Ballroom Dance > flexibility and fitness for ballroom dancers

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by alemana, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. Maybe I should :google: that. 8) :)
  2. swan

    swan Member

    Pilates is not based on Kundalini. Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates in WWI - he was a nurse. He was helping to rehab wounded soldiers. Through the rehab exercises came the Pilates Method.

    As for Power Yoga, not sure.

    There are a lot of styles of yoga that're Hatha based. e.g.Bikram (the hot yoga which I used to study).

    Kundalini can be a bit tricky and one has better to study w/ a guru. I heard that it's kind of 'mystical'...That's what my Indian Kundalini guru friend told me...I didn't drill down specifically as to what he meant.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    The youga classes I've taken have tried very hard to separate just the exercise portion and leave out the spirituality. Not sure why. I've also wondered how much of the experience I'm losing by sticking to the poses and breathing with little to no meditation and such. Hmm... :?
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It is...very sublte but can produce great results.

    Moishe Feldenkrais was a physcicist who also played soccer. He ripped his ACL and some other things while playing, and the doctors told him he needed surgery. But at the time (this was way before arthroscopic surgery) the procedure was still new and there was only a 50% chance of success. Feldenkrais didn't like that much, so he instead started investigating physiology and kinesiology and figuring out if there was something else he could do. He did, and thus his method got started.

    I love it because it's helped me build awareness and control. Things that were "stuck" because I couldn't figure out how to move them are much improved. I don't get pain in one side of my back from dancing any more (I had it for years, which is why my Pilates teacher sent me for Feldenkrais work). I don't get tendonitis in my knee any more. The only real issue left for me is related to how I use my ankles because I tend to injure and re-injure them, but even that is improving. The best part for he has been figuring out how to move my back and sides, it's so delightful when dancing to feel stretchy and bendy and know I could make any shape I'm asked at any time and have it feel natural and delightful.
  5. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    what are you missing? A whole world of difference.
  6. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    I try saying a few Hail Mary's or the like rather than focusing on the Chakra's et al. Our teacher is kinda flaky (in a sweet way), but I just don't go infor that aura thingy.
  7. alemana

    alemana New Member

    inspired by this thread, i'm going to try a "floor pilates" class at my gym this week. how will that differ from "non floor" pilates? is this a reference to the fact that there won't be any hi-tech torture devices involved (like I often see in ads for Pilates classes)? :)
  8. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Alemana, a good teacher will start every student on the mat to teach them the exercises before going to the machines. The machines just give you different biofeedback and make some things a little easier and some things a little harder. It all depends. But just about every exercise on the machines has some sort of counterpart on the mat, so starting on the mat is perfect because you can concentrate on actually learning the movements and developing awareness and alignment so that when you get on the machines you will actually get more out of them.

    They look like torture devices but they aren't -- for instance, the "reformer" is just a sliding platform that makes things like getting into the split position easier so you develop flexibilty that way. The barrel actually helps you get into the proper position so you can do things like v-sit.
  9. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Hi, alemana,

    I just had my first pilates class last night. The work out wasn't so bad but now my entire body is so super sore! I think I've over-stretched a bit (ow, my back is hurting just from breathing). Funny enough, my abs is the only place where it's not hurting (hmm, all those sit-ups must've helped strengthen my ab muscle!) My advice: go SLOW!

    Good luck!
  10. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i had my first mat pilates class as well.

    there i was, doing what the teacher said and, predictably, getting bored. i was thinking, "man this is low-key. i need something higher-energy. this is doing nothing.." bla bla bla, then suddenly, within the space of about five minutes, i realized i was WORKING. some of the muscles in my trunk, which let's note barely get used even during the Pilates workout itself, were beginning to tremble a little with fatigue.

    at first i was in denial - "nah, i'm in great shape, this is all in my head." then i realized i was really getting an interesting workout.

    i had to bail a bit early to make a private lesson, but i'll definitely go back. especially since i now have a brand-new Exxxtreeeme Backbend in my rumba routine that re-injured my poor lower back again. i'll need the Pilates to help keep things in shape.
  11. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I'm glad you liked it! My back is about 99% recovered - just in time for my next class!! I think pilates really build up your core muscles, now I just need something that'll help with my leg muscles, probably some jogging and running up the stairs :wink: ??

    P.S. If you had lower back injury, it's best to tell your instructor about it. I find sometimes when I over-work (not knowing the limit, wanting to get more out an hour long exercise), my lower back does hurt. I'd rather go slow than risk any injuries.

