Ballet is an art form that takes its toll on your body, it takes sheer determination, hours of sweat and tears and a whole lot of dedication so to minimise the strain on you, we wanted to share with you a variety of ballet devices that help during ballet classes and preparations for performances to really help you achieve your full potential. There are some things that will just take hours and hours to master, like a foiette, but the good news is there are some moves and stretches that can be aided with ballet equipment like a ballet turn board or a ballet stretching tools for example which can help you progress quicker. We’re not here to teach you shortcuts, but, we are here to provide you with an extensive ballet equipment list of things you should be getting your hands on to make practise less gruelling.
Ballet is all about getting the right lines and looking as graceful as you possibly can, sometimes we need a boost into helping us reach those goals and that’s perfectly okay. Just like a goalkeeper needs gloves, a baseball player has a helmet and a basketball player trains with spring boards, there is no shame in reaching for ballet devices to help you during ballet classes and preparations. In fact, the right equipment can actually put you leaps and bounds ahead of those in your dance company. There is no better time than right now for you to stock up on ballet equipment and what better way to do it than with the help of Zarely providing you with the ultimate ballet equipment list? We’re going to share with you the basics that should be in your ballet kit bag all the way up to some pretty intense stuff like the ballet foot stretch device and bungee ballet equipment. Get your notepad at the ready!
Resistance training is one that has been acclaimed since the 1800’s. It’s used as a form of exercise and in recent years a way to rehabilitate after injury. The benefits and adaptability of resistance training with its power to condition, stretch and increase muscle power alongside the option of gentle alternatives to class work during injury means it’s an increasingly popular ballet stretching device, specifically as a ballet foot stretching device.
Resistance bands are one of the simplest yet effective ballet stretching tools that dancers can use alongside class work and increase muscular strength. Perhaps the most impressive thing about a resistance band is its versality compared to other ballet stretching tools. It isn’t a case of buying the resistance band to target one muscle group or one stretch. With a resistance band you can target anything you want to improve, whether that’s working on improving your pointe work, strengthening your ankles, improving your turn out, conditioning your legs and back, increasing your flexibility or improving your port de bras. The opportunities to work out really are endless.
You can also work at the height of your arabesques, developpes and extensions. All with this handy piece of inexpensive elastic band. Now this really is an investment you need! Furthermore, with a resistance band, unlike deadlifting weights which neglect many of the arm muscles used in dance, you can use the resistance band fluidly as you would in ballet. You can strengthen the arms by moving through the port de bras and actually target the muscles you need to work on, without neglecting any small but vital ones!
A foam roller truly can become your best friend when you use it properly. The foam roller is one of the best self-massage tools for dancers and athletes alike. Nothing can compare to regular meetups with a massage therapist to target those muscles that ache and cause pain, but not everybody has the time or money to invest in them. Fortunately, foam rollers exist.
A foam roller is perfect for larger muscle groups, like the thighs, hips and calves. All leg muscles that really feel the strain from ballet. The best way to use a foam roller is roll it along the muscle until you find the sore, tight area and then slowly but gently apply pressure to it. If you can bear the pressure without the muscle stiffening too much, then stay on that area for a further 30 seconds, or until you feel a release in pain. Then, continue down for the next spot.
You can get your hands on a variety of foam rollers which come in various strengths. Foam rollers are intended to be used flat on the ground using your own body weight as the pressure.
A ballet turn board is a slim, rectangular board that you place under your foot which is a ballet tool for improving turns. They are the same turning equipment that is used in ice-skating. Their premise is that if you are struggling to get the basic rhythm of a spot for a breath-taking pirouette then they can help you get that momentum and really get into the swing of things. There are a lot of conflictions around turn boards, some believe they are great for aiding practise whilst others sit on the fence that they encourage spinning as opposed to turning.
The ballet turn board reduces the friction between the foot and the floor to allow the dance to turn fast. Whilst it is obvious that the turn board can provide many benefits and allow dancers to achieve a multitude of turns, it’s also worth noting that the use of a turn board is one that is up for debate in the dancer world. In classical ballet, a turn is performed with a releve to either demi or full pointe. However, a turn board requires the dancer to turn on a flat foot. This poses problems in terms of technique. This means as the dancer is practising on a flat foot there is a change of position and shift of weight distribution than what is required for pirouettes in ballet. On the other hand, a turn board has been known to improve dancers’ spotting and allows the sensation of performing multiple turns and getting into the momentum. It really is a case of personal preference and being aware of your own body and its movements.
It sounds like something straight out of a history book, doesn’t it? Before ballet class, many dancers are tying their legs into a ballet torture device to improve their pointe and stretches. The feet are hooked into a flexible stretching band which is then laced across the back. There is a debate surrounding ballet torture devices and its ethicality, so we wanted to touch on the subject and share the pros and cons of the ballet foot stretch device.
Although ballet torture devices can stretch your feet at a rapid rate which can be beneficial for a ballet photoshoot or right before an audition, it’s also important for us to highlight the dangers that surround the ballet foot stretchers. They can cause increased laxity in the ligaments and cause the foot to have over stretched ligaments. Over stretched ligaments are a huge problem in ballet, specifically for pointe work as they’ll make you more unstable.
Every foot is different and requires work in different ways, there is no one size fits all. For some a ballet torture device can be highly beneficial in working their feet and stretching where they want it to for others it can be problematic. Seek support from your teacher if you’re unsure.
A bungee workout is one that is becoming increasingly popular for its success being a low-impact workout without the compromise in intensity. Working out with bungee equipment is one that works your entire body with the use of cardio and strengthening moves. The bungee workout is fantastic for building muscle and working on your leaps and jumps, specifically putting yourself into the correct positions in the air.
Ballet dancers require strong and supple legs to execute those endless leg lines, soaring jumps and gravity defying leaps, so it’s no surprise that some dancers reach for the ankle weights to build up strength to make their legs more powerful. Ankle weights can improve the muscle strength of your hamstrings, quads and glutes by adding an additional weight to lift. You can wear ankle weights at the barre or whilst jumping to improve the exertion to lift and increase the intensity of the rehearsal. Professional dancers across the globe have raved about the benefits they have reaped from using ankle weights, noticing the biggest change in their leaps and leg extensions.
Excuse us whilst we blow our own trumpet for a minute or two, but we wholeheartedly believe in our dancewear and its benefits to workouts. Here at Zarely, we have ensured all of our dance apparel has been rigorously tested to give you maximum support and work with you feel supported. Ballet is all about the right shapes and features, which is why we have designed a series of dancewear and tights to help you attain those all-important lines.
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