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self doubts
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Top Of The Class – Your Ballet Toes Shoes Class
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Serious dance students have no delusions. They know they have to be among the top in their ballet academy classes to land a solo or a leading role in their ballet recitals. They know that every ballet barre exercise is important, and that to become more flexible, and stronger, is something they can never lose sight of.

Oh, the pressure, and it never goes away. And that is a good thing, as long as you can keep a positive attitude. All the best ballerinas have gone through depressions and self doubts, and learned how to grow out of that and keep believing in their special talents.

In your ballet class, you are comrades and maybe even friends. Yet each of you wants to be at the top of the class. Don't get conflicted about this. It will never go away. You can be a kind person and a helpful class mate, and still strive to dance better than your peers.

Learning special exercises and practicing every day, to get stronger foot muscles, stronger ballet turnout, and higher leg extensions, is the way you can get toward the top of the class. Practice as hard as you can, and rest wisely.

Higher Leg Extensions

Here is one exercise you can do to get higher leg extensions to devant, or to the front. You need a theraband, or stretchy band, and this exercise I learned from Deborah Vogel, a dance medicine specialist, author of many dance DVDs and books that will help get you to the top of the class.

  • lying on the floor, resting back on your elbows, knees bent, feet flat on the floor
  • loop the band under one foot, and around the opposite thigh, and back under your foot
  • pull your thigh (with the band around it) up toward your chest
  • you are using your psoas, or hip flexor muscle, with resistance
  • repeat as many times as you can, don't push it too hard the first time
  • change sides and repeat

Work up to twenty repetitions each side.

You can do this exercise while watching a movie if you like. I know dancers do not have a lot of rest time, and have to fit in leg extension exercises or pre pointe exercises at any opportunity.

Here is another thing you can do to improve your foot flexibility, at the big toe joint. (If you have hyper-mobile feet, you will not need this).

While resting, reading a book or watching television, get a little of your favorite skin oil or lotion, and massage the muscles under the big toe. This muscle works very hard during your ballet class. It works on every tendu, degage, grand battement and every releve and jump.

In ballet toe shoes, this is the muscle that mostly gets you up en pointe. In the foot, I mean, of course all your big muscle groups are working hard.

I hope this is some help for you to get to the top of the class.


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