Found a Cure

I’ve had painful achilles tendons for weeks and my calves were so tight and painful at points that stretching didn’t even seem beneficial. I was seriously considering cancelling the Rambert dance intensive coming up next Monday. Well, then my SO suggested I try using his foam roller. YES!

The foam roller did the job! It massaged out all those tender, tight muscles and trigger points. The next day, all stiffness, aches and pains were gone! Going forward I’m going to try and use it at least a few times a week, all the while continuing to stretch daily.

I received all the info today about Monday’s dance intensive and now I can be excited! I need to be there at 9.45am and we will be dancing barefoot (not done this in a while) so I’d better get the foot file and nail polish out ūüėĀ

The timetable is:

10-11.15am Contemporary

11.15-11.30am Break

11.30am-12.30pm Choreography

12.30-1.30pm LUNCH

1.30-2.45pm Repertoire workshop: Tomorrow (Was supposed to be Ghost Dances but a last minute change)

2.45-3.00pm Break

3.00-4.00pm Stretch/Yoga

 

Yoga

Last night we went to Yoga. It was a gentle hour and a half class in a nice calm dance studio. My body was stiff and achy so it was really nice to lie down on a mat and chill out. We did several poses and stretches which really helped to loosen up my hamstrings, back and shoulders. The standing poses were also great and I particularly enjoyed the Tree pose as it made me test my balance!

Order!

 

I’m so excited – this weekend I ordered a portable tap practice board! I actually had two expensive purchase options in mind, some new Bloch tap shoes by Chloe & Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies (I was fortunate enough to take part in an Afro Funk workshop taught by Maud last year) or a tap board, which are about the same price.¬†Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I already have some pretty good tap shoes (Bloch Tap Sync plus¬†the Jason Samuels Smiths in white), but my real frustration has been not being able to practice at home in my tap shoes because I will ruin the floor (I also have a neighbour below, but he works unsociable hours so thankfully is never home in the evenings). I will let you know how I get on with it when it arrives.

Tap Board

On another note, I am going to start going to gentle yoga on a Friday evening at my local leisure centre. I actually used to go to that class with my SO a few years ago, but we got out of the habit. He runs for an athletics club and has recently started doing pole vault. I dance, but don’t do nearly enough stretching at the moment. We were chatting about it last night and then you wouldn’t believe it…while walking around town this afternoon, we bumped into the teacher! A sign?! So we sorted out our free drop-in loyalty cards and booked in.

I’m really looking forward to it. That particular class had mainly older members, so it was way more relaxed than the one I tried at London South Bank University, which was like an hour’s push-up class :$ It will be a nice way to unwind at the end of the week and hopefully will help with a bit of the stress I’ve been under.

How do you cross train or stay flexible? Do you find yoga or Pilates helpful?

maudchloe
Photo of Chloe (L) & Maud (R) Courtesy of the Washington Post

Foot Flexibility 

It is good to regularly stretch the feet and toes when you dance, for health and for flexibility. I have a tendency to grip the floor with my toes (like cat claws!) and last summer I had plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of muscle along the sole of the foot) from repeatedly wearing a pair of unsupportive memory foam Skechers, so I got into the habit of stretching my feet to sort it out. However, as soon as it got better… I got out of the habit.

Deciding that 2016 was going to be my ‘year of dance’ (as in dance all year) I’ve been pounding my feet a lot with Tap and Ballet, so I really need to look after my feet. 

I have a set of 3 Pilates Stretch Bands (light, medium, heavy) and two spiky massage balls. Every evening I roll the massage balls along the bottom of my feet to loosen the muscles and improve circulation. I then use the stretch bands to pull my toes towards myself. I also do some point and flex exercises while sitting on the floor. It definitely makes a difference.