Magazine article Pointe

Derek Dunn

Magazine article Pointe

Derek Dunn

Article excerpt

A new way of working: Derek Dunn may be known for his explosive jumps and strings of pirouettes, but the powerhouse dancer admits that he wasn't always working in the smartest way. When he developed hip issues last year, he was forced to shift from "giving 150 percent all the time" to a subtler approach. "I'd been muscling through everything and tucking and cranking." he says. "But I've realized that my energy can be used in a much more effective way."

The results: Through his sessions with Kerri Williams, a physical therapist and Gyrotonic trainer at Boston Ballet. Dunn says he's already noticed a huge difference. "I'm always mixing up the rep with classical and contemporary and putting my body into crazy positions. Doing Gyrotonic puts me back into alignment." His workouts focus on finding more space in his hips, recruiting smaller muscles, engaging his core and creating long lines as he moves. "It's really taken a load off my hips and legs."

Morning must-dos: Around the time he was promoted to principal, Dunn crafted a pre-class warm-up. echoing principles from his Gyro work. He starts each day with bridges to activate his gluteus medius, then abdominal work and an exercise for stability and turnout. After a side-lying series of clamshells and leg lifts, plus a hamstring strengthener. he caps off his routine with stretching.

For partnering work: "With my body type. I build muscle pretty quickly, but that's not always the goal," says Dunn. "I just want to make sure that I'm strong enough to support my partner. …

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