Plank series on the Cadillac: Exercise Show & Tell

Here is an Exercise SHOW & TELL entry for you this lovely Monday.  Oh, Monday! Who doesn’t want a little motivation to start the week off right?  This exercise accomplishes a great deal. . . Whether you are looking for summer abs, stronger arms land/or empowerment this Pilate Cadillac exercise is right for you.  Give it a try but please have a spotter close-by!

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  • ABOVE is your STARTING POSITION!
  • Grab onto the top parallel bars of the Cadillac with Grippies in place so your hands don’t slip.
  • Carefully place one foot up at a time, making sure your entire foot/ankle is off the the edge of the the trapeze bar with springs.
  • USE ASSISTANCE to find proper plank position. Hold for 10 seconds!

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  • From Plank position drop the pelvis down to reverse pike (making the letter v). Flow the movement back to plank position (STARTING POSITION).
  • Again hold the STARTING POSITION 10 seconds.

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  • Leading with the sternum bone lift the chest allowing your spine to curve. Make sure you are aware of pushing your legs down on the trapeze bar with springs.
  • Flow the movement back to plank (STARTING POSITION).
  • Once completing the full rep of movement then workup to repeating 10 times!
  • The only holding point in this exercise is a 10 second hold in plank!

 

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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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Exercise Show & Tell

Well, well, well! Hello from dancehealthier!  In preparation for my New Year’s resolution MEGA list, I’m making conscious thoughts (not yet written in concrete) of things to put on that list! A big one being write more blog entries! Anyone agree?

I apologize for my long hiatus from my weekly writing! It has been quite a 2016 for this author including:

1. New Job – Blinders ON! Well at least when the pregnancy brain allowed me to!

2. Clinic Opening – On January 11th, 2016 marked OPENING day of our Performance Rehab clinic, home of Kansas City Performing Arts Medicine Alliance.

3. BABY girl – Abrielle Jane Krutzkamp was born June 11, 2016 at 11:32 PM.  A sweetheart and a bundle of smiles and wiggly worms!

4. Obsession – Love at first sight with my baby girl of course.

5.  Back to the Grind – Expanding clientele and exercises to go along.

So I thought I would share with you on this Hump Day Wednesday an exercise show and tell courtesy of Kansas City Ballet dancer, Sarah Joan Smith. She makes it look quite beautiful!

Exercise 1: I call it “frog pulls!”

Step 1: Pilates Reformer. Lie on the long box with 1 Red Spring away from the foot bar at approximately the sternum. Choke up above the medal on the ropes and start with your arms in the “T position.” Place your legs in a frog position, externally rotated with the heals kissing.

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Step 2: Make sure your head is an extension of your spine and squeeze your heals together and lift the legs (keeping the same angle) thinking down, out and up.

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Step 3: Keeping the same position with your legs pull the straps towards your body initiating the movement with the sides of your back. Return back to starting position.

  • Repeat 10 times and complete 3 sets!

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Exercise 2: I call it “Killer hinge lifts!”

Step 1: Lay down supine on the Cadillac with your feet on top of the bar (bar should be grounded at top and attached by two long yellow springs from underneath). Legs should be in table top position (legs bent). Place the ring inside the legs above the knees. With a neutral spine lift up in one count hinging at the hip (versus rolling up/imprinting).

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Step 2: Achieve bridge position. In one count return to the supine starting position, visually thinking about gliding the femur (upper leg bone) down into the hip socket.

  • Repeat 10 times and complete 3 sets!

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So there you have it! Thanks for visiting and if you are in the Kansas City area come check us out at Performance Rehab! xo

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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!

 

 

The Swan DREAMS project with Aesha Ash!

Today, I share with you a story that instills grace, discipline, advocation, and hope! Today’s DH post is about Aesha Ash, retired New York City Ballerina, and current founder of The Swan Dreams Project. It’s nice on a day like today, after such a tragic TV crew shooting, to read up on someone who is famed for making a positive impact in our world. So read up on something positive today. . .

By: Aesha Ash

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.42.31 PMOne of my goals, even before beginning a professional ballet career, has always been to change the demoralized, objectified and caricatured images of African-American women and girls. My desire is to show the world, all while reminding ourselves, that we too can command poise, grace, elegance and beauty-we too can be beautiful swans. As a professional ballet dancer, I used my passion as a vehicle to spread this message as far and wide as possible. Like many others may have experienced, the need for such positive self-imagery amongst young African American women is greatly needed. A need which also transcends ballet. Take the NY Times article where televesion critic Alessandra Stanely mentioned how actress Viola Davis didn’t fit a ‘classically beautiful’ image. Not only the ballet world, but society in general has a difficult time viewing most women of color in a classical light.

Photo Credit: Thaler Photography

Photo Credit: Thaler Photography

Upon retiring, I was saddened that I could no longer try to make a difference in the way women of color are viewed through my active participation with a ballet company. There was this heaviness and void that I carried with me until after my first child, a girl, was born. I began to look back on my career and feel that I had unfinished business. Business that I felt was important to take care of, not only for myself, but for my daughter. I began to think about ways in which I could continue to spread a more positive image and change the perspective of how African-American women are viewed in society and in media. I was quickly reminded of a photo that inspired me throughout my training at the School of American Ballet. It was a photo of then African-American dancer Andrea Long (now Andrea Long -Naidu). At the time Andrea was a dancer with NYCB and the photo was from her years as a student in the school. This image was so inspiring to me, as she was the only dancer of color in the photo. It was a powerful remider that becoming a ballerina was indeed possible. Whenever I felt downcast and alone, I would look at this image and immediately find the strength to carry on. Thinking back on those moments, I realized right then and there that I had to use photography. Thus began my creation of The Swan Dreams Project.

Photo Credit: Thaler Photography

Photo Credit: Thaler Photography

Through the use of imagery and my career as a ballet dancer, I want to help change the demoralized, objectified and caricatured images of African-American women. I also hope to promote greater involvement and increase patronage to this beautiful art form.

Photo Credit: Renee Scott

Photo Credit: Renee Scott

How can you help?

By purchasing an image you are helping to spread not only the message of The Swan Dreams Project, which is one of hope and possibilities, but you are utilizing the power of imagery to inspire. Pulitzer Prize winner, Eddie Adams, whose photograph helped change Americans attitudes towards the Vietnam War once wrote, “still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world.” For myself, it was an image of Andrea Long-Naidu on the wall of The School of American Ballet that empowered me as a young aspiring ballerina. Images do indeed have power, and what we don’t see sends as powerful a message as what we do.

Photo Credit: Renee Scott

Photo Credit: Renee Scott

I hope these images will stand as a reminder that all things are possible. Beauty and grace are not limited by race or status—they are boundless, limitless.

http://www.theswandreamsproject.org