Don’t try this at home

Mr. James Rogers, ballet dancer with Kansas City Ballet, will not only be finishing up his first season this weekend but he will also be finishing up 1 season of doing Pilates and Conditioning with me every Monday!  I always held the 2:00 PM slot for him and he was here, rip – roaring – and ready to go!

I figured I had to challenge him for his last visit until August! Plus, he had an additional day off to recover so I gave him . . .

The S N A K E!

I attempted to show him until I realized that if I had my stomach probably would have landed and reverberated against the springs so I cued him instead.

James is performing this weekend in Jerome Robbin’s Interplay, Val Caniparoli’s The Lottery, and George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations!

Au revoir, James! Until August and we meet again for the 2017-2018 season!

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Sunshine and Longer days!

I spoke to my big sis yesterday during our weekly Sunday Face Time chats and she exhausted the conversation early to get out and enjoy the rays of sunshine.  She lives in Alaska and was gloating over the longer days becoming more noticed.

This coming weekend we spring forward and  although we lose an hour of sleep – who cares, right?! An extra hour of sunlight moving closer to solstice day creates hope for the cold days to end (although here in KC we have had a seriously mild winter)!

What does longer days of sun mean for you? Here are my favs!

  • Flowers, flowers and more flowers!
  • Walks and hikes for a much greater span!
  • Corn hole and beer – just saying!
  • Vitamin D – healthy immune system!
  • Fresh fruits and Veggies!
  • Green Grass and Parks!
  • Water Slides, Water Parks, Water Rides, Water Fountains, Water Polo!

Now looking at the bottom right corner of my computer I see that it’s just March 6…Yikes, I may be a little overconfident here, although back to my point…Spring forward is this weekend so mark your calendars and sunlight feel free to shine on through!

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Heart Opener

One year into business at the GLORIOUS 75th and Antioch Performance Rehab location my partner, Kendra Gage, and I are continuing our mission to provide preventative and rehabilitative care to the dancer, gymnast and performing arts community of greater Kansas City. We are rewarded on a daily basis as another talented artist walks into the door with a smile on their face and leaves feeling hopeful, stronger, more mobile with a HUGE smile. We are fortunate to be trusted by such talented individuals and thankful for them keeping us on our toes.

Let me just geek here for a moment. . . Problem solving is sooooo much fun! This exercise I decided to focus on three main things!

  1. Heart  Opener
  2. Standing Leg and Pelvic Stability (in external rotation)
  3. Lengthening of Quadriceps, Iliacus and Psoas on working leg and strengthening of standing leg (opposition)

Now take a look at these lovely ladies demonstrating a 4th position turned out lunge from the reformer. When I asked them how they felt after completing this exercise, they gave me feedback that they immediately felt “more lifted out of their hips and more open in their chest.” The next day they told me they felt more stable in ballet class.

Enjoy these lovely ladies and if you are in the Kansas City community feel free to stop by!

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Exercise Show & Tell to celebrate the Royals World Series Win!

Well the mid-sized and comfy city of Kansas City, situated practically right smack dab in the middle of America had quite the day yesterday. The Royals baseball team took the crown and over 500,000 people packed downtown Kansas City, parading and ending right in my backyard at the historical Union Station, (which once upon a time was heated/powered by a coal plant housed next door, which after renovation is now the home of Kansas City Ballet) to celebrate their well deserved win. There were many reasons why the Royals world championship win impacted our city besides the Royals first world championship win in 30 years. People are proud here. Proud of where the city is going, proud of where they live, who they support, and where the city is headed. The Royals win couldn’t have come at a better time, giving business owners, school superintendents, and city leaders the excuse to pause their workload for the day and collaborate in the celebration for both the Royals and their city!

My dog Maddie greeting kids resting on the ledge of our apartment window during the Royals celebration!

My dog Maddie greeting kids resting on the ledge of our apartment window during the Royals celebration!

However, a big crowd like that has to vanish (not so easily), and the neighborhood seems extra quiet today.