  12. alemana

    alemana New Member

    the reason my back keeps getting injured is my coach keeps putting these backbends into my routines and i'm not flexible enough to do them without hurting myself. when i complain he kind of chides me, so i keep doing them, then next thing you know....

    i just had a long soak in some sea salts in the hopes of loosening things up and bringing down the inflammation.

    next lesson i'm going to have to talk to him. my personal trainer (sounds luxe but he's really cheap) is pretty pissed that i keep hurting myself, and i don't want to let the imagined hostilities between the two of them escalate, so i'll have a talk with my coach next week. i guess i'll ask if he can suggest some back stretches that would make the backbends less of a medieval torture device.

    about your post:
    stairclimbing is great for legs *and* butt, provided you don't have knee issues.

    if you have access to a gym, you can use an elliptical machine (that's what i do cuz my knees are screwed.)

    one other leg thing: biking, either in the gym or on the road. i know a bodybuilder who claimed the most reliable thing she ever did for whipping her legs into shape was 15 very hard minutes a day on the reclining bike - onoly 15 min at very high intensity. i tried it - it's murder, but the results were pretty instant.
  13. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Ouch! I did a show a few years ago where we had a drop, and I kept throwing myself into it without properly supporting my core with my abs, and I was hurting for a really long time afterwards -- I had problems for about two years after, in fact. My Pilates teacher finally got sick of me complaining and sent me to her Feldenkrais practitioner. It took about six months but we got my back sorted out and I've been injury and pain-free ever since (so like for two years or so now).

    You have my sympathy!!
  14. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Hmm, I think you should really talk to your coach about your back issue if you keep on injuring yourself. Right now I'm wondering whether or not I should hit the gym considering my very cluttered schedule. I've tried climbing the stairs today and yep, you're right, it does put a lot of pressure on my knees. I can feel my old knee injury screaming at me now!

    I will definately check out the elliptical machine when I have the chance, thanks for the suggestion!

    As for the sea salt, I soak in epsom salt every night now. It's recommended by a co-worker after my ankle injury (had to learn not to wear runners when dancing the hard way :( )
  15. alemana

    alemana New Member

    laura, you are scaring me. i feel i am on the road to chronic back problems if i don't fix this soon.. 'fixing' meaning a combination of being honest about my limitations, learning how to stretch, keep going with the pilates, and grinning and bearing it for the sake of competition occasionally.

    lynn - hit the gym. you won't regret it.
  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Both my dance coach and my pilates and feldenkrais teachers say over and over that if something hurts you need to find a better way to do it so it doesn't hurt. Pain is the body's warning system. I bet I could do those drops now, several years later, because I am so much better at supporting myself and using my body efficiently. There's no need to be scared -- you just need to "get smart" about what you're doing. See if your pilates teacher or another coach can help you with the moves you are having problems with. It could be you're just overdoing part of the move and can do it more organically and efficiently with a little coaching. I never got that when I was doing that show -- we were in a big hurry to get a number together -- but I think if I had had some more time to really learn what I was doing then I would have been fine.
  17. Medira

    Medira New Member

    alemana - What is the pain in your back like? It may simply be a case of an imbalance between the strength in your abs and the strength in your back. Try some more abdominal work, especially within the lower abs, as well as work on your obliques (the muscle groups down the sides that give the "hourglass figure") It may help with the general strength in your core, as well as balance and an easing of the pain in your lower back.
  18. alemana

    alemana New Member

    thanks for the input.

    i am a bit of a gym rat, and i do a LOT of "core work" -- abdominals (including obliques) and back exercises several times a week. i'm quite strong in those areas - the issues, not surprisingly for a weightlifter, are flexibility and range of movement.

    i hadn't done a back bend in, oh, 15 years before last week. when my back flipped out right after doing one, it seemed pretty clear what i'd done wrong!
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

  20. Medira

    Medira New Member


    Hmmm...if you dont mind a suggestion, something that may help is to stand with your back to a wall, reach your hands behind you and slowly walk down the wall. You'll have to walk your hands down a bit, then walk your feet out a bit until you end up in a full bridge (back bend). Work your way down until you feel a stretch, then hold for a little while (until you feel the stretch ease), then walk down a little bit more. (You may have to do this is different phases to avoid a crazy blood rush to the head. :p) Hopefully, that will start to help at least a little bit since you already have core strength.

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