Master Class with Braeden Barnes
January 12, 2017
Don’t let its name scare you, dancers. It’s not synchronized swimming. It is, quite literally, ballet done in the water. Depending on the instructor or what you decide to do, you might not even have to get your hair wet! As dancers, we are constantly trying to improve our technique, define our muscles, and understand our bodies. Underwater ballet allows us to do just that. You do not need any special training or any equipment. Just grab a swimsuit, some of your dance friends, and go to a pool.
Underwater ballet simply consists of performing various ballet exercises in the water. The water provides a resistance that naturally forces you to use your muscles more conscientiously. Because of the water resistance, exercises are slower and more controlled. This enables you to become hyper-aware of your alignment, your rotating muscles, and the overall position of your body. Furthermore, because it is harder to move in water, your muscles will be working harder as well –almost as if you were using light weights. The next time you are in a pool, try doing a développé or a grand battement. You will find that in lifting your leg to the correct position, you might be more aware of the positioning of your hips or the use of your abdominal muscles. Then, as you close your développé or grand battement against the pull of the water, you will most prominently feel your rotating muscles and hip adductors engaging. It allows you to really feel each muscle group that is needed to properly perform an exercise. It later becomes easier to identify these muscles outside of the water in your normal ballet class.
More information to come soon!