Attention Hypermobile Dancers: You're Probably Stretching Wrong
When it comes to flexibility, more isn't always better. Donna Flagg says that many of the dancers who show up at her Lastics Stretch Technique classes at studios like Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway are already hypermobile.
"They're so loose," she says, "they just yank their legs as far as they can." That's not to say that hypermobile dancers shouldn't stretch—they just need to take extra care to keep their joints safe. Flagg recommends a few guidelines:
Pay Attention to Your Alignment
Keep ribs over hips, shoulders over ribs, knees over toes, etc. Even when you're stretching, check your profile in the mirror to correct bad habits.
Don't Go So Far You Can't Control the Position
Work to hold the stretch with your muscular strength and proper alignment. Don't flop over or rest on your arms in stretches like second-position splits.
Only stretch as far as you can maintain alignment and control. Photo via Getty Images.
Balance Your Flexibility & Strength
Focus on creating more stability where you're loose and opening up areas that are tight. (Most dancers have flexible inner thighs and hamstrings, with tight hips and quads.)
Don't Push Farther Than You Need To
If you're never going to split your legs more than 180 degrees apart in choreography, there's no need to stretch further than that.
Give It Space
Think of lengthening when you stretch, rather than pushing into the joint.
Don't Give Up
When you first start stretching with proper alignment, you might not be able to go as far as you're used to. But if you keep practicing, you'll get back there.
When the news broke that Prince George, currently third in line for the British throne, would be continuing ballet classes as part of his school curriculum this year, we were as excited as anyone. (Okay, maybe more excited.)
This was not, it seems, a sentiment shared by "Good Morning America" host Lara Spencer.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.
Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trail. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)
From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you: