Ballet, Running and Flexibility

I knew last night’s class was going to be uncomfortable. The turnout muscles, the hips, the previous inner thigh tears all started to dread how stiff they would be in class before they had even got to class.

Since regular class was cancelled back in August getting the ballet fix has been a bit of a challenge. The days of chunky-sink-your-teeth-into barre routines are no longer so you have to take what you can get. I can get one hour of attending a beginners’ class a week. I do get to wear my pointe shoes and I do get to modify things to make it worth while. But since work has been very intense over the last six weeks or so this beginners’ class had been avoided in favour of coming home and crashing on the sofa. So, I’ve been running again. Running V.s turnout = Nope.

I spent a good 30 minutes stretching the hip flexors, hamstrings and those dreaded inner thigh muscles before we went into class. And I still felt wooden. Even at the very beginning with pliés the hips felt cramped up. There were some stunning cramps in my feet while up en pointe for a sustained amount of time. The calf muscles delighted me with instant cramp while holding an arabesque on demi-pointe. I even got cramp in the toes of the working leg while doing fondu.
Thanks running.
In fact, it’s not all running’s fault. I’m a bit of a lazy post-run stretcher. I’m sorry ballet flexibility.
It wasn’t all bad cramps and stiffness though. Aaah, that ballet feeling. I just can’t get it anywhere else. That attempt at feeling graceful and lengthening the lines. The feeling of being en pointe. Developpés, I’ll never fall out of love with them. Or rond de jambe. And for all the cramps and stiffness there are no other ‘form of fitness’ that are as satisfying as ballet. Physically or mentally. I just wish there was more of it.

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