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Twyla Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs” – A brief history.

Dancers of Birmingham Royal Ballet photo by Bill Cooper Written by Robyn Jutsum​We are already halfway through October, but that means we still have a few weeks of dancing through our Cardio Ballet combos inspired by Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs! Be sure to join us on Sunday, October 17th for Sips & Clips, where we’ll watch clips from the ballet and discuss the ballet in more detail. Learn more here.A popular piece to find in many companies’ repertoires to t […]

George Balanchine’s “Concerto Barocco” – A brief history of the ballet.

Dancers of Birmingham Royal Ballet Sara Mearns and Teresa Reichlen NYCB photo by Paul Kolnik Written by Robyn JutsumSeptember’s Cardio Ballet combos are inspired by George Balanchine’s 1941 ballet, Concerto Barocco, danced to Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for 2 Violins. The ballet was first designed as an exercise for the students of the School of American Ballet (SAB), the training school […]

Les Sylphides – A brief history of the ballet

First Performance in London 1911 Digital Scan from Ballet Panorama- An Illustrated Chronicle of Three Centuries Photo by Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists of Washington Ballet in Les Sylphides Written by Robyn Jutsum​Les Sylphides, not to be confused with La Sylphide (a Romantic two-act ballet choreographed by August Bournonville in 1836) is considered the first plotless, or abstract, ballet. It was ch […]

Move of the Week – Swan Arms for Beautiful Port de Bras

Check out the video below to learn the secret to those gorgeous swan arms and lean back and arms of ballerinas! This exercise is taught by The Ballet Spot’s founder and owner, and professional dancer, Eliza S. Tollett.The iconic swan arms from the ballet Swan Lake aren’t just for ballerinas – anyone can practice swan arms to strengthen your back and arm muscles! Bonus – this exercise will improve posture and core strength as well. And you don’t need any prior dance experience to give t […]

Move of the Week – Strengthen your abdominals for dancing!

Did you know that abs are for more than just looks? It’s important to have SUPER strong abdominals to support your movement no matter what your exercise of choice! And crunches are SO 2015…. The most effective exercises for abs include movements that engage multiple muscle groups and lengthen and strengthen at the same time.Here are some easy but powerful exercises for strong abs and core taught by our instructor and pro dancer Colby!Join Colby for Total Body Barre Express on Fridays at Noon E […]

Move of the Week – Exercise to Improve Turnout

Properly held turnout is important for ballet not just because it looks good – it’s so important to learn to use the correct muscles so your hips, knees, and ankles stay healthy and strong!This is an easy and effective exercise taught by Ballet Spot Instructor and Marketing Manager, Robyn, that you can do at home to improve the mobility and strength of your hip rotation. Practice this exercise standing up as well as on the mat. Make sure to lift your abdominals to engage your core and hold your […]

Move of the Week – Proper placement for ballet, the basics

Here’s a basic exercise that dancers of any level can do at home to practice placement for ballet taught by our Beginner Ballet and Cardio Ballet instructor and pro dancer Jennifer.Start with one hand on the barre, standing tall, find your natural rotation into first position. As you plié and relevé keep your pelvis in neutral and your shoulders right over your hips.As instructors, we typically see shoulders forward and hips back in plié and then students often throw their s […]

Tight hips? Try this quick stretch to loosen them up!

Tight hips are super common. Tightness is caused by muscle imbalances from things like sitting at a desk, driving for a long time, or a workout. It’s important to keep your hips stretched out to relieve lower back pain and pressure on your knees.Follow along with professional dancer and Ballet Spot instructor Ali in the video below to learn a quick and easy way to loosen your hips. Try this stretching routine during a break at work or before or after a workout. Hopefully this will help you to fe […]

Exercises for Strong Ankles and Calves

Ballerinas need SUPER strong ankles (and everyone knows dancer calves are amazing!) so here are some quick exercises that you can do at home to improve your ankle and calf strength taught by pro dancer and Ballet Spot instructor, Emma.Whether you do ballet or just want dancer calves, these exercises are a great way to sculpt your lower leg and reduce the risk of injury. If you are a dancer – and especially if you dance on pointe – definitely make these exercises part of your daily routine to imp […]

George Balanchine’s “Stars & Stripes” – A brief history of the ballet

New York City Ballet in “Stars & Stripes” Written by Robyn JutsumWhat better way to celebrate July than with some tried and true red, white, and blue courtesy of George Balanchine? July’s theme is Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes with the music of John Philip Sousa, orchestrated by Hershy Kay. Stars and Stripes premiered on January 17th, 1958 at the City Center of Music and Drama (New York City Center) in Manhattan. The original cast included Allegra Kent, Diana Adams, Melissa Ha […]

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