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flexibility exercises
ballet positions
adult ballet
adductor muscles
ballet teacher
cheer leader
back muscles
thigh muscle
Flexibility Exercises For Dancers - Simple To Learn
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Flexibility is a requirement for professional dance, but if you are a recreational dancer or an adult ballet beginner, you need flexibility to enjoy dance. Likewise if you are a cheer leader; to become more flexible makes your moves easier and helps you compete.

You do not have to already be proficient in the special ballet positions that you see in all classical choreography. Yet while you learn and practice toward perfection in your weekly barre exercises, and beautiful center adage combinations, you can do daily stretches to become more flexible.

Adult Ballet Beginners - Do Not Be Discouraged

When you are a late starter with ballet, or any style of dance, you recognize right away that you need to get more flexible. Yet you can learn simple stretches that are not done in the ballet positions that you haven't achieved yet. Stretching specific muscles will enhance those classical lines, when you get to them. Here are the muscles you will focus on stretching:

  • the long adductor muscles that run from the hip joint down the inside of the thighs
  • the hamstring, or back of the thigh muscle
  • the quadriceps, or quads, the big front of the thigh muscle
  • the psoas, or iliopsoas muscle, running from the quad, over the hip joint, and inserting on the front of the spine
  • the quadratus lumborum, large low back muscles that can get tense from work and need stretching out

These large muscles correspond to high leg extensions at the

  • front of the body (devant),
  • the side or a la seconde
  • the back or derriere/arabesqe
  • split jete leaps, and other leaps using an extended position of the legs

Flexibility exercises for dancers are often done half way through class when you are sufficiently warmed up. The ballet teacher may set them to music, or allow the class to do the stretches at their own pace. One simple method is to sit on the floor.

  • sitting in a side split, with a body bend forward, held for thirty seconds, stretches the adductors
  • sitting with the legs stretched in front, and bending over them, stretches the hamstrings
  • (this hamstring stretch is best done one lag at a time, to avoid pulling on the low back)

If you can only get partially down toward a splits position, use the barre, and slide out until you have to stop.

Bend forward over the front leg, holding the position for thirty seconds, and repeat twice more.

Bend the front leg, so you are now in a deep lunge, and pull up your core muscles, getting your pelvis into as upright a position as you can. You will feel the stretch over the hip joint and into your abdomen.

In first, third or fifth position, and using the barre, bend sideways, not twisting the spine, hold it for thirty seconds, and then slowly pull up straight. Do three times on each side. This will stretch your back and the sides of your back.

Always be patient, never rush or move sharply. This calm approach will ensure you get the most out of your flexibility exercises for dancers.


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