David McCallister is the Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, and he understands that during this difficult time of combatting COVID-19 through self-isolating and practicing social distancing, staying fit can be an area of our lives that gets pushed to the side. But in saying that, he also believes that there’s always a way of conditioning our body, no matter how little the space.
McAllister, who joined the company as a dancer in 1983 and became its director in July 2001, told the Sydney Morning Herald that it wasn’t what he was expecting to do. He said in the interview:
“It’s been an opportunity to really reflect, and I’m really busy. It’s been so alive with creativity and responding to these changing times that it’s actually been quite stimulating.”David McCallister
He urges everyone to get creative in our new, limited environments with these four simple, yet extremely effective ballet exercises.
Meaning folded in french, the “Plié” movement is one that is regularly used in the art of ballet dancing and helps to work legs, glutes and calves, while also strengthening the hamstrings. Watch David’s tutorial on how to do a Plié below:
2# Leg swings
This exercise works your hip flexors by getting them nice and warmed up. This movement also gets your blood pumping through the legs and gets the oxygen moving.
3# Port de bras
Another French term, this time meaning “carriage of the arms”, the port de bras movement is one that is good for stretching of the core and back, but also for overall balance. Watch David’s port de bras technique below:
4# Calf rises
An exercise that David considers to be one of the most important, calf rises is not necessarily a ballet movement per se, but it helps to strengthen calves for jumping, general leg strength, and balance. Follow David’s lead below:
If you would like to watch The Australian Ballet company for free, you can tune into a virtual season of 14 filmed ballets. Each will play on the company’s Ballet TV portal for a week and some will play for two weeks before disappearing. Simply go to the https://australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/digital-season
For more home exercises click on the below:
And for more ballet-related stories: