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Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again...
By messedame
On Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:05 PM

Hey guys, so I've been dancing jazz and ballet for about 6 months. I recently started tap two weeks ago, and I love it.

I may have gone a little too fast though. I've been very anxious to try the cool turns they do in tap, so I tried a regular single pirouette a few times and did it great.

Then today I did a small one and my tap shoe on the supporting leg slipped behind me and I fell, catching myself with my hands, mainly the left hand. My left wrist hurts very bad and is swollen and bruised.

This may sound dumb, but now I'm sort of scared to try a turn again in tap shoes...I don't want to give up though. Ugh. Idk.

(Btw I'm not as stupid as you may think, I learned to do a pirouette a month and a half ago and practice it a lot. But it was dumb for me to try in my house alone. Also I don't take any tap classes, I can't afford any more right now.)

4 Replies to Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again...

re: Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again... (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:57 AM
My best recommendation is to not try turns at home while your wrist still hurts, and to not try it again in tap shoes for a while, and to not try skills you haven't learned in class at home!

Get used to pirouettes in ballet/jazz shoes, which gives you more friction and more ability to correct mid-turn. The reduced friction of tap shoes amplifies each mistake in placement, so when you start to get off...you get off BIG. The fun part is that when you have your balance perfectly placed, you don't have friction holding you back from turning and turning and turning!

You'll get there, but always remember that enthusiasm (while wonderful) doesn't make up for training. You have to have training to do some of the eye-catching skills that many beginners are drawn to doing. Lots of dancers like the look of leaps that land rolling on the floor, but that's not a skill I teach in any beginning class. The best way to progress faster is to work on the skills presented to you. Once your teacher sees you doing those skills at a high level, then they'll present new skills. The worst thing you can do is think you are "DONE" with a step: I have tons of kids that don't level quickly because they think they are already doing the step "good enough" and don't want to refine it any more.
re: Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again...
By messedame
On Thu Nov 08, 2012 08:33 PM
Edited by messedame (253054) on 2012-11-08 20:34:41
Thank you for the advice, that is probably the best option.
re: Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again...
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:52 PM
I have fallen many times while TEACHING basic turns (it is so embarrassing, especially when all the students run over to see if you are okay). Fell doing just a toe/heel turn, fell doing maxi ford turns, flap double heels....I've fallen quite a bit.

Everyone falls! It's okay.
re: Fell hard practicing tap turns, scared to try again...
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 13, 2012 06:11 AM
I've fallen skating, skiing, attempting pirouettes, walking out my back door, walking down my front steps, walking across the floor at my bank -- what can I say? I've always had terrible balance.

Once as a teen when I fell of a horse for about the tenth time my riding instructor said, "It's a good thing you fall well." And I do. I'd had another riding instructor who, as a first step, taught us how to fall off a moving horse. You kick the stirrups free, put your arms around the horse's neck and slide off on the left (if you can manage that side), land on your shoulder and roll AWAY from the horse. We practiced this at a walk and a trot, not a gallop. and of course these gentle horses stopped dead still when they felt us go off. Even so, it stood me in good stead.

I've heard that in martial arts one of the first thinks a beginner learns is how to fall safely. Good idea.

So you could see if you can get an expert to teach you how to fall! That might help you regain self-confidence.

I must say, though, that although I've never had trouble getting back on a horse after taking a tumble, a fall after a pirouette always causes me to stiffen up and do much worse on turns for quite a while after that. It's a real setback! For me, the only solution is to be patient, try to relax, do simpler turns for a while and ease back into doing what I was practicing before.

If your wrist is bruised as well as swollen something might be broken or cracked as well as sprained. You need to get it X-Rayed.

And DON'T try turns until it has healed. Your body will make you freeze up for good reason -- this is no time to risk another fall! If you attempt turns with an injured, hurting wrist you will simply perpetuate and ingrain a pattern of freezