right, very good, and bring it back in. Great, we're gonna just make this a little bit more difficult. So go ahead and put that leg down and we're gonna do Joe's way which is a lot more movement.

And it's the beginning of rotation. So let's bring that right leg up. Right to the ceiling, make sure you're comfortable. Your hips are square, you're pulling up through that waist, so we have lots of clarity. Now the foot on the ground is flexed, you're reaching out through the sole.

Now, what I want you to do is I want you to contract underneath your glute and raise that hip up in the air. So contract, raise that hip up. That's it, flex that foot, not too much. Now, the leg goes over, the body stays there. This leg is still parallel.

So take that, that's it. It goes down and around and back up, good. We go up first, little contract, pull that navel back. This contract underneath, you go over, down, and around. Good, it goes up, that's it.

Now, keep that leg supporting, it goes over, down, around. Let's do two more. It goes up first, over, down and around. One more, up you go, over, down and around. Very good, now stay, let's go the other way.

It goes out, down, over. That hip comes up and it comes back. Now we notice the upper body's not moving. It goes out, down, around and back up. It's a inhale and a exhale.

It goes inhale and a exhale, let that hip come up. Pull that hip right back down. One more time, inhale and exhale, very good. Slide that leg down, shake it out. So this is a little bit more difficult.

They're using a muscle contraction to raise that leg up. Instead of just letting the weight of the thigh pull that hip over, we're making it a little bit more muscular. Let's try the other side. All right, so that supporting leg stays flexed. Reach out through the sole of your foot.

Take your other leg, let's raise it up to the ceiling. So we contract underneath the glute and we just raise that hip up a little. Your abdominals stay in. Now the leg goes over, the upper body stays absolutely still. It goes down by the other foot, around.

We go inhale, exhale, over, down. Try to keep that supporting leg still. We go inhale, over, exhale, good. Go inhale, over, exhale, one more. And we go inhale, over, exhale, let's try the other way.

And we go out, down, around. That hip comes up and we pull it back down. Out, down, around, good. It goes out, down, around, two more please. And it goes out, down, around, one more.

And go out, down, around, very good. Bend that knee, go ahead and relax. So, a lot more challenging. Things you want to look for, the hip can come up, but the upper body stays still. Really try to work with that supporting leg, not following the movement.

You know, when I was training, we were on raise mats. We had one leg underneath a strap that really, really helped us to secure that supporting leg. But not all of us have that raised mat, so we're on regular mats here. All right, let's go ahead and a little bit more warm up with the hips and some more dancer things. So what I need you to do is go ahead and let's do a roll up and let's sit up real quick here, come on up.

Now, let's take the mat and let's fold it back so that your bum sits on the mat and your feet are on the floor. 'Cause I want their feet to slide instead of glide on the floor. So go ahead and lay back down. And let's go ahead and have you scoot down so that your hips are way down at the edge of the mat. Perfect, that's right.

Now, extend your legs. All right and extend feet together and they're pointed. All right, so we're gonna do some like hip slides. Some leg slides. And I'm looking for the pelvis to stay absolutely stable.

And I'm also looking for the lower back not to move. So we have pelvic lumbar stability in this exercise. All right, so guys all I want you to do is keep those feet pointed. I want you to pull your knees up with your feet touching the floor. So go ahead, pull your knees up, one.

Good, and then we push back out and stretch. And we do that again, two, good. And we stretch. And we go three, good, and we stretch. Now we're gonna do a flex of the feet and a point of the feet, let's try this again.

We go up one and push. Up two and press. Up three, good, and press. And we flex, good, and we point. Very good, so the legs are moving and the pelvis is staying absolutely still.

All right, we're gonna put the arms into this now. The legs still do the same movement. When we pull the legs up, the arms come up to a first. They stay there as the legs go back out. We pull 'em up again, they go up to a fifth.

They stay there, we go out to the side. We hold the side for the dorsiflex and then we bring it back in the first, got it? All right, so I see long necks, shoulder blades and we're learning to connect these arms to the back. I want them to feel like they're filling this whole room up with their back. Here we go and we go, arms come to first one and press.

Arms up to fifth, two. And press, arms out to second, three. And press, hold the second, flex and point. And we go first and reach and up. And reach and second.

And reach and flex and point, one more time. Up one and stretch. Up two and stretch. Up three and stretch. And flex and point.

Very good, bring it in and relax. Okay, I'm gonna make this harder. I'm gonna keep SK down and we're gonna bring Ben up to a sitting position. So Ben, if you'll roll up please and come to a sitting position and you scoot back just a little bit. Scoot back there a little bit more, that's perfect.

All right, so Ben is gonna do the same thing in a sitting position which is a lot more challenging. Now, what we're looking for is for that spine and that pelvis to stay absolutely stable. It's the same movements, it's the same arm movements. SK, you stay all the way down. Here we go, so the arms, go.

And we bring the legs up one and stretch and two and stretch. And three and stretch, we flex, we point. And we're one and stretch. And two and stretch. And three and stretch.

And flex, one more time. One and stretch and two. And stretch and three. And stretch and we flex and we point. Very good and bring it in.

All right, good. We can go ahead and sit up this. Let's roll the mats back out. So that's a great exercise for dancers 'cause they have to do so many leg moments with the pelvis and the spine staying absolutely stable. You can see why the dancers really gravitated to the Pilates work 'cause they do this every day in their class, in their rehearsals.

Moving legs, moving arms, keeping spine and pelvis absolutely stable. We're gonna go into rolling like a ball. So let's go ahead and sit back on the mat just a little. Scoot back just a little bit. Now your hands are down here, your feet are together.

What I want you to do is I want you to press your hands into the mat, raise your pelvis up. Now, push your pelvis all the way up to your knees. Perfect, now put your pelvis down. Now, take your right hand around that shin and take your left hand and put it on your right wrist. All right now, you come up and you're gonna find a balance.

So let's lower those arms down just a little like that. All right, now we're gonna lift that legs off and we're gonna find a little balance right there. Now what I want you to do is I want you to inhale and I want you to roll back, go inhale and go roll back. Inhale, roll, bum up to the ceiling and exhale back up. Good and we go, roll, that's it, roll, that's it.

And back up and we go inhale and we go and roll. Good and back up, let's do two more. And we go, roll, good. And use that breath and we go inhale, roll back. Good and exhale, roll, and let's just relax one moment.

Go ahead and shake it out. So rolling, we're starting to massage the spine. But we're also rolling on our lungs and we're breathing and we're giving those lungs a great cleanse. Now what I want to see is I want to see their sit bones go up to the ceiling. And usually when we find problems in rolling like the ball is 'cause we do not have the spine flex.

Let's go ahead and go back into your position. Grab those, pull those legs in and pull it in. Right, good. Now shoulder blades are down, they stay out of the picture. Navel to the spine.

Okay, let's lift the legs up. We're gonna inhale, we're gonna roll back and we're gonna exhale, come back up. So we go inhale, roll, keep that head down and back. Good, roll, bum up to the ceiling. Good and back, good.

And go inhale, good. Good and we go exhale, let's do it one more time. And we go inhale, very good, and go exhale, nice. We're up, all right? Now what I want you to do is we're gonna transition into the next exercise which is single-leg stretch.

So we're gonna roll back. You're gonna grab your right leg and extend your left leg out. Keep your upper body up and that's it, good, right there. Now, the left leg is reaching out and we want it eye level. Now, we want these elbows to be up and it's almost like we're trying to imprint our forehead into that knee, keeping that pelvis absolutely stable in it's neutral position.

All right, here we go and we switch and we go one. We go two, that's it. Go three. Good, now make sure your legs are hitting that bullseye. Go four, bullseye.

Right and they go right to it, five. Go six, good, two more. Go seven, good, one more and go eight. Very good and bring it in. Go ahead and relax a moment.

So what I'm looking for are the legs tracking? Is the power stable? Are they moving their upper body? So it's all about the legs and the arms moving, but the rest of the body staying in it's alignment. Now, Ramona showed me a variation on this and make it a little bit more difficult.

When you bring the leg in, the toes skim the floor and the leg going out to hit that bullseye also skims the floor. So the legs get lower, putting more pressure into the abdominal area. So let's start with the left leg, let's try that once. So we bring the left leg up. All right, so left leg, there we go and we grab it.

Now, they're gonna switch their legs and look at their feet, they're gonna skim the floor. Here we go, the leg comes and skims, that's it. And we go skim, press, good. And we go skim, good. And we skim the floor, correct arm positions.

And we go skim. Let's do it one more on each side and we go skim. Very good and bring it back in. Good and go ahead and relax. So, if we notice they grab here, that outside arm.

