Ballet Exercises - Back to ballet

by Ingrid

Ballet Exercises - Back to ballet

Hi Odette

I picked up ballet when I was 5 and took a break when I was 12. However, I haven't picked it up again since and I miss it LOADS so I think I'll be going back most likely at the end of this year, after 4 years! Are there any exercises I can do to prep me for ballet again since I've been out of touch for so long? (and stiff too!)


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Exercises - Back to ballet

Hi Ingrid,
Thank you for your message, it is great to hear from you. The great thing is you have done ballet before so even though you may feel stiff or sore to begin with, the movement and technique of the class will come back to your muscle memory when you start ballet again.

I also took a break from ballet, as I stopped when I was 5 and then started again when I was 8. The thing with ballet is once you get going again, everything naturally falls into place as you do more classes. Your flexibility, posture and co ordination all improves with the more classes you do, so I think once you get back in the swing of ballet you will see this all get better.

However, there is definitely some exercise tips I can give you to prevent the aches and pains that will no doubt come when you begin ballet again. Although everything does naturally improve, your body will definitely feel the change when you start doing more ballet classes. Even when dancers just take a weekend off or holiday break, they always feel the difference on that first Monday morning class: stiff, tense and nothing feels easy!

However, if you want to prep yourself for starting ballet again then I advise you to stretch so that your muscles get used to the flexibility again. Give yourself plenty of time in advance, as flexibility is a very gradual process that is most effective when done a little bit each day rather than all in one go.

You should start pilates or yoga if you can which have the ideal stretches incorporated into the class and the work focus is perfectly matched to ballet. The exercises target your core stability and tone your muscles your which will put your body in great shape to start ballet again.

The main muscles to get ready for ballet is your glutes, hamstrings and calves. My hamstrings always get the most stiff after a long break, so I always remind myself to keep stretching if I take some time off!

You might also want to look into getting a resistance band, which you can read more about on my physical therapy equipment page. They are not expensive at all and the bands are perfect to strengthen your feet ready for all the rises and pointing in a ballet class.

It is great you are getting back into ballet again and you can start now to get yourself ready!

Best wishes,

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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