Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tendinitis in Ballerinas

A common problem for ballerinas is tendinitis. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons in the foot. It can be very painfully and quite inconvenient.

Why does it occur, you may ask? Well, the two main triggers for tendinitis is overuse, and your foot being cold.

If you have overused your foot muscles, or injured them, they are prone to tendinitis. You must be careful around this stage, because once you've got it, it takes ages to go away.

I live in a very cold place. It's presently about 7 degrees outside, so not the most pleasant weather you could think of.

The cold will not do the muscles in your foot any good, especially if they are a bit touchy to start off with. So, if you've got a foot that you have overworked or injured, then keep it warm, don't let it get cold, whatever you do.

Once you have got tendinitis, it takes a minimum of eight weeks to disappear. The worst period will be at about 3 - 6 weeks. When I had it (recently) I could hardly walk when I got up in the morning, let alone dance.

I had to take it very easy, and was constantly taking neurofen and rubbing anti-inflammatory cream on my right foot.

If you have got tendinitis, you should, as I just said, take neurofen or panadol whenever it starts to hurt, and also keep rubbing anti-inflammatory cream on the sore area.

Also, keep things easy, but don't stop using your foot altogether. Moderate exercise will be fine. Just don't do anything that hurts your foot.

Once you have exercised, put and ice pack on your foot. I know that I just went on about keeping your foot warm, but after exercise, it's a good idea to ice your foot using the method a wrote about in a previous post the other week.

If you have tendinitis, don't fret; it's very common for ballerinas, as irritating and painful as it is. If you have any other questions regarding the subject you would like to ask me, please don't hesitate to do so.


P.S: It is often the Extensor Hallicus tendons that you get tendinitis in. (see the diagram above.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Perfect Pirouettes

Pirouettes - they are SO hard, don't you agree?
Whilst doing a pirouette, there are heaps of things to think about. Here are a few tips to help you do a perfect single/double or even triple pirouette.

1) Relax! I know, it's really scary, but if you just relax and think positively, it will be much easier, trust me. It sounds really lame, right? Well, just try it. Relax your breathing and think positively.

2) For most pirouette exercises, they count 1, 2, 3, 4. On the 1, you pointe to the side, The 2 and 3 you close to second and then pointe derriere, on the 4 you, you lunge. However, my teacher told me not to lunge on the beginning of the count of, four, but on the very end of it. This way you are only touching your foot behind you, then you are straight away up and ready to go. It really works!

3) Don't over throw your arms. Keep them in a normal third, don't put them too far behind you. After all, then are not your major turning point, they just help you to get around.

4) Think of a pirouette as a releve that just happens to turn. I know it's just a mental point, but it really helps.

5) Keep your let up! It's probably the hardest thing about pirouettes. You just have to keep that leg UP! Even if you come off demi pointe/pointe, and are just turning on flat feet, keep the other let UP UP UP!!!

6) If you are only doing a single pirouette, then you obviously don't need as much force as if you were doing a triple pirouette. If you use too much force, then you are likely to overbalance at the end, and fall over. However, if you are doing a triple pirouette, you are going to need more force to get you around than if you were doing just a single one. If you use little force, then you are only going to do a single or double pirouette.

7) Last but not least: the ground isn't actually that far away. I know, it's a really scary thought if you fall over, but you are not going to die, and it would be very unlikely to break a bone. Keep this thought in the back of your mind. Don't worry, if you fall over, it's not the end of the world!

I hope some of these tips can be of some help you you. Chat sooooon :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Bro's Blog

Hi Everybody,

Sorry, this is not a ballet related issue, but I would like to give you the URL for my brother's blog.

Just half an hour ago, I helped my 11 year old brother set up a blog. He was just recently diagnosed with diabetes, so has decided to set up a blog to share his thoughts about it with the world.

Please follow his blog. It's really touching and he has done an amazing job of it. Here is the URL:

Thanks so much! You will love it, I'm sure of that. However, because we only set up his new blog half an hour ago, it may not be on the internet yet. It should be by tomorrow afternoon, though.

Hope you enjoy it, and thanks again!