These arms are like frames, putting the legs in the correct position. Pelvis is cracked, upper body just to the tips of your scapula. All right, let's move on, let's go into a double leg, okay? So if we're gonna do Joe's way that I learned from Bruce for this exercise. So both legs come up, we grab the shins.

All right, we bring the head forward it and your elbows are raising up and let's grab down here a little bit more, good. Now, they are gonna extend their legs. They're gonna put their hands right to their sides and they're gonna deepen that abdominal. So go ahead, extend the legs. Arms go right to your thighs right here and we deepen, squeeze, squeeze the glutes, pull that up.

And then we bring it back in and pull that into you. Good, now it's fine. The tailbone's coming up a little, we know it's gonna go back down. And we go, press and we go, reach, skim, pull those abdominal in, squeeze your glutes and bring it back in. And we go inhale and we go exhale, push.

Nice work and bring it back in, let's try it one more time. And we go, exhale, push. Excellent, very good. And bring it back in. Go ahead and lay down there, just relax.

I love this exercise 'cause it gives you a great chance to really think about sinking those abdominals down. When your hands get to the side, think of squeezing so you get some muscle in there. Connect those arms to the back. Let's just try it three more times. So the legs come up.

They're pulling in. We just finished rolling like a ball, so they're pretty warmed up. They're able to get into this position. We're gonna inhale and we go exhale and we go pull and we press into that and we squeeze the elbows, very good. That's it, and bring it back in.

We go, press it out and stretch. Again, those legs are hitting a bullseye. We pull it back in, one more, and we go press it out and squeeze, good work, and bring it back in. All right, dancers, go ahead and relax, very good. All right, let's go ahead and we are gonna lay down and let's bring your heads up towards the front.

You're on your stomach, okay? And then go ahead and place yourself on the mat. All right, and we're just gonna do a simple spine extension exercise. So we have here and I want to see the shoulder blades pull down and I just want you to bring your head up just a little bit, pulling those shoulder blades back. Now make sure you pull that navel in and the back does not change.

Now with the inhale breath, I want you to raise your chest up. So raise it up there, very good. Come on up there, take a big inhale. Good and then exhale back down. Let's come up just a little bit higher and we go inhale, we raise up, we're lifting the heart up.

Good and exhale, let's do it one more time. And we go inhale, we go up and lift, nice work. And bring it back down. Go ahead and sit back into child pose real quick, stretch your backs out, good. So what I'm looking for, I don't want them to burden their lower back.

So I don't want them to come up so high that it's like pinching that lower back. So some things that I like to teach is to think of reaching your sternum out and then up. The chest is heavy, so we're taking that chest and we're reaching out and then up, lots of energy coming out the chest. Let's go ahead and lay back down. So your arms are there, right there.

And let's bring your hands back just a little bit with your shoulder blades, really pulling down and let's go ahead and come up a little bit higher. So let's go ahead, inhale and that chest lifts up. Those shoulder blades are down and we feeling that and lots of energy coming through here and we exhale back down. And we go inhale, we raise that chest up. The shoulder blades are down, sliding down your back.

Good SK, good Ben and exhale back down. Let's do it one more time. We go in inhale, we raise up. Now, that chest is opening, the heart is lifting, very good. And we go exhale back down.

Okay, go ahead and bend your knee, sit back into child pose again. So spine extension for dancers is very important because they spend a lot of time in their life with a leg up in the air and the chest lifting. So this really helps them. And I always like to slow it down so the dancer really understands how to get that chest up, lift that torso up without pinching in that lower back. Let's go ahead and let's lay down.

You're still on your stomach. Now bring your arms out in front of you, make up fist and it's like a little tripod. So lift your chest up now. So bring your arms, your elbows in right there and just make a fist. You don't have to cross your fingers there, exactly.

Now with your elbows, what I want you to do is I want you to squeeze your elbows in. Now let's take the eye level out here with the shoulder blades down and your eyes come out to the front of the mat. So we have lots of energy coming out through the chest. Like the energy from the chest is pushing the wall away. Now they're gonna take the right leg and they're gonna kick into their bum twice with a snip, snip breath, so we go.

Bend your knee and go kick, kick. One, two, and switch to the other side, go. Kick, kick, now try not to move the upper body. Just kick the leg, go, kick, much better. And down, go, snip, snip, exhale, down.

Snip, snip, exhale, down. Let's do two more, snip, snip. And let's do one more on each side and go snip, snip, good. And go snip, snip. Go ahead and relax, let's shake your back.

