As dance teachers, we are always trying to safely increase turnout while balancing strength & flexibility within our dancers. This is not something that develops overnight and is usually host to a whole list of variables including how much time and effort the dancer puts in, anatomical facility and good technical training. Now that we’re in the summer months, here is a great time for your dancers to practice these quick floor barre exercises that will keep them on track of their progress and allow for real increase of range of motion among their legs and hips.

#1. Leg Draws in passé: Laying on back in lateral “T” position, back contracted into the floor in proper alignment. Draw the right leg up to parallel passé. Turn the leg out in passé. Rotate back to parallel passé. Lower leg back to beginning position. Repeat 5 times (increase repetitions over time). Repeat left side.

#2 Developpés: Laying on back in lateral “T” position, back contracted into the floor in proper alignment. Slowly draw the right leg up to turned-out passé. Developpé the leg in the air. Flex foot and plié both leg in the air and leg remaining on the floor. Extend and straighten both legs back to developpé.  Repeat 5 times (increase repetitions over time). Repeat left side.

#3 Rond de Jambes en’laire: Laying on back in lateral “T” position, back contracted into the floor in proper alignment. Slowly lift and brush right leg into the air. Extend through the back of the knee so leg is fully extended. Rond de jambe the leg around off the floor. Reverse direction. Make sure to maintain turn-out and keep the opposing hip on the floor by engaging core. Reverse Direction. Repeat 5 times (increase repetitions over time). Repeat left side.

#4 Slow Battements: Laying on back in lateral “T” position, back contracted into the floor in proper alignment. Slowly battement right leg in turned-out attitude eight times. Repeat with straight leg four times with pointed foot. Repeat with straight leg again with flexed foot. Do not let working leg touch the floor, always keeping it elevated an inch off the floor. Repeat left side.

#5 Cross Diagonal Stretch: Laying on back in lateral “T” position, back contracted into the floor in proper alignment. Take right leg and cross over to left side of body; bending leg into comfortable position. Relax and breathe into the stretch with each inhale and exhale. Make any adjustments necessary regarding position to achieve the stretch in the hip joint. Hold stretch one minute. Repeat with left leg.

Good luck!

See you in the dance studio,

Jessie

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