Ballet During Lockdown
Enough has been said about the challenges we are all confronting during lockdown in Australia. However, lockdown has also allowed us to become more resourceful to be able to maintain doing what we love, even if it's not quite the same. Whilst all dancers are hopeful for the opportunity to get back into the studio as soon as possible, dance teachers are all doing an incredible job running classes via video links to help dancers stay active and connected to their community.
Dancing via video instruction has its challenges and there are some things that need to be taken into consideration.
Most of us aren't fortunate enough to have enough living space to be able to travel across during grande allegro, so modifications to choreography and movements need to be made
Dancing at home in a small space using any piece of furniture as a barre, with pets at your feet whilst rising into demipointe and pointe on slippery surfaces can be scary!
Flooring at home doesn't compare to a sprung floor and tarquet from the studio and care needs to be taken especially when jumping on tiled or concrete floors. Modifications can include buying a piece of linoleum that will fit your space.
The longer we spend in lockdown the more ballet shoes are geting worn and worn out. The group of dancers most at risk are children and adolescents. Children don't stop growing during lockdown!
With ballet flats or jazz shoes getting too small, this increases the risk of foot and ankle pain and injuries as they have less room for toes to lengthen or spread in their shoes.
Unfortunately, pointe shoe fitting must wait until retail stores can open.
So – what can we do in the meantime?
Make sure ballet flats and pointe shoes still fit
Can you wiggle and spread your toes lengthways when you are standing flat in parallel in your flat or pointe shoes?
Minimise their use – only wear them in a pointe class being supervised by your dance teacher.
If your flat shoes are getting tight – wear socks
Ask your dancer teacher if they can assess them for you on video
Be patient….wait till your favourite ballet shoe fitter has reopened
Be aware and prepared
Check your shoes, or ask your ballet teacher to help you.
If you know what shoe works best for you – purchase online as long as they offer a return service for any shoe that does not fit.
Ask your ballet teacher or dance physiotherapist to assess your shoe
But – there are things you can do to preserve your pointe shoes whilst you wait for your favourite ballet shoe supplier to reopen – DIY pointe shoe preservation!
Watch Australian Ballet Soloist Nicola Curry demonstrate how to use shellac on your pointe shoes
If all else fails – less pointe work whilst in lockdown will be a far better option than pointe work in the wrong or dead shoe
Don’t forget –
Lockdown is an opportunity to focus on body conditioning as a supplement to your dance training
Simonne Smiles from Dance Smarter conducts excellent Body Conditioning classes. You can find out about them through the Dance Smarter instagram page or email email@example.com for more information
Reach out if you need help in any way.
I am continuing to conduct COVID safe consultations from Zone 34 Lewisham and through teleheath.
Keep dancing and keep smiling