This do along DVD will show you practical, easy to follow instructions on how to reduce muscular strain, increase flexibility, and develop greater ease with range of movement. Working slowly and carefully with one or two rubber balls pressing against various parts of your body, you will discover areas of tension or tightness that you can release or relax. These techniques can be used by any level of dancer at any age. Whether you work on your whole body, or do spot releasing (lying on the floor with both balls under the rotators will open the hips for maximum turnout) before class, these techniques are sure to give you more flexible and adaptable muscles which will translate into more fluid and graceful dance movements.
Deborah Vogel is a dancer, author, and master teacher who conducts workshops across the U.S. for both student and professional dancers. Her numerous articles on dance technique and injury prevention have appeared in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Pointe magazines. For information on her products and services, or to sign up for her free Dancing Smart Newsletter, go to www.thebodyseries.com.
You may have already discovered how great it feels to roll a ball under your foot. This video takes the ball massage to the next level, working it on all your muscles from the neck down. Along the way, Ms. Vogel explains what muscle is being massaged, how that muscle works, and how it connects to other parts of your body. If you do the whole set of exercises before (or after) dance class it will take you a good half hour. However, having found which parts of my body most need to be loosened up I'll simply concentrate on those for a shorter length of time.
You will need two balls, approximately tennis-ball size or a bit larger. They should be made of hard, solid rubber because hollow balls can collapse during some of the exercises. They do need a little give so you can keep them from getting away, for example when sandwiched between your back and the wall. However they cannot be too squishy or they will simply turn into pancakes when you put most of your weight on them on the floor. I used a variety of my dog's play balls to experiment with and find out what worked best.