Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Upper back - muscular fatigue and ballet update

Ballet was generally good last night. It was a very basic class, but a good one for the New Year. I found that I was coping significantly better with all demi-pointe work balances and that control from the pelvis and below is much improved, which tallies also with the improvement in my speed of walking. This is related to hip and abdominal work and significant hamstring and adductors (which are still on strike) work.

What is presently extremely difficult is the control of my arm in second. Whilst it has historically never been good, and I do have hypermobility of both the shoulders and elbows to control, I have never really used my back muscles adequately to get stability. At the moment the muscles, which I am working to strengthen are just fatiguing extremely quickly, so second position feels very hard work. In fifth position, even worse things are happening owing to contracture of my upper traps and neck muscles, so it looks like I have been hung up to dry!

The ports de bras we had to do in ballet was extremely easy and only required going through arm positions, including fourth arabesque. Well! Half way through the mark-through, my upper back went into major spasm and fatigue. It felt like a solid board. In the end I couldn't perform the exercise at all as everything had just gone into seizure. I resumed a place at the side of the studio to watch the other dancers and hoped it would pass. We then did pirouettes where the stiffness and fatigued muscular strength proved to be an asset and I did some of the best pirouette balances on the demie-pointe and a double pirouette quite well. This never happens. I am quite excited about the prospect of being able to do good pirouettes as they have never been my thing - but I think that is because I have had absolutely no muscular strength in my back to use to support my arms, let alone a swift head-action. I will wait excitedly to see how this improves over time.

I am shortly off to physio - so will see what new exercises I get!

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