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What exercises can you do to improve your extension in dance?

My 14-year old daughter has been studying ballet for about three years now. I was told by her teacher that she needs to improve her extension. What exercises can you do to improve your extension in dance?

Cheers
Ana

  • Danielle

    Hi I am Danielle I am 11 and have been dancing sence I was 2. Make sure when your streching that you take it on your own pace. It is not good to jump into something like that fast. One stretch is to lay on your back and keeping one leg exsended on the floor lift the other up and have some one push the other toward your ear. Remember to take it slow and keep your hips in line. Another streach is to stand up and put your heel in your hand extend and stretch. Let go to see were your leg is. Know that no matter how flexible you are you need leg strength to hold it high in the air. Happy dancing

  • Allura

    Hello young dancer. I may not be the most knowledgeable in ballet techniques, but I do know that what Danielle says works. I just wanted to add to her already wonderful advice. <3 I like to ease my way into the "push toward your ear". I start by pulling in my knee to my chest and hooking my arm around to keep it as bent as possible. Hold there for a while. Then with your knee still firmly planted on your chest, with the free hand, pull you ankle slowly toward your ear until you can't anymore and hold again. Next keep your hand on your ankle, and without letting up, release your knee and work on straightening as much as you can; at the same time lengthening your leg. this is where my stretch meets Danielle's. It is much more affective when you have someone assist pushing down your leg as you pull, but it can also be done on your own; lengthen your leg as you pull down toward your leg. To finish I hold my heel in my hand and stretch to the side. Just like I think Danielle mentioned as a standing stretch. I only do it in my floor position. Repeat on the other leg of course and, as I was told by my wonderful ballet instructor (though have not yet tested myself), if this series of stretches is done everyday, you will have full extension in months rather than years. You are also still young enough to catch on very fast if you want.
    Well, hope this helps 😀
    Enjoy!!! ^-^

  • Stretching will give you the flexibility but you actually need strength to get your leg up in the air. Have a look at these video clips that have helped me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxgiZCrFg08
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uUCbtkEVz8

  • along with those wonderful stretches above(btw it does get you full extension in months) you can also do the splits. I know it sounds very basic but it is so true. If you are flat in your splits try doing super splits(it’s when you put your front leg on something higher) start out by doing it about 1ft as you get more flexible move your leg higher. Remember that you also need the strength to keep your leg high not just flexibility: ) Good luck