Forum: Irish / Irish - Technique & Training

using arms
By CelticFeet392
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 03:51 AM

I have to make up a solo reel routine, kind of like "Gypsy" from Lord of the Dance only with more footwork. Trouble is, it's almost physically impossible for me to move my upper body AND dance at the same time! Got any tips?

5 Replies to using arms

re: using arms
By Aeldao
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 06:48 AM
I had the same problem for my first show solo.
I'd advice to break down the steps AND the arms, both together, slowly, then speed it up little by little, as you have to work on the "armwork" as hard as you work on the feet.
re: using arms
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 09:10 AM
Practice in front of a mirror too. Sometimes it feels right or you think you have a movement but it turns out it looks awful.

Any chance you could do a few ballet classes? That would really help with arms
re: using arms
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:27 AM
Choreograph the footwork first, with no arms. When you're happy with it and can do it without thinking, start freestyling your arm movements when you practice it. You'll soon find out what feels right and what works - and what doesn't. I wouldn't recommend choreographing both at the same time since you're not used to it. I've spoken to a couple of people who dance in shows and most of them only have a very short amount of choreographed arm movements anyway - they'll be like, I HAVE to do this particular arm raise or hand flick during that rock and that jump,but then they freestyle the rest of it. It's just a case of building up the confidence and repertoire to not have to worry about your arms.
re: using arms
By Cinnawiz
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 03:17 PM
I'm sorry, I don't have anything to suggest. But I just wanted to say that I'm so happy that I'm not the only one who can't dance with their arms!!! :D
re: using arms
By AinetheDragonPremium member
On Thu Oct 18, 2012 05:50 PM
I have the opposite advice to Louise... sort of, but I think her advice is equally good, just wouldnt work for me.

I would choreograph in some sections with arms, that have less dancing, or more simple dancing, and more arm stuff. Then really practice the moves together, so that the arm and foot movements connect. You might have to fiddle with it a bit, to get the moves to easily connect with the footwork. Don't worry if you can't get your arms to do x move while your feet do y move, just shift the arm movement around till it works.

Basically, I'd choreograph a dance with several short sections that are super-easy footwork-wise, and make up arms for that. Then do the rest of the dance as normal but place hands on hips from x arm movement section to y arm movement section, and let them fall loose for a bit etc.

I guess you end up with the same thing, but thats how I, with my infinitely uncoordinated self, would work it out. I don't really freestyle well, but I guess you could say that choreographing something and then pretending my mistakes were just a change of choreography is freestyling... sort of. ;-P

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