Stretching. Why? When? How? 


Hey guys!!
So almost everyday I tend to get asked questions about stretching. Why? When? How? And so it goes on. In this blogpost I thought I would cover the main aspects of stretching. 

Stretching is important because it helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion). It assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look). Not to mention potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity as well as increase blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness

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I am naturally flexible and have never struggled with doing either of the splits, frog or the bridges. For a person that is naturally flexible and bendy, strength doesn’t come as easy whereas a person that is stiff and doesn’t stretch as easily, usually has stronger muscles- or easier to build strength.

When should you stretch? Although the flexible part comes naturally for me, I have stretched a lot & still do. Stretching after class is essential in order for your muscles to not get too tight or sore the day after working hard. When warming up, stretching is also important to get the muscles nice and warm; to be able to do even deeper pliés, bigger jumps, better adagio and amazing battements. The times in between all this may be hard to fit in stretching but believe me, if you want to see results; what you do outside class is just as important as how you preform in the actual dance class. If you know that you already are flexible enough- be careful not to spend too much time on this, instead focus on strengthening exercises in order to prevent injuries.

However, if you want to improve your flexibility you need to find time outside dance to stretch. Try to do it while doing other things, like reading, studying or watching TV. Make sure to hold each stretch that you’re doing for at least 30 seconds but no longer than 2 minutes. Remember to breath your way through it. Doing other things while stretching will make you focus on something else rather than the pain that the stretching is causing. Exactly how much pain you feel when stretching a certain muscle will vary, depending on how flexible you are. Some people will be in almost unbearable pain while others may not even feel something. Pain is okay to have unless it doesn’t stay for longer than some hours. If you find yourself having pain days after stretching, you should adapt your stretching to your body’s reaction, maybe rest some days and massage tensed areas.

How should you stretch? This is of course an extremely broad question and up to each and every individual to realise. If you are tying to manage the splits, put your focus on stretching the hips and the inside of your legs. Lay on your back and open your legs à la seconde, gently press your legs down to the floor with the help of your hands. You can also ask a friend to push your legs down the floor while you try to close them for 10 seconds, then relax. After being tensed like that your legs will go closer to the floor when relaxing, repeat this set 5 times. If you want to increase thoracic back flexibility you should combine doing the cobra stretch with back lifts.

I hope this post gave you some help when it comes to stretching. If you still have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments down below or write a direct message on Instagram @ moa.andreasson.

My next dance related blogpost will be all about how to prevent injuries from happening by building strength. 
Take care!! Xx 

Combining dance & school, how do we do it?

Should I stretch or study? Study or stretch? Haven’t we all been there? If I stretch I won’t have time to prepare my shoes or finish the English essay.. but if I finish the essay will I have time to go through today’s corrections from class…? 

As you might have guessed by now, this post is about combining dance and academics, how do we do it?

My top tip is a classic one: be organised. Being organised will not only help you knowing what you have to do; when and where, but planning and organisation are keys to manage a busy schedule. Use your phone, notebook, computer or any other device you feel comfortable with, to write down dues, goals and to do lists. I suggest you keep everything in the same book, device or planner. So that in your calendar, for instance, you mark your exam dates for school as well as upcoming important events for dance. Doing it this way will help you anticipate your work and you’ll stay organised.

I personally prefer using my phone the most. In the app notes (where I’m writing this blogpost this exact moment 11.05pm 17/6) I write everythingggg. Especially during busier days filled with homework, meetings and ballet&dance stuff. I write what I have to do and structure it so I know what’s more important vs not so important.

Another thing I do in order to manage combining ballet and homework is to multitask. I LIVE for multitasking. I used to prepare pointe shoes while watching documentaries for school on my computer and stretch at the same time. Try to squeeze in as many things at the same time without loosing control. Easier said than done but keep in mind that quality always wins over quantity in most cases, be careful not to try and manage too many things at the same time.

Lastly, I want to bring up the fact that you need to remember that you’re only human. Although dancers are very inhuman most of the time, don’t get ahead of yourself. Relaxing is just as important as rest is and vice versa. It’s all about balance.

So as a summery: always stay organised. Try to write down everything you need to do. Know what to prioritise. Try to multitask but on a fair level, don’t overwork yourself or plan overconfidently. Be realistic. Stretch while watching TV, fix shoes when commuting to school or dance. Study during breaks. If you’re a night person, take an extra hour in the night for things you need to get done by that day, or as a morning person (me) wake up earlier to finish work.

Take care!! 

Happy tears 

It’s been 8 months since I got the stress fracture in my back. 8 months on a roller coaster. Tears, laughs, pain, challenges, meeting new people, moving around, experiencing new things. 8 months of not knowing where to go or what to do are finally over. 

These past three days I’ve been taking class with the ninth graders at the Royal Swedish Baller school and yesterday a jury (consisting of all the teachers in the upper school) was watching me as I was participating in the class. The barre went really well, the center was good though I was deadly tired. The jumps were alright and pointe went OK. When the class was finished everyone went out including the teacher holding the class so that I could do my solo for the jury. After that they gave me feedback.

Long story short, they told me I was a beautiful dancer with a really good body and they were so happy to have me back again. Hearing that made me truly happy. My feedback was to apply the same various dynamics in ballet as I do in contemporary and to loosen up the upper body a bit. As this was an (informal?) audition they told me I am free to come after summer. Finally. Finally I have a guaranteed place. A ballet school and a life to look forward to.

I am SO happy and SO relived to finally know where to go and what to do in life. I am also SO happy that the teachers were that positive about me and they really meant what they said. It truly touched me.

I am healed. Body, heart, mind and soul. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for the support I’ve got from the many amazing people I’ve been surrounded with. I would never be able to get back to dancing without them. Physically and mentally support. Everything from physiotherapy in Delhi, to the many hours spent working out with my ballet friend, support from my family and an especially big thanks my mom. For never giving up fighting for me to be able to get back to dance. ❤

Happy tears are running down my cheeks as I write this. Is it a passion or addiction? Either way, it is what I want to do and so I will.

It’s been 8 months since I got the stress fracture in my back. 8 months on a roller coaster. Tears, laughs, pain, challenges, meeting new people, moving around, experiencing new things. 8 months of not knowing where to go or what to do are finally over.

Although I wish no one will have to go through what I did I am thankful for everything I’ve got to experience during these months. I’ve grown as a person and I am much stronger physically and mentally now. Not to mention the amazing friends I’ve made that I am sure I will stay in touch with my whole life.

I can assure you, as a normal person you will never understand this but going to a (normal) academic school as a dancer has been more than hard (like actually). How do I even act around a society consisting of people that are not wearing warmup boots let alone doing everything with the legs turned out nor see great potential in long corridors?! Corridors are for grand allegro and pirouettes. 

Lots of love xxx 

Workout, meaning hardly working or working hard? 

Hey guys!! 

I fell asleep before nine yesterday night and even managed sleeping until 6.30am when my alarm went off. Talking about being tired?? Oh well after managing getting out of bed, I got ready and we all head to school around an hour later. 

When at school I met with my friend and as the director of physical education denied us to use their huge (non used) studios we chose to go to her gym at her house instead. There we worked out for almost four hours, starting with floor barre- barre in pointe shoes, center and pirouettes. The barre went really well but the center wasn’t as good. It will be tomorrow though!! 

Tomorrow I will spend the whole morning working out with her, and the afternoon shopping with mom. 

It is so nice to be back in Delhi and the heat again. I’ve spent the evening out on the balcony, enjoying the view while watching series and doing some work as well. 

It’s only nine but I’m already tired, I will spend 45 minutes stretching before I can even think about going to bed. It’s been raining on and off throughout this day, which is really nice I have to admit. Humid but nice and just about 40 degrees, – perfect!! 

I hope you’ve had a good Monday, see youu 

Back update 

Holaaaa guys! 

Since I’ve got so many questions about this lately, here comes a back update.
As you may or may not know, just some weeks after my school start in Zurich, I was diagnosed with spondylolisis– a stress fracture in my lumber spine on the left side. This was very painful and not only had I a stress fracture but a stress reaction on the other side.

After months of rest and amazing physio treatment in Delhi, ft AktivOrtho, was I given confirmation from several doctors that I was healed. They compared the MRI results from October with the new ones- taken in February and saw major differences. Their conclusion and final statement were that I was healed.

Happily healed, back on track to work my way towards become a ballerina. 

Being healed obviously doesn’t mean you will never experience pain again, nor that you can stop building muscles around that area. Although I am healed I may feel some slight inconvenience in the lower back, when working hard. This doesn’t necessarily have to indicate that the injury is coming back, or that I’m not healed but a result of hard work with a body that is not 100% used to move in such movements due to the many months off hard training.

As I have been writing in previous posts, some weeks ago I felt this soreness in my back but as I kept going it disappeared after only some days. This always happens in different, other, parts of my body, and is especially common for dancers since they’re always working their bodies hard with almost no rest.

My present condition of my back is good. All good everything good. My ballet classes are going better and better and I can slowly feel my body getting back in shape. I work at least 2-3 hours everyday myself, in the gym. I try to run at least every other day, if not everyday (everything from 3k- 5k I’d say) and additionally continue with strength.

For exercising I put extra effort into working my core and to really engage the abdominals. It was probably due to lack of muscles in the back and core as well as over flexibility in the back that caused the injury. Other than that I obviously do back too, legs, inductors, feet, arms and so it goes on. 

In exactly two weeks I am having the uppdansning (mini exam) for the Royal Swedish Ballet school which I will go to next year. I am a bit nervous but more excited. Meaning, loads of hard work!!

Take care xo

Thursdayz

Hola guysss!! 

I am SO sorry for my extreme absence the past three days. Like always before, I do have school to blame on this…. 

Though I actually have some ballet news to tell you all about. So in exactly 20 days I will be having auditions for the ballet school I am attending next year. Not just that, I will also have to present a solo, performing a modern/contemporary piece. I already have a guaranteed spot at the school, but they will have to examine my dancing anyways, for obvious reasons. I am not that nervous for it all but looking forward to get more and more into dancing again.

I am currently training for about 3 hours everyday- trying to work harder and harder for each day passing by. I have already chosen music and started choreographing the solo. I asked my followers on instagram for music tips and oh my god, I got LOADS of suggestions and I am SO thankful for that, really. I won’t yet tell you what music I’ve chosen but you will of course see videos and photos during the process- sooner or later!

Fortunately, I will be in Delhi the week before the ‘auditions’ and this means that I will spend loads of hours with my ballet friend there. She has already promised we will try and work at least 4 hours a day. I am sure you can imagine how truly thankful I am… ❤

I really need to sleep now, I am literally exhausted- I’ve worked out very hard, done a lot of pointe work, ran in a running competition (my team won) and in addition to that I’ve had like four exams. I NEED WEEKEND.

Goodnight y’allll ❤
xoxo