Your Best Body: Yoga advice, sneaky sugar and more

What Your Yoga Teacher Wishes You Knew Yoga has become a popular form of cross-training for ballet dancers, thanks to its stretching, strengthening and stress-relieving benefits. But it also poses challenges: How do you adapt your flexibility and turnout and shed your competitive nature to get the most out of class? Jennifer Goodman, a Chicago-basedMore »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Your Best Body

(Photo by Thinkstock)

Calf Stretching 101From the first plié at barre to the last grand jeté of class, your calves are extremely active. But do you devote the same attention to those muscles during your cooldown? According to Michelle Rodriguez, founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group, sitting in a lazy lunge or hanging your heels off aMore »

Your Best Body

Amp Up Your Arabesque You’ve probably heard it time and again throughout your training: Flexibility isn’t all that helpful unless you have the strength to support it. Leigh Heflin Ponniah, MA, MSc, from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, offers this exercise to build lower-back strength to betterMore »