Repertory Dance Theatre

Welcome to RDT’s series of posts for teachers who want to include movement/dance in their classrooms. Feel free to take a look at the previous posts here, under Lesson of the Month section. Our goal is to inspire teachers to use simple dance moves with their students to help them get to know each other as the school year starts. 

We hope to encourage creativity and lead teachers to take the lesson plans to many levels. We also want to encourage you to share your results with us! Please post comments, videos, new ideas based on the original plan, etc. You can post at the hashtag #RDTlessonplanofthemonth.

Also, please feel free to provide feedback and make suggestions below in the forum. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if you would like to post pictures or videos of your work with students.

Ankle Strengthening and Stability

by Lauren Curley

These exercises are great simple additions to add into a stretch and conditioning warm ups. They can also be added into a prance or tendu combination.

Exercise 1: Stand with your feet hips width apart (heels underneath sitting bones). Draw the heel of your right foot back towards your sitting bone, keeping hips level with one another. Bend your left knee, being careful to keep your knee tracking over the center line of the foot and lengthen back out. Do at least four reps on one leg before switching to the other. Once students get accustomed to staying stable you can add a forward curve on the plie and roll back upright on the stretch. Arms should stay down by the sides the entire time.

Exercise 2: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet planted in line with your sitting bones, arms spread out in line with your shoulders. Release your right foot out with a pointed toe and stretched leg. Begin to lift the leg up while peeling the toes back. Bend the knee towards the chest and flex your foot fully. Reverse you motion, pressing forward leading with the ball of your foot (ankle is extended). Pointe your toes and lengthen out your leg fully. Bend the knee and keep the toes curled as you flex your ankle, finishing by flexing the foot all the way out. Repeat five to ten times.

Exercise 3: This exercise can be done sitting on the ground with a theraband if your dancers have them, or a variation of it can be done standing holding onto a barre or wall.

Sitting: Wrap the theraband around the ball of one foot so that a portion of it covers the toes. Pointe your foot and slowly bring the foot into a sickled position. Reverse your motion and wing the foot. Transition slowly back and forth between the two positions for five to ten reps before switching sides.

Standing: Face the barre or wall with your feet parallel and hips width apart. Rise up as high as you can on the balls of your feet. Rock both ankles over to the right while still keeping the weight spread across the balls of your feet, then slowly rock the ankles over to the left. Go back and forth slowly for a 10 to 20 sets.

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