LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

How to Revitalize Your Ballet Body

Summer is a time for our dancers to take a break from the stage for some well-deserved relaxation and recovery. However, the work never truly ends. Even during their time off, professional dancers practice healthy habits and various activities to keep their bodies and minds conditioned for the  grueling season to come. Principal dancer Patricia Delgado shares 6 tips that help her rejuvenate during the summer months off.

Ballet Body

Patricia Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in Balanchine’s ‘Apollo.’

Every year during the summer layoff I set different goals for myself.  When we are working during the season, almost all of my focus is devoted to performing. By the end, I feel accomplished and grateful, but also physically and emotionally drained. The layoff can be a time to explore the physical rest, recovery and cross-training aspect of our work and also a time to find inspiration elsewhere such as teaching, exploring other art forms and traveling!  

Patricia’s Tips: 

Replenish Nutritionally
The layoff is a good time to make sure our muscles heal. One way of doing that is through eating healthy foods. I have had the pleasure of being in New York City during this break and have enjoyed the many delicious ethnic restaurants NYC has to offer, especially Indian and Asian cuisines which have many healing properties in their spices! With the extra energy, I’ve been exploring new recipes, for example, cooking more meats and fish. I’ve also been baking because its very therapeutic to me.  I even took a baking course to sharpen up some of my skills at the Institute of Culinary Education.  It’s great to shift your focus and work your brain in a different way!  

Sleep
I’ve made it a point to sleep in and take naps during this layoff as well. As dancers, we are “on” all the time and expected to perform our best night after night. Sleep is one thing that sometimes gets neglected.  Catching up on sleep has really helped me feel rejuvenated physically and emotionally.

Gyrotonics®
I’ve immersed myself in Gyrotonics® this break!  I have always had a love and respect for the work especially when coming back from injuries, but I never felt like I had enough time and energy during the season to continue digging deeper and understanding the work better.  Working one on one with a trainer has been helpful to address certain habits that sneak into our movement patterns.  I have found new ways of moving that I am excited to apply this season coming up!  

(Gyrotonics? Watch Patricia’s sister Jeanette Delgado in our Gyrotonics® 101 video!)

Travel
I find exploring new cities to be extremely inspiring and invigorating.  New York City is charged with creativity and stimuli!  I saw Cabaret on Broadway for the first time and was blown away.  I even biked the Williamsburg bridge!  Just roaming the streets and exploring new neighborhoods was great fun!  I was fortunate enough to visit Charleston, SC for the opening of Shepard Fairey’s “Power and Glory” art exhibit (Shepard will be collaborating with Justin Peck for his new piece on us next season).  Hearing him explain his process and thoughts on art and life inspired me not only as an artist but as an individual living in our society.  I look forward to exploring more of his work and honored to be a part of this incredible collaboration next season.  In addition, I saw Hubbard Street perform and attended several Chamber music concerts.  I left feeling extremely inspired and wanting to explore some modern and contemporary classes as well as possibly going back to taking piano lessons.

Research
One thing that has become a staple of mine during the layoff has been researching the ballets we will be performing the following season.  I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to researching ballets.  I love learning about the history of the work and watching old videos as well as watching performances of the ballets and how they are danced today by other companies.  The Library for the Performing Arts in NYC has an incredible array of information especially on the Balanchine ballets.  You can watch original ballerinas coach ballerinas of today.  It’s incredible the amount of details that can be passed on to keep these ballets as alive as they were when Balanchine created them!  Watching New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre perform live is always great inspiration! Going to the theater when on layoff is the most fulfilling because I find myself watching as a fan and an admirer.  While in season, there is a personal focus that changes the way in which I enjoy the the theater.

Ballet Class
Of course, taking class is a must!  No matter what extracurricular activities you do, nothing replaces a ballet class!  Its like eating breakfast, NECESSARY!  It’s been great to take class with different teachers around NYC!  Keeping the mind and body awake and taking in different thoughts and ideas teachers have about ballet has been helpful and stimulating!

Catch Patricia onstage when our 2014-2015 Season opens in October! 

5 Reasons to Begin Ballet as an Adult!

Have you been wanting to learn ballet but have little or no previous training? Maybe you took dance as a child or a young adult, but never pursued it seriously? Or, maybe you just never had the right opportunity to get started?

Whatever the reason, learning ballet (especially for the first time) seems like a daunting feat! Miami City Ballet School completely understands this and has developed a Ballet 101 Workshop for beginners starting this June and July. In the following post, Kris Kramer, a former professional dancer with Miami City Ballet and teacher for Miami City Ballet’s School’s Open Adult Class division, shares 5 top reasons for why this workshop is the perfect opportunity to take the plunge and start ballet!

Beginner Ballet

Students in Miami City Ballet School’s Open Adult Class division.

Reason #1: Customized Class

Ballet 101 was created for true beginners and those seeking to better understand and improve the most basic ballet positions and steps. Each class builds upon the next and after completion of the workshop, students can progress to our Beginner Ballet class with more confidence and ease.

So, why not just attend Beginner Ballet class? For Beginner Ballet, students can drop-in for a single class or come regularly each week, so they do not follow a steady progression when learning the most basic to more complex steps. First-time ballet dancers, who don’t know the basic positions and steps, could feel a little lost. In Open Adult Division classes, “Beginner” encompasses a wide range of abilities. Ballet 101 is designed for those at the entry level of “Beginner” to give students who require the extra attention necessary for starting ballet.

Reason #2: Chicken Legs

We’ve all seen them. Those guys and gals with awesomely toned bodies — muscles galore — but little old chicken legs. Ballet is one of the best workouts to not only strengthen and tone your entire body, but also to improve coordination and body awareness. Bring on the élevés and relevés to work the lower extremities, especially the calves, ankles and feet, and you too will start seeing results that no other workout can accomplish.

Reason #3: Amazing Facilities

Miami City Ballet and Miami City Ballet School are both housed in one of the few facilities in the world built from the ground up specifically for dance. The building and eight studios are unparalleled to any in South Florida. Who wants to learn ballet slipping around on a waxed, wood floor, or do jumps on hidden concrete below? That’s an injury waiting to happen! Learn ballet in one of MCB School’s state-of-the-art studios with lightly sprung marley flooring, full-length mirrors and plenty of barre space.

Reason #4: A Treat for You

Do you spend most days running around after your kids, working crazy hours or watching too much TV? It’s time to get out of the grind. Wouldn’t it be a nice change of pace to have some “you” time to move your body and learn something new? Here’s your chance to do something for you.

Reason #5: Awesome Teacher

When you think of ballet, do you conjure up images of an old Madame eerily pacing the studio,  barking out counts to the dancers, “five, six, seven, eight,” as she swings her cane haphazardly around? Here’s a little shameless self-promotion that I think most of my students would agree with. As a teacher, I am welcoming, encouraging, insanely passionate about ballet, and enjoy having a light-hearted, fun and exciting class. If you are feeling a little intimidated about the whole prospect of learning ballet, I’m the teacher for you. - Kris

Beginning Ballet

MCB School teacher Kris Kramer instructs a student in our Open Division.

Have more questions about Ballet 101 or our Open Adult Division? Leave a comment below or contact Kris directly by clicking here!