So what I'm looking for, can they kick towards their bum without shaking the body? Things that will help us feel that energy coming out through the chest like the chest is pushing a wall away. Hug those arms a little so that we connect those arms to the back, pull those abdominal up. All right, let's try it one more time. So go ahead and bring your body up.

All right, so we take the elbows, we hug in. Chest is opening and we're gonna start with the other leg. So we go other leg and go snip, snip and return. Go the other leg, snip, snip, and return. Snip, snip and return.

Go, snip, snip and return, two more. Snip, snip and return, one more. Go, snip, snip. Very good, go ahead and relax and shake your back out. I'm gonna show you the way that I learned from my teachers.

And so when you're ready, just go ahead and bring your body back up. So go ahead and back up and back into that same position. All right, so the legs would pass at the ceiling. It would be a kick, kick and the feet would pass right to the ceiling. Now, when putting the other leg down, it doesn't go down and rest on the mat, it stays off the mat, it's reaching out.

So you really stay in the hamstring and the glute. So got it, dancers? So let's start with that right leg. And we go kick, kick, one, two, now pass the feet. Kick, kick, kick, kick, don't let that leg touch.

Good, now try to stabilize the body, good work. Kick, kick, kick, kick, two more. Kick, kick, one more, very good. And finish that, much better. Go ahead and sit back into child pose again.

Stretch your back out. So that was the original way that I learned it. The feet were passing, the leg never went back down and it was a snip, snip and a change. Snip, snip, and a change. So we're gonna go into the double leg.

So go ahead and lay back down. Now, your hands come behind your back, okay? And they're right at the small of your back, bend your elbows and they come up here, right here. Now, I like to see the hands come up just a little bit higher so they get a stretch more through that shoulder. Legs are together, navel's pulled in.

Now I want you to kick both legs towards your bum three times with a snip, snip, snip. So we go kick one, kick two. Now don't move the body, kick three. Put your legs down, now grab your hands, extend them back. Lift your chest up and raise those hands up.

So hold those hands and raise up. That's it, now bend and pull it back in and replace, elbows down. And we go kick one, kick two, kick three. Good, the legs down. And now the hands go back and we're pushing those arms up to the ceiling.

That's raising the chest up. Let's position that head right there and lower back down, bend those elbows and here's your last one. And we go kick one, kick two, kick three, very good. And then raise those arms and we stretch and we raise it up and lift, lift, lift. That opens the chest, very good.

That's it, SK, and bring it back down. Good work, Ben. All right, go ahead and shake back. Sit back into child pose. Excellent.

So I like that one because, you know, for dancers, again, we have to extend that spine. With those arms reaching back and up, that's lifting the chest higher and they're opening this part of the body. So let's go ahead and let's move on. Let's go ahead and sit up nice and tall. We're facing the front, the camera there.

Your feet are flex and they're out. And let's bring 'em almost to the sides of the mat there. Exactly and let's do a spine stretch. So let's put our hands down on the floor. Your fingers are on the floor in between your legs.

Just fingertips, now, lift that chest up. Now I'm looking for a good, strong flex again. Again, that flexed foot, you're reaching out through the sole of your feet. You're up on the sharpest point of your sit bones you can be on, All right now what I want you to do is I want you to take an inhale and I want you to tilt your pelvis back just a little bit, stay there now. So tilt that pelvis back.

Now we're gonna exhale and we pulse forward one. Good, we go two and the arms slide and the head's down. Three and then we roll the spine back up, sitting up nice and tall. So, we're lifting that heart up, we're lifting those lungs up. Now, I like to tilt the pelvis back because I don't want my dancers to fold their chest into the thighs, okay?

This is about stretching the spine, about taking the spine up and over something and reaching the spine to the other side of the room. Feet stay flexion strong. Here we go, take that big inhale. Lift up and start to tilt that pelvis back. Good, without sinking down into your hips.

And we go exhale forward one. We go two, that's it, and we go three. And then we roll the spine back up, sitting up nice and tall. And we inhale, we tilt the pelvis back. So it's a little pelvic tilt, that's it.

And then we go over, one. Good, we go two, that's it. And this is nice and round and roll it back up and lift that torso, open those shoulders and we go forward, tilt that pelvis back. And we go forward one. We go two, very good.

Flex those feet strong and we roll back up, very good. And go ahead and shake it out. Okay guys, let's go ahead and stand up. And I want you to come to the edge of your mat. Back here towards me.

