Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the inevitable arabesque issue...

one of the most challenging and coveted accomplishments in ballet is achieving the perfect arabesque. when executed properly, arabesque is the prettiest position. that being said, it can just as easily look awkward and wrong.  after yet another day of disappointing arabesques from barre to center, i decided to look up some tips to see what exactly it is i need to work on.

the ballet arabesque is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility, in the leg and the back.  here are some tips on improving your overall arabesque:
1.  remember your position: always keep your turn out activated and your hips in line.  positioning isn't just there to look pretty; by lining everything up properly, you increase your stability which is crucial when trying to lift that leg even higher.  
*keep in mind that a properly placed arabesque should allow you to rise up onto pointe or demi pointe effortlessly; you shouldn't have to shift your weight around...which i understand is seemingly impossible, but it will come!!!
2.  stretch your legs and your back too: a lot of pilates and yoga stretches will solve an inflexible back quickly; things like bridges and what is known in the pilates world as "swimming" or "supermans" will do wonders for helping you work your lower back effectively and carefully.  you will definitely see the benefits of working your back as time goes on.  not only will it help you in your regular arabesuqe, it will also help with your penchées
3.  keep your arms and head in check: while high arms sometimes can compliment the position, while you're learning the basics of ballet, you should keep both your arms and chin/head lifted, but not too high.  once again, concentrate on keeping everything in line with good positioning.  
4.  think of pulling up and out: this one isn't so scientific as the others, but it really helps me.  when im doing an arabesque, and definitely when im doing a penchée, pulling up and out is one of the tools i use to make my position look long and never ending.  it helps you stretch out and gives energy to the entire position, so you look alive and vibrant, and not like a wilting flower.
5.  always warm up: never attempt event the simplest movement without properly warming up.  i know it sounds rudimentary and obvious, but a lot of people jump right into class without properly preparing. 

hope these help!

Monday, April 26, 2010

healthy pesto is possible!!!

so as any of my friends can tell you, my all time favorite meal is steamed spinach with pesto.  the problem is, two tablespoons of the ooey gooey sauce can rack upwards of 230 calories, not dancer friendly at all!  so i have been on the hunt for a healthy...or healthier version of the green italian greatness.  

the recipe found here is one that amplifies the nutty, garlic taste with less than half of the calories and fat.  two tablespoons of this tasty pesto will only cost you 86 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.  not bad compared to its predecessor if you ask me!  


monday's blue

its gorgeously gloomy today.  just finished school and now i'm home sipping on some japanese cherry tea from the coffee bean and getting ready for rehearsals.  

moving to san francisco in five months, so excited for a new city and a new company!

image by joeff davis via creative loafing

Sunday, April 25, 2010

leotard perfection

okay, i'm the first person to admit that i am a very cheap girl.  and up until last summer, i would've never promoted spending more than 25 dollars on a leotard.  that was until i tried on my first Yumiko leotard.

established in 2002 by ballet dancer Yumiko Takeshima, the leotard line Yumiko was developed to accurately fit and enhance every dancer's body.  the styles are universally flattering; not only do they seem to magically shape and streamline your figure, they're insanely comfortable.  they slip on like a glove and don't inhibit your movement the way so many of the thick, cotton leotards of the past do.  they also come in fantastic colors and fabrics, from bright teals and purples, to deep reds, in nylon, velvet, or microfiber, all from which you can create a custom one of a kind look that is sure to turn heads in class.  

it sounds silly, but i feel like i dance 10 times better when i'm in a Yumiko, especially this one which i have in the perfect shade of olive green!  

to order your own, simply go to the online store or if you're in the nyc area, head to 451 W. 46th St.  

all images via yumiko 

lazy day

sundays seem like they're meant to be spent doing something lazy and calming. i'm yearning to take a day off, grab some fantastic wine and cheese, and head to napa for a picnic. too bad real life takes precedent!

i am fortunate enough to be taking next weekend off and heading to vegas, so hopefully that will satisfy my vacation urge.

image via apartment #34