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5 Easy Steps to get Ballerina Legs

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[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignnone" width="560"] My Mom and I Leg modeling[/caption] The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in my family. My Mom was a leg model and so am I. Chances are if you have bought a pair of hosiery in the last ten years then my legs were on the packaging. I thank my genetics for my long legs but I thank my Mom for something else too, the gift of dance. My Mom danced as a child and ran a successful dance studio for 42 years. I grew up dancing and ballet was my favorite. When people describe my legs they always say you must be a dancer. I believe that the years of dance, especially ballet training helped shape my legs. Ballet movements are all about creating length. I never liked the results I got when I did weights or cycling. I tend to bulk up fast and being a model I need to stay lean. Ballet, yoga, and pilates are my favorite for creating a long and lean, but strong legs too. Here I will share some basic ballet moves that you can do at home with a pair of socks and a wall or chair to hold on to. [caption id="attachment_150" align="alignnone" width="220"] First position[/caption] 1. Start in first position. Heels together, feet turned out. Only turn your feet out as far as it is comfortable, when you bend your knees they should be directly over your toes. Lift your body up, as you would imagine a ballerina would, draw your tailbone down, and lift through your quadriceps. Everything is lifted and tight. 2. Once you feel comfortable in first position. I want you to bend your knees slightly, don't let your heels lift of the floor. As you ( demi plie) bend your knees and continue to draw your tailbone down and wrap your inner thighs to your outer thighs and keep rotating out. Maintain your upper body straight and lifted through the chest. 3. Now you can try a (grande plie) by continuing to bend your knees all the way down, but refrain from sticking your butt out. Your whole upper body should be in one plane. Keep your heels together and resist from squatting or sitting, use your legs! Repeat a demi plie then grand plie. Then try it in second position, which you do by opening your legs about a foot and a half. [caption id="attachment_152" align="alignnone" width="259"] Tendu to the side[/caption] 4. Come back to first position and we are going to do "tendus", which means stretched or pulled in french. Keep your weight on your left foot and slowly slide your right foot forward leading with your heal, feeling every part of the floor. Resist the floor, then stretch your foot out completely until it is pointed and the legs are straight. Continue to do a "tendu" in each direction. Front, side, and back. Do 4 to 8 reps in each direction, on each leg. 5. Plie to releve, "releve" means to lift, so you will come up to the balls of your feet. Bend your knees, keeping your heels on the floor, then straighten your legs and come up to the balls of your feet "releve". Do 4 to 8 reps and try it in second position as well. Remember to keep your whole body lifted. Imitate how you think a ballerina would pose and your half way there! Long neck, shoulders down, lift through the abdomen, draw tailbone down, thighs lifted and feet pointed. Keep your body strong, but light as a feather. With each practice it will get easier and your body will start to transform. Let me know how your progress goes!