First of all, I took a break because I wanted to focus on academics and acting for a while. I just needed to distance myself from that perfectionist bunhead cutthroat shadow-self of mine. (To read my post on Shadow-selves click here). I also had an injury a while ago and it flares up every so often so I wanted to rest it as much as possible. My foot is doing a lot better now. I still need to get gel pads for my street shoes.
Anyways, for this month I am taking Contemporary 4 on Thursday's and Ballet 4 on Friday's. In a month or two, I'll start pointe again. I want to work on gaining my ankle strength and stability first. I also need to make sure I get a good pair of pointe shoes as I've had too many wrong pointe shoe injuries in the past. Jazz is a little bit tricky for me because I haven't done Jazz since the end of my Sophomore year of high school. Ballet is...well...ballet, the style I shine in. My mum said that I looked like I had never left ballet when she saw me in class today. Aside from how out of shape I feel, I am so glad my technique and love for ballet haven't left.
So to start off the meaning of this post, I wanted to talk about getting back into dance after a break. There are many different regimes to use depending on how long you’ve been out of dance. Here I will list two of them. Enjoy.
If you’ve been out of dance for three weeks then you don’t have a whole lot to do. Your muscles start to degenerate after two weeks but it’s fairly easy to build up what you’ve lost. (I suggest doing thirty-two releves in first, parallel and turned in). Even if you’ve done Yoga or pilates over break, your body hasn’t felt the jumps of a grande allegro in a while so you’re susceptible to injury if you back to dance full force. Kay Sandel, assistant professor of ballet, anatomy and dance pedagogy at Oklahoma City University, says that, “If you’ve taken three weeks off, gradually increase your activity over the course of three weeks, and expect to be dancing full force in week four.”
If you’ve been out of dance for three months or more, then your body has reconditioned the way it would during a few weeks off, but to a greater extent. The first class will likely feel good (maybe not great), with soreness kicking in the next day. The primary dangers are the same: landing jumps improperly and strained hamstrings. You want to start gradually cross-training and it may take you a while to get back to your level. If your studio allows it, try taking a months worth of classes at the level below yours before you go back to classes at your correct level. This will allow your body to get back into shape without getting injured and it’ll allow you to perfect the basics.
My cross-training tips
I use the Ballet Elasticity App to do specific dance related stretches and workouts. You can buy the app here. (It's $2 but totally worth it). I also use XHit Daily's YT channel for daily ab workouts. You can see my two faves here and here. For leg workouts, I use Blogilates for that. Here is my fave workout from Cassie. Also, my amazing senpai and friend Kathryn Morgan has amazing videos on her channel you can use for cross training.
My new pointe shoes. They are Russian Rubins.
I haven't finished breaking them in yet or sewing
them but I think I found my perfect pair!
So that pretty much sums up my post on getting back into dance. I know you may feel hopeless after your first class back but never, ever give up. You are better than you think. Have faith in yourself. Breathe. Don’t think, just do! As always if you found this post helpful, don't forget to give it a +1 on Google+, follow me on all my social media sites which will be linked below and leave me a comment if you've ever taken a break from a sport and what challenges you faced getting back into it!
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