As part of their health partnership with Graham’s The Family Dairy, Scottish Ballet and Graham’s have developed a series of short, easy-to-follow videos for their website offering guidance on how to stretch key muscle groups and tone up. The three ‘Ballet Bites’ videos, focusing on different parts of the body, will be available on www.grahamsfamilydairy.com from 28th June onwards.
With a special focus on encouraging some movement for those of us desk-bound all day, these short two-minute videos can work wonders for posture and health, highlighting the importance of remaining active.
The moves can also help avoid common health gripes like tightness around the shoulders and lower back pain, and when done in quick succession, can even double up as a miniature workout.
The Ballet Bites videos feature two of Scottish Ballet’s dancers, Aisling Brangan, 23 from Ireland, and Evan Loudon, 22 from Australia, who guide viewers through various stretches to encourage flexibility and demonstrate just how simple the moves can be.
Oliver Rydout, Rehearsal Director of Scottish Ballet and Instructor for Ballet Bites: “Lots of people tend to be quite inactive at work, especially those based at a desk. It’s easy to work for long periods of time and remain static, forgetting about your posture and how this can affect you. It’s worth remembering that bodies are like machines, they need to be well oiled and kept moving so doing some quick exercises can make all the difference.
“Simple exercises such as these don’t require the flexibility of a ballet dancer, and are what I like to call ‘physical insurance for the future’ – as keeping your muscles stretched and engaged will benefit you in the long term.”
Carol Graham, Marketing Director of Graham’s The Family Dairy: “We value highly our relationship with Scottish Ballet and are delighted that their dancers and Rehearsal Director have taken the time out of their busy schedules to create ‘Ballet Bites’, a truly accessible series of videos for anyone who wants to stretch out after a long day at work. The stretches are fantastic and, whilst we won’t all look like ballet dancers whilst doing them, the effect is tremendous. These simple stretches can also easily be done in the office, giving you a much needed break from slouching over your desk.”
Neck and Trapezius Stretch
Stand with feet hip width apart, and lift your right arm, reaching over your head to your left ear. Inhale then exhale gently pulling the head to over to one side, ensuring your back is straight and core is engaged. Inhale then exhale again and increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, before returning back to the centre, and repeating on the other side. This can be repeated 3 or 4 times.
Using a chair or a wall for balance, lift your right foot behind you with your right hand. Keeping the knees together, gently pull the foot towards your bottom. Keep your back straight and core engaged, and it’s important that you don’t force this stretch – stop at wherever feels comfortable for you, and stretch the thigh slowly, holding the pose for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
Stand with feet hip width apart and lift your left arm straight ahead, placing your right forearm above the elbow. Keeping the left arm straight, use your right forearm to pull your left arm across your body. Ensure your back is straight and keep your shoulders relaxed and square to the front – stretching your shoulder cuff, tricep and scapula (shoulder blade). Hold for 20-30 seconds before repeating with the other arm.
Standing straight, lift your right arm above your head. Moving at the waist and looking to left, gently bend sideways to the left, reaching with the arm that is extended. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, this stretch will engage your entire upper body. Hold the post for 10-20 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Standing straight with feet hip width apart, raise both arms above the head, interlace the fingers and place on top of your head. Keeping the back straight and core engaged, use the weight of your head to bend to one side. Ensure that you keep the elbows wide, i.e. pointing out sideways – this will stretch the neck, shoulders, ribcage and sides of the body. Hold for 10 – 20 seconds and then return to the upright position. Repeat on the other side.
The Ballet Bite videos will be uploaded weekly to the Graham’s website from 28th June.
For further information, please contact Wire Media:
- Eva Cook firstname.lastname@example.org, 0207 255 6143 / 07745 215 777
- Caroline Docherty email@example.com, 0141 648 9612 / 07593 247 767
Notes to Editors
- Photos show Aisling Brangan, 23, artist at Scottish Ballet.
- Photo Credit: Julie Howden
- Meet the dancers:
- Aisling Brangan, 23, Kildare, Ireland. Artist at Scottish Ballet.
- Has performed in Scottish Ballet productions including: Elite Syncopations by Kenneth MacMillan, Hansel & Gretel by Christopher Hampson, Cinderella by Christopher Hampson, Romeo & Juliet by Krzysztof Pastor, The Nutcracker by Peter Darrell, A Streetcar Named Desire by Annabelle Lopez/Ochoa
- Notable roles: The Tall Stepsister in Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella by Christopher Hampson (Winter 2015/16)
- Evan Loudon, 22, Sydney, Australia. Artist at Scottish Ballet.
- Has performed in Scottish Ballet productions including: Elite Syncopations by Kenneth MacMillan, Hansel & Gretel by Christopher Hampson, Cinderella by Christopher Hampson, Romeo & Juliet by Krzysztof Pastor, The Nutcracker by Peter Darrell, A Streetcar Named Desire by Annabelle Lopez/Ochoa, The Crucible by Helen Pickett and Jealousy by James Cousins.
- Notable roles: The Prince in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker by Scottish Ballet (Winter 2014/15) and The Prince in Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella by Christopher Hampson (Winter 2015/16).
About Graham’s Family Dairy
- Graham’s The Family Dairy is based in the heart of Scotland, producing an award-winning, home-grown range of the highest quality food and drink, including milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice-cream, cottage cheese, quark, sour cream and yogurt.
- Established for more than 76 years, Graham’s remains a family-run company with a focus on farming, provenance, high quality produce and a quest to promote the best of Scotland’s larder throughout the country.
- The spreadable butter market is in growth – it accounts for approx 70% of Scotland’s total butter sales – with Graham’s spreadable butter taking the lead; it is now Scotland’s fastest growing brand, up 76% year-on-year.
- Graham’s recently invested £1 million at their dairy at Aithrey Kerse Farm in Bridge of Allan, allowing the company to increase spreadable butter capacity, create more flexibility in production and keep up with growth in demand.
About Scottish Ballet
Founded in 1969, Scottish Ballet is Scotland’s National Dance Company with strong classical technique at the root of all its work. This includes new versions of classic titles, as well as seminal modern works from 20th century choreographers, signature pieces by living choreographers, new commissions for revered contemporary choreographers and full-length story ballets re-imagined with fresh relevance for a contemporary audience, creating a unique artistic identity.