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You have 3 categories to choose! Here I share my experiences as a dancer, my fitness tips and my lifestyle. Click below to read the articles!


Over-Splits

Over-splits can be useful for getting higher battements, improving your standing splits, improving splits in aerial skills, higher jumps and more! Start small, a step, a book, or yoga block. Place your forward foot onto it. Make sure your hips are squared (facing directly forward). If you cannot touch the ground let your hands go and raise them above your head if you are able. Let yourself sink down into the stretch as far as possible. If it hurts too badly stop! After you’ve accomplished that height, add another book and keep progressing as long as you’re comfortable!



Bridge:

Bridges are a great way to increase back flexibility and build core muscles.

Start by lying on your back, bend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the ground, place your hands by your ears with palms facing the ground.

Push your body up until only your hands and feet are touching the ground, and your back is arched. Once you’re up in a bridge, straighten your arms and legs and push your shoulders over your head. Your wrists to your shoulders should form a straight line to the floor. Keep your fingers and toes lined up with your body, not turned out. Keep your knees together.       


Slowly lower your body back to the floor, tucking your chin toward your chest as you come down to relax your back. Once you’ve gotten your bridge, an elbow bridge can also help target shoulder flexibility even more as well as pushing forward and straightening your legs.

Feet:

Maybe you weren’t born with gorgeous, overarched feet, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with what you’ve got. Strength and flexibility can improve with training, within the limits of your individual anatomy.

Strengthening:

Hand towel, for scrunching toward you as you actively curl your toes. For a challenge, add weight, like a book, to the end of the towel.


Thera-Band, for slowly pointing and flexing in parallel. Then, sickle with a point, return to neutral and repeat; and wing (in both flexed and pointed positions), return to neutral and repeat.

Tennis ball, placed at or above the ankle bones, as you slowly relevé and lower in parallel.

Piano toes, From tendu second, flex the foot off the floor and articulate the toes into a pointe one at a time.

Sitting on the floor, place the foot you want to stretch over your other thigh to create a figure 4 with your legs. With the hand closest to your heel, push into your heel.  Be sure to relax your Achilles!  (the large band coming down from your calf that attaches to your heel) With the hand closest to your toes, place it over your toes and up your foot a couple inches and pull back so that your foot arches, feeling a nice stretch on the top.

For the top of your instep, standing in pointe shoes, cross one leg over and press the top of the foot into the floor. Plié to increase the stretch.

Grab a yoga block or foam roller, place the front of your foot on it and sit on your knees with your feet under your butt on your foam roller/yoga block. Stay there for about a minute to stretch your instep and increase your ankle flexibility.

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

5 Tips on how to get the most out of your stretches and reach your flexibility goals!

Stretching, one of the key elements of dance, improves flexibility, reduces muscle soreness, & decreases risk of injury.

However, not everyone pays attention to the importance of the stretches and specially, the warm up, so here are some of my tips on how to get the most out of your stretches and reach your flexibility goals!



1.       Warm Up:

It is important that you always warm up before stretching, as muscles are more elastic and less prone to tear when warm. A good rule is to aim for a five-minute dynamic warm-up before you stretch. This includes exercises like lunges, leg swings, plies, jumping jacks or any other exercise that gets your blood pumping and involves some degree of flexibility and range of motion.


2. Stretching Regularly

Stretching consistently is necessary if you want to come flexible. Get into the habit of taking 15-20 minutes, 4-5 times a week to stretch. You will become significantly more flexible with patience and time. Work progressively at your own pace and slowly increase the difficulty of your stretches at a rate you are comfortable with.

3. Set Goals

Determine the area you want to focus on, where you want to be, and set a date you want to achieve it by. I’ve found it helps to have a journal or notebook to log your progress. Once you have that goal in mind, find out what in particular is hindering you from achieving it, then consistently work towards your goal.

4. Breathe & Balance

Breathe normally when stretching and only stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Don’t try to hold your breath or push yourself too aggressively. Always remember to balance your routine, working opposing muscle groups each time you stretch. Example: if you start by stretching the muscles in the back of your thigh, then follow by stretching the muscles at the front.

5. Think Positive

Not everyone is naturally flexible, think positive and be patient! Everyone’s body is different. Don’t compare yourself to others. It takes patience, persistence, and time to open our muscles, don’t be hard on yourself, you can’t do it all today but you can do it. Now the you know the these tips, visit also the article 'Types of Stretching' I am sure you will like! (CLICK HERE)


XOXO

Ceci



Choosing specific shoes for salsa involves these qualities: lightweight, comfortable, flexible, made of real suede and/or leather, and have built-in extra cushioning in the sole. They need to give your foot more freedom of movement than regular shoes while keeping the heel "locked" in place. They have leather/suede soles to give you just the right amount of slip-and-grip on the dance floor while allowing your foot to pivot freely (to avoid knee damage). In general, any leather-soled or suede-soled shoes are "good" and rubber-soled sneakers, hiking boot, etc. are "not good".


The things to consider when choosing a salsa shoes are:


  1. Heel sizes can be as low as 0.5" or as high as 4". The most common heel sizes are between 2"-3". Higher heels give more shape to the leg, but just that extra half an inch can cause a noticeable difference in how it feels to dance. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a 2.5" heel height

  2. An open toe heel or strappy sandal is best for the Latin and Salsa dancing. This allows greater movement of the toes, which many dancers feel help with balance and creating a clean leg line.

  3. Typically, your dance shoe size will be the same as your street shoe size. If your foot is narrow, you should go down 1/2 a size. If your foot is wider you should go up 1/2 a size from your regular street shoe. Remember, you want them to be snug, but not painful.

  4. Choose the right strap: X-Strap (around arch) Great for newer dancers, this strap style anchors your foot to the arch of the shoe, providing an ideal amount of support and stability. If you are prone to "roll" your ankle in heels with a traditional ankle strap, you'll love the security this cross-strap will provide you.

The shoes that I recommend:



Women's Dance Shoes Latin Ballroom

AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEM?

In general, dance shoes can be cleaned with a shoe polish or protector. Satin shoes can be cleaned with soap and water. A wire shoe brush can be used to clean suede bottom shoes to keep the nap. Bring your dance shoes in a separate bag to Salsa on the Square to keep them fresh and clean.


xoxo


Ceci

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