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Ballet/Ballet exercise

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Question
Hi!
I've just started doing ballet. I'm 17 and I'm doing it for a month now.
My teacher said that I can go on pointes within a year or 2 but then I'll have to
work really hard. The thing is, I've started doing all the stuff I do in class at home practising.
I do 4-5 hours ballet 5 days a week.

I feel exhausted and so tired and week. Is that normal? My legs feel like they can't work with me.
Am I overdoing it?

I also just want some exercises for my feet and ankles that will make them stronger.
And can you tell me how to do a pirouette? I want to work on it.
Thanks

Answer
Are you dancing 5 hours a week or 5 hours, 5 days a week (25 hrs/week)?  That makes a difference in how tired you should feel!  I would be very conscious of your body's signals and pay attention to them.  You will definitely feel as though you have been working hard, but shouldn't feel awful.  If you're feeling exhausted you may be overdoing it and putting yourself at risk for an injury.  Try resting a bit more or doing some light walking/biking/swimming or other forms of exercise to give your body a break from ballet.  Build up slowly - you can add more hours when you feel like you can handle the amount you're dancing currently.

You can use a theraband to make your feet and ankles strong; flex and point against the resistance.  Also, ankle circles and picking up marbles with your toes are great ones.  

Pirouettes are tricky things and almost impossible to coach over the internet!  Practice balancing in your pirouette position and making sure you have the correct position.  That's the first step!

Hope some of this helps.  Glad you're so passionate about ballet!

Ballet

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Connie

Expertise

I can answer lots about ballet, specifically the Vaganova syllabus. I'm still training, but both my parents were professional dancers, so most answers will be coming from them, not me. :) They're the experts. Obviously, questions about difficult technique, etc, would be better answered with someone else, but if you're just becoming interested in dancing, or are having problems with basic steps, like pirouettes or plies, then I may be able to help

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I've seen ballet since the age of 0, because of my parents, and I am training to become a professional dancer now.

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