So I decided to share with you an exercise for today’s Exercise Show and Tell, which I bet would challenge dancers, and for sure the Royals baseball players.  Thank you to my beautiful model, Zoe Stein, who is a trainee for KCB for taking this video.

Steps:

1- Lie Supine (on your back on the reformer). Place your left foot turned out with the ball of your foot on the foot-bar. Place the other foot in coupé front. Be sure to stay in a neutral position, with your abdominals engaged, collar bones wide, shoulders down and your arms resting long to your side of the carriage.

2- Begin your fondú, coordinating both legs equally so both legs straighten at the same time.

3- Flex your working leg foot at the same time you flex the standing foot, lengthening the heal all the way under the foot bar (lengthening away from your hip).

4- Raise your Left heal back into a relevé poistion (heal lifted) while articulating the working leg foot back into plantar flexion (point).

5 – Battement (lowering the right leg on top of the left leg) and returning the leg back to where it just came from.

6- Return back to starting position in step 1.

7- Repeat 3-6 times on each leg. Repetition may vary based on individual needs. Once you feel that you are no longer doing the exercise correctly, it’s time to stop.

A Dancer’s Profile: Featuring the sweetly fierce Sarah Chun from Kansas City Ballet

Name: Sarah Chun

Vocation: Company dancer with Kansas City Ballet (4th season).

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Photo shoot featuring Eleve Leotards. Photo Credit: Kenny Johnson

Defining Moment on Stage to Date: The moment I danced Todd Bolender’s “The Still Point” was a defining moment on stage for me. I performed it this past May and it was a ballet that really let me express the hardships I was going through at the time. It really reminded me why I chose to become a professional ballet dancer.

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Septime Webre’s, Alice in Wonderland (2014). Photo Credit: Steve Wilson

Favorite Style of Dance: I appreciate all styles of dance because I love how each style makes me feel and grow differently. But I think my favorite would be contemporary/neo classical work. Even though I am classical trained, I feel that I can really let go and express myself to the fullest in contemporary movement. I have not performed Helen Pickett’s “Petal” yet but Kansas City Ballet had just learned it recently, and the movement in this ballet is very enjoyable to me.

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Inspiration: My inspiration would definitely be my parents. They immigrated from South Korea and worked for everything they have today. My parents are the most hard working, humble, supportive people I’ve ever met. They drive down to Kansas City to see every program I perform in and am inspired every time I see them

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Devon Carney’s restaging of Giselle (2015). Photo Credit: Steve WIlson

Favorite Dance Wear Brand: Lonereed Designs is my favorite custom dance wear brand!

Favorite Energy Breakfast: Toast with almond butter, scrambled eggs, and an apple! Yum!

Favorite thing to do on a “day off” from Work: On a day off of work, I love to go take a yoga class, spend time with friends, and read a book!

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 Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker (2014). Photo Credit: Kenny Johnson

How do you blow off steam: Yoga Yoga Yoga is my way to blow off steam for sure! Ballerina Yogi for life!

Why do you think integration of dance and health is needed: I think it’s important to practice healthy eating as a dancer. Being a dancer is so mentally and physically demanding that eating healthy can really make a difference in our career. We depend on our bodies so much that it’s important for us to eat and exercise well so that we can prevent injuries and fatigue. I definitely believe in moderation when it comes to being healthy and a happy dancer!

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Michael Pink’s Dracula (2014). Photo Credit: Steve Wilson

What’s next for you: In the near future, Kansas City Ballet will be working on a brand new Nutcracker, choreographed by artistic director Devon Carney. So that’s exciting! In April, I will choreograph for Kansas City Ballet’s “New Moves” program! In the far future, I hope to still be dancing happily. In my next career, I hope to maybe own my own yoga studio and teach dance on the side.

Here is a little clip of Sarah Dancing in South Korea this summer on her off-season, exploring new movement, new people, new choreography and a new space. Thanks to Sarah Chun for interviewing with dancehealthier and I wish you a happy and healthy season!