Okay, we are gonna go and we're gonna stand at the end of your mat and you're gonna stand in that little Pilates V. Now, these are ballet dancers and like to really crank it up. But I just want a little Pilates V. I want them to take their pelvis and let the tailbone drop down to gravity. Raise the hands up.

All right, now what we're gonna do is we're gonna roll down and it's like a up and over. So you roll all the way down. Your hands go to your thighs. And you keep on rolling down, you reach down there, you grab your ankles and give yourself a good stretch. Let your head hang down.

Now, keep your head there. And let's take the hands and put 'em onto the mat. Now walk out and try to keep your head to your knees there. Walk your arms out nice and strong. Come on out to a plank position there.

Come on out all the way. Come to a plank and your feet will raise up. You're on your ball of your feet all the way out. There you go and pelvis there, lift that head up. Good, and this is position.

All right, we're gonna do one pushup. Go, push up one. Very good and back up. Now, hold. Send your heels back, take your forehead and try to touch your knees.

All right, go ahead. Now, send your weight back, place your heels back down. Walk your arms back, good. And then we're forehead to the knees, to the ankles. We roll the spine back up one vertebra at a time.

Okay, we're gonna try that one more time. So what I'm looking for is for them to roll bone by bone, and I want them to push their pelvis forward a little bit as they do that. So we get good abdominal connection here. Now, the forehead idea is that we keep the forehead to the knees, we start walking arms out, getting that great stretch in that upper thoracic. And it's a clean walk out, the arms are doing the work.

Your arms are connected to your back muscles for this. We send the body out into a nice plank position. I'm only doing one push up today to save a little bit of time and then we send those heels back, bringing that forehead back to get that stretch. Then we walk the arms up. All right, here we go, raise those arms up.

All right, so there's our position. Now you notice that they're dropping their tailbone down, pressing their pelvis forward just a little bit. They start diving up and over. There's this scapular slide there. They're squeezing their heels together.

They're rounding that spine, they go all the way down. They grab, and that forehead has dropped. Now they take those arms, they walk out strong and here's the arms. Good work. Good, guys.

Good, now go all the way down to that plank position, squeeze. And we do one push up, go one. Back up, nice work. Now, start walking your arms back. Send those heels back to the ground.

Get your forehead back to your knees, very good. And then roll up through your spine slowly, bone by bone. Very good and bring it in. Okay, so we've come to the end of class and I want to do the big twist. It was an exercise that I learned from Romana.

All right, so I'm gonna move these mats, guys, and we're just gonna be on the wood, thank you. And on the wood. Okay, we've come to the end of class and I would like to do an exercise that I learned from Romana and Ramona taught this at the end end of an advanced class. and it's called the big twist, So we are standing in a open position with just a little bit of turnout. Now I'm not letting them go into the turnout they normally do.

I'm kind of making 'em work in between. They're gonna raise their hands up and raise their heels up in the air. Now, what they're gonna do is they're gonna rotate their body towards the right, bring the body all the way down. They can start putting their heels back down. All right, now the front leg needs to turn out.

Now, you take your body and you're gonna go all the way down and grab your back leg right here. And you're gonna pull yourself in right there. Now they bring the body back up and they return, very good. And come back to the starting position. Good, they're gonna try it the other way.

So raise up and then make that rotation. They bring the body around to big spiral of the spine. Now they go down, they grab that. Now that front leg's gotta turn out here, so you gotta really turn that leg out. Turn that back leg out.

Good, let your head go down and you're trying to touch that, very good. And then bring the body around back up and come to your standing position. And lower your arms down and very good. I want to thank you very much for watching the class. Wonderful to be back on Pilates Anytime again.

Thanks again, so long.

Pilates for Dancers - Playlist 5: Working with Ballet Dancers

Comments

1 person likes this.
I've really enjoyed your explanations and comments after each exercise. Great cueing. Thank you!
Lina S Thanks for watching Mat for Ballet Dancers.  I have some videos on PA hope you will swing by and give them a peek also.  
Thank you, I learned. 🙏
Great choice of exercises and purpose thank you
1 person likes this.
Intricate detailed instruction Troy ! Thoroughly enjoyed getting back into the Ballet mindset ! It’s still with me each day I teach Pilates - you’re a teachers teacher ! Thank you !  Emily Bondy 
Amazing class. I appreciate your wonderful cues. I really enjoyed new variations of the exercises. I was able to feel more abdominal engagement. I enjoy your instruction and hope you will have more classes to learn from.
I loved the class a lot; thank you so much

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