This creative movement idea was inspired by this Fruit Tree post at Maria’s Movers and the comments from Zan (of Hullabaloo Danceshop). Zan describes her “turnip dance” in the comments and I loved the idea so I’ve been trying it out with my Modern I / Creative Movement class (ages 8-10). We have changed it to fit our needs and the kids have come up with different food names (since most of them have never eaten a turnip). We tried to keep it to somewhat healthy foods.
Our food stretch goes like this (movements in parentheses):
|Spaghetti, toast and… pizza?
Ok there’s no pizza stretch.. yet!
Flat as a pancake (lie on back)
Round like a meatball (contract and roll into ball on side)
Stretch like spaghetti (stretch long on side, keeping balance)
Flat as toast (lie on belly)
Up like a banana/mermaid (cobra or mermaid pose*)
Flat as toast
Stretch like spaghetti
Round like a meatball
Flat as a pancake (repeat other side)
The only trouble is they always say they’re hungry after we do this stretch!
*Some days we do cobra pose (leaving feet on the ground and using hands to push up to stretch back) and some days we do mermaid (lifting feet and kicking arms off ground balancing on belly) – also known as superman pose.
Exercise bands, Thera-bands or similar resistance training are often suggested for dancers to increase the strength with at-home practice. What exercises should dancers do and what can be done safely at home, without a teacher to observe incorrect habits being formed?
We will be exploring these questions and more during our series: Thera-bands for Dancers
Today's post is about foot exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength. Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.
Benefit to dancers: Improved foot articulation, strengthened point during all exercises, extra push during jumps, higher foot arch (posterior tibial muscle), toe flexors and extensors along with your ankle and calf muscles.
Lay the band (you can also use a towel or piece of fabric) out away from your foot. While standing or sitting, use your toes to "grab" and pull the fabric / band towards you. Repeat for the full-length of the band. You can also strengthen your toes by "grab" marbles or other small objects.
Sit with your foot flexed. Loop the band around your foot with one end under your heel and the other over your toes, pulling the ends towards you, creating resistance. Slowly push with just your toes to a crunched position. Repeat
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