“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway“ (Earl Nightingale).
After a tough working day, I arrived just in time at Bayadère last Thursday. My mind still immersed in my work, my body tight, cold and stiff. And I had no chance to do my regular warm-up. The barre exercises at the start of class are not suitable to replace a thorough 20 to 25 minutes warm-up, at the barre you prepare and train specific muscle movements.
So no flexibility at all! Not in my mind, not in my body. I could poorly focus on the instructions Lyda gave when class started.
Usually, at home, I prepare well for the class.
Static stretching is not my favorite way to prepare myself. I often injured my muscles or joints when doing that. I paid my dues dearly and learned that I have to warm up my whole body. When you dance, you use all parts of our body, so it is essential to get everything moving in your warm-up, not just your legs and feet.
I’m particularly fond of the advice Lisa Howell, head of Perfect Form Physiotherapy (PFP), a Physical Therapy Clinic in Australia, and specialized in dance. She promotes a warm-up that is more dynamic and focuses on mobilizing your muscles, joints, and most importantly, your fascia.
Fasciae are connective tissue fibers, primarily collagenous, that form sheets or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose and separate muscles. They cover and run through all of your muscles. Fascial mobilizing exercises aimed at loosening the connections between layers of muscles are often far more effective than typical stretches.
I recommend that you download a PDF of the flyer she made about the warm-up: www.perfectformphysio.com.au/dance-warm-up.
It’s up to you to make your choice.
But as I already mentioned, no warm-up this time.
I slowly settled in during class, and after class, I felt a soothing kind of fatigue.
I went home, took a quick shower, and crashed into my bed.
I have to accept the “crawl, walk and run” rhythm. Like a child, I must crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run. The crawl stage is where I learn the fundamentals of ballet and acquire basic skills. I have to adopt the “slow is smooth” approach. My body and mind have to absorb the concepts and techniques of ballet. There are times when I think that I can accelerate my development just by working harder. But that’s not true. Instead of forcing myself, I have to facilitate myself.