Your Best Body: Boosting Your Back Flexibility

Click for a larger image. Your 20-Minute Savior If you’re bogged down by stress, what’s the best way to spend downtime in between rehearsals? While getting lost in a book may sound like a smart escape, deep-breathing exercises can be more beneficial. A recent study in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine analyzed adults’More »

5 Ways to Release Your IT Band and TFL

You may not understand exactly what causes a tight IT (iliotibial) band, but you’ve probably experienced that uncomfortable tension along the outside of your thigh. While it’s not actually a muscle, the IT band may require daily stretching, says Suzanne Semanson, physical therapist at New York University Langone Medical Center’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.More »

Make the Most of Your Turnout

Think fast: Would you like a few more degrees of turnout? If your answer is a resounding “yes” (perhaps even punctuated by a grand jeté), you’re not alone. Although natural turnout is largely dictated by the anatomy of your femur and hip socket, if your turnout muscles are weak, you could be missing out onMore »

Squats to Make You Feel the Burn

Though you may not think about it much, building strength in the muscles around the hips is a must for ballet dancers. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s physical therapist Boyd Bender even likes to think of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus and the deep external rotators of the hips as integral core muscles. “They’re as importantMore »

Simple but Effective Ankle Strengtheners

Even after years of pointework, ankle strengthening never stops. Freshen up your warm-up routine with these three daily exercises from Leigh Heflin Ponniah, MA, MSc, from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries of the New York University Langone Medical Center. Although the movements are subtle, “these work on building stamina in the ankle and supportingMore »

Got Tight Hip Flexors?

If you constantly find yourself reaching for a foam roller, you’re not alone. “Dancers’ hip flexors are very often tight because of how much they use them every day,” says Michelle Rodriguez, founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group. Each développé devant and cambré forward fires this set of muscles, so it’s no wonder whyMore »

The Workout: Edward Watson

Watson rehearsing Alexei Ratmansky's "24 Preludes" (photo by Johan Persson, courtesy ROH)

Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson is known the world over for his incredible range, whether he’s dancing dramatic works like MacMillan’s Manon or creating roles with contemporary forces Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. But when he’s working out, Watson leaves his creativity at the door. “For me, it’s all about maintenance,” he says. “I thinkMore »

Your Best Body

(Photo by Nathan Sayers, modeled by Marisa Trapani of Ballet Academy East)

Perfect Your Posture When you begin your first plié combination of the day, you’re likely feeling refreshed and ready to go—not to mention standing tall with good posture. But as class goes on, and the mind fatigues, bad habits can creep in. By center, your upper back may be slumping forward, and your posture lessMore »