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A Ballet Inspired Workout

Have you been to the ballet recently? Ballet dancers are fit. They have muscle, endurance, and the artistic quality to make what they do look both easy and beautiful. I trained in ballet for almost 20 years. Basic ballet movements are still my go-to exercise. It leans, tones, and lengthens, builds strength and posture. While in the kitchen doing dishes or hanging out watching TV, I like to get in a short ballet-inspired work out. I use a sturdy chair or my kitchen counter as a ballet barre to hold on to with one hand for balance.

A Basic Ballet Movement Workout

Pliés & Rises

Pliés in first position are one of foundational steps of ballet. To plié means “to bend”.

1. Place your feet together and slowly rotate your legs from the hip so your feet form a small V shape, feet flat, toes out and heels together. This is first position.

2. Bend your legs, keep your knees over your toes and don’t let them fall inward toward each other. Your tailbone should point straight to the floor and your torso should remain upright.

3. Only go as far down as is comfortable.

4. Slowly straighten your legs and continue rising up onto the balls of your feet. Balance for a moment.

5. Slowly lower down until your feet are once again flat on the floor.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can make this more difficult by doing a plié while balancing on the balls of your feet.

 

Wide Pliés & Rises

Second position is a wider stance than first position.

1. Place your feet hip to shoulder width apart, with your toes still turned out like in first position.

2. Plié by bending your legs. Keep your knees over your toes and don’t let them fall inward toward each other. Your tailbone should point straight to the floor and your torso should remain upright. Only go as far down as is comfortable. You will probably be able to go lower than in first position.

3. Slowly straighten your legs and continue rising up onto the balls of your feet. Balance for a moment.

4. Slowly lower down until your feet are once again flat on the floor.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can make this more difficult by doing a plié while balancing on the balls of your feet.

 

Arms

A movement of the arms in ballet is called a port de bras. Look at the below sketch of ballet arm positions.

ballet-positions-cecchetti1

1. Hold your arms in front of your thighs, with a slight curve in the elbows to make fifth position en bas.

2. Slowly bring your arms up above your head to fifth position en haut. Stop once your hands are just in front of your forehead, as if shading your eyes from the sun.

3. Slowly open your arms to the sides, to second position of the arms. There should be a smooth slope from your shoulder down to your hands.

4. Slowly lower your arms further to return to fifth position en bas.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can do this port de bras with one arm or two. You can do it by itself, or combine it with the plié movements.

 

Abs

1. Lie face-up on the floor, legs extended, feet pointed.

2. Pull your abs in. Lift one leg up so your toes point to the ceiling. Keep your other leg straight, toes pointed.

3. Curl your back and shoulder blade and grasp your ankle or calf with your hands. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

4. Slowly lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

Do 5 reps on each leg.

Leg Lift Front

A leg lift is called a grand battement.

1. In first position, extend one leg forward, straight in front of your hip. Toes pointed, and leg turned out so your knee faces slightly to the side.

2. Lift your leg as high as you can, keeping your supporting leg and torso straight. Hold for 10 seconds.

4. Lower your leg and slide your foot back to first position.

5. Repeat with the other leg.

Do 5 sets of 5 lifts on each leg.

 

Leg Lift Behind

In first position, extend one leg backward, right behind your hip. Toes pointed, and leg turned out so your knee faces slightly to the side.

1. Lift your leg as high as you can, keeping your supporting leg and torso straight. Do not bend forward. Hold for 10 seconds.

2. Lower your leg and slide your foot back to first position.

3. Repeat with the other leg.

Do 5 sets of 5 lifts on each leg.

 

Stretch

You’ve worked your muscled hard. Stretch out your quads, your calves, your groin, and your arms.

bolshoiballetdancers
 

*Photo: yakovlev.alexey via flickr


There is Still Room for your Child at Camp Chief Hector

As of July 21, the following camps still have availability:


MALES

12-13Y Kananaskin 6-day | Jul 27 – Aug 1

12Y Kananaskin 13-day Traditional | Aug 17 – 29

15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Aug 17 – 29

14-15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike/Horse Gray Jay | Aug 17 – 29

 

FEMALES

12-13Y Kananaskin 6-day | Aug 24 – 29

14Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Aug 3 – 15

15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike Gray Jay | Aug 3 – 15

16Y Leadership 1 Gray Jay Hike/Horse | 27-days | Aug 3 – 29

 

CONTACT US: 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622 As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available to those who qualify.


Horsemanship Lessons

**September’s Horsemanship lessons are currently full and we are no longer accepting people for the waitlist. Please check back again in the Spring.

Camp Chief Hector YMCA if offering novice riding lessons again this fall! Learn the basic skills of horsemanship on the ground and in the saddle.

  • At Camp Chief Hector YMCA
  • Sundays: September 7, 14, 21 & 28*  | 2:30pm – 4:00pm
    *October 5th will be an alternate date in case of inclement weather on a scheduled Sunday
  • 7 years and up
  • $140

Novice Riding Lessons Fall 2014


Photos from our Stampede Parade Float

In case you missed it, YMCA Calgary had a float in the Calgary Stampede Parade!

group

Our float team was made up of YMCA staff, volunteers, and youth leadership students.  We took turns pushing the float, walking and dancing alongside it, and representing YMCA Calgary at one of the most exciting events in Calgary!

We were very happy the audience was extremely engaging with us as we danced to the Y-M-C-A and passed basketballs and volleyballs back and forth.

Everyone had an absolute amazing time and it was an experience we will truly never forget.

 

View the Photo Gallery!

 

Do you have any photos of us from the Parade route? Please send it to us at info@ymcacalgary.org.

 

 


Saddletowne Training Pool Closure, July 15th – 20th

The Training Pool at the Saddletowne YMCA will be closed until further notice as we  complete important repairs.  Open swim, lane swimming and all swimming lessons will take place in the 25 meter pool for the interim.

We appreciate your understanding as we work to improve your YMCA.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Steve Elliot, Program Manager, at 403-537-2710.


The Saddletowne YMCA Hopes You Have a Rootin’ Tootin’ Calgary Stampede

Yee Haw!  Thanks to all of our friends and neighbors who stopped by the Saddletowne YMCA Monday, July 7th to help us celebrate the Calgary Stampede.

Bret "The Taxman" Ross

Bret “The Taxman” Ross

 

The Outrageous Outlaw O'Briens

The Outrageous Outlaw O’Briens

"Rawhide" Rosy Rayani

“Rawhide” Rosy Rayani

Kelly "Two Gun" Colson

Kelly “Rapid Fire” Colson

Puja "Prairie Fire" Suri, Nada "Danada" Rustom, and Linda "Two Step" Sakyi-Akameah.

Puja “Prairie Fire” Suri, Nada “Danada” Rustom, and Linda “Two Step” Sakyi-Akameah.

Priscilla "Princess of the Prairies" Lee

Priscilla “Princess of the Prairies” Lee

Danijela "No Hat" Latinovic

Danijela “No Hat” Latinovic

Tanya "Two Horn" Connelly, Joseph "Lone Justice" Peralta and Noshy "Night Rider" Karbani.

Tanya “Two Horn” Connelly, Joseph “Lone Justice” Peralta and Noshy “Night Rider” Karbani.

Adam "The Black Hat Advantage" Luciuk

Adam “The Black Hat Advantage” Luciuk

Steve "The Rattlesnake" Elliot

Steve “The Rattlesnake” Elliot

Ixchel "Wildcat" and Kaia "Kickin' Horse" Kjar

Ixchel “Wildcat” and Kaia “Kickin’ Horse” Kjar

Not pictured- Saddletowne’s most wanted, Brigitte “Bad Apple” Edwards.

Click here to see more Stampede photos, including those from our Wild West Photo Booth, from the Saddletowne YMCA!


Spots Open for 16 Year Olds!

canoe3

Camp Chief Hector YMCA’s LEADERSHIP 1 Canoe trip still has spots remaining for the July 6-August 1 camp.

Sixteen year old Leadership I campers will participate in a 17-day canoe trip on the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan.

During their first week at camp, these Leadership I campers will plan and prepare for their trip and learn to work as a team.

Throughout their month-long experience, they will develop personal strengths and new abilities. Their focus will be on learning and developing outtripping skills and leadership abilities in the backcountry.

There are currently 3 spots for girls and 3 spots for boys still open.
Register today by calling 1 (866) 430-9622 (YMCA).

When:  Sunday, July 6, 2014 to Friday, August 1, 2014 (27 days)

Where:  Starting and finishing at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

What:  Leadership training with a Canoe Camp Trip for 16 year old youth

Cost: $2710.00

How: Call 1 (866) 430-9622

 canoe2


Stampede Float Team!

We’re Having a Parade Float!

For the first time in a very long time, YMCA Calgary has entered a float in the Calgary Stampede Parade!

It’s being professionally built, is fun and colourful, and of course, will be playing a very recognizable song!

 

Our Parade Float Team

Our float team this year is made up of YMCA staff, volunteers, and youth leadership students. These folks will be pushing our float, walking and dancing alongside it, and representing YMCA Calgary at one of the most exciting events on Calgary’s calendar!

Say hello when you see us on the route.

Meet some of your 2014 Stampede Parade Float team:

poppy-float  mamta-float ric-float
Poppy, Staff, Shawnessy YMCA Mamta, YMAP Student Ric, Staff, Community YMCA
 Tessa-float Sarah-float tracy-float
Tessa, Staff & Volunteer, Saddletowne YMCA Sarah, Staff, Crowfoot YMCA Tracy, Staff, South Health Campus YMCA
Leonie-float carlie-float trisha-float
Leonie, Staff, Saddletowne YMCA Carlie,Volunteer, Shawnessy YMCA Trisha, Staff, Association Services
brandy-float veronica-float joy-float
Brandy, Staff, Community YMCA Veronica, Staff, Crowfoot YMCA Joy, Staff, Crowfoot & Eau Claire YMCA
Jena-float float Annie carollynefloat
Jena, Volunteer, Shawnessy Y Annie, Volunteer, Camp Chief Hector YMCA Carollyne, Staff, YMCA Association Services
candice-float Nancy sarena
Candice, Staff, YMCA Association Services Nancy, Community YMCA Sarena, Community YMCA
jennie-float   Ian-float
Jennie, Staff, Eau Claire YMCA Ian, Staff, Eau Claire YMCA Lana, Staff, YMCA Association Services
Oscar, Staff, YMCA Association Services  Ken, Staff, YMCA Association Services   Fahim, Staff, YMCA Association Services

 

The Stampede Parade

The Calgary Stampede Parade kicks off the annual celebration on the first Friday of Stampede. This year’s parade is on Friday, July 4 and begins at 8:55am.

The parade route starts at 6 Ave & 3 St SE and travels west. It turns south at 10 St SW and comes back east on 9 Ave to finish at 4 St SE.

Come join the fun, see some great floats, marching bands, and of course wave to us as our YMCA Calgary float dances past!

 


2014 Stampede Breakfasts

stampede breakfast invite

It’s that time of year again!

We’ve got lots of fun, pancakes, and celebration scheduled all over the city.

Monday, July 7  – Saddletowne YMCA, 7am-10am
Tuesday, July 8  – South Health Campus YMCA, 7:30am-11am
Tuesday, July 8  – Shawnessy YMCA, 7am-10am
Wednesday, July 9  – Crowfoot YMCA, 7am-9am
Friday, July 11  – Eau Claire YMCA, 7am-9am

 


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