Health and Harmony

Handstands are a great way to build strength and increase balance. However, if done incorrectly this can cause unnecessary stress on your joints and lower back. In this post, we will discover just a few basic do's and don'ts to keep in mind when performing a handstand. Keep in mind you can always use a wall to help with balance until you are ready for a free standing handstand. Do's: Arms straight and engaged. Not allowing elbows to lock out.Arms Shoulder width apart. Keeping hands directly in line with shoulders. Lifting

Dance Promotes creativity - Becoming a skilled dancer requires practice, discipline, and focus. These skills can be very useful in other areas of your child's life. According to "FamilyTalk Magazine," dance lessons can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts.      2. Improves self-esteem - As children learn the movements and postures required in dance, they begin to get a better understanding of their bodies. As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and

  [gallery ids="893,894,895,897,898,172"] How to Achieve the Perfect Straddle Leap! I think we can all agree that there are 2 important factors when it comes to getting your perfect straddle leaps or jumps. These being strength and flexibility! In this post, I will go over 5 exercises/stretches that will help you to achieve your best straddle leaps. V UPS- Start by lying in a hollowed position on the floor(head, shoulders and lower legs off of the floor), engage the core and lift upper body and legs in a piked position until

[gallery ids="876,877,873,874,875,879"] We have all seen them! The beautiful dancer who moves gracefully across the floor and then BAM! They lift their leg for an extension and our eyes can only see the terribly sickled foot. This correction is one that needs to made early on for dancers so that they can retrain their muscles to stretch through the foot properly without inversion of the foot. In order to do so, we need to train the peroneal muscles, which are responsible for concentrically plantarflexing and everting the foot. These

 If you are like me and have very little time then getting the most out of your workouts is crucial! Exercises that use little to no equipment is just an added bonus:) This is why I like to focus on exercises that involve the core or multiple muscle groups while targeting a specific region like lower body or upper body! Here are a few of my favorites that target your lower body region!  1. Plank with hip abduction- This one is great for targeting the gluteus

Looking for innovative core exercises? Ever get bored with your exercise routines?? Try these core exercises to spice it up a bit!  Side 2 side leg lifts on Bosu- Position yourself sitting in the center of the bosu ball and place an object on the floor in front of you. Starting with your feet on one side of the object, lift your legs in a piked position over the object and gently lower on the other side. Repeat:) Single arm mountain climbers with sliders- Using sliders(or socks) under

If you are looking for ways to increase your flexibility and joint range of motion you should definitely try the foam rolling technique. As a dancer we often use static stretching(30-60s holds in the desired position), active stretching(activating one muscle to allow the other to relax and holding for 1-2s then repeating) and dynamic stretching(taking joints through full range of motion at a steady pace), but I have never seen a dancer use SMR. I believe this is probably because of the lack of knowledge and know-how in this practice. As

Why is stretching and strengthening the appropriate muscles important!? Why are these actions helpful? The answer is because of muscle imbalances.  In order for our body to function with human movement efficiently, we require a balance of muscle length and muscle strength around a joint. If these muscles are not balanced, then the associated joint is directly affected. Which in many cases is the cause of pain, such as lower back pain or knee pain.  For example, a muscle imbalance at the knee involving a “tight” biceps femoris will cause the knee to move inward(knee valgus)

If you are reading this, it is probably because you’d like to gain flexibility and be able to perform a front split with ease! There is no doubt that most of us do not enjoy stretching and even if we do, keeping track of our efforts is seemingly impossible. With this in mind, I have created a 1 month to front splits log so that you can keep track of your stretching and keep yourself accountable! If you would prefer to not use a log and just want to

Hamstring and Hip flexibility are a common concern for many people. Whether it be a dancer trying to achieve a front split or an everyday man/woman just wanting to have less tension in this area. We all deal with tightness from time to time. These stretches are static stretches and meant to be held for at least 20-30s. The best time to perform these stretches is either after exercise or before bed. 1. Forward fold- Start with feet together and hinge at the waist. Keeping your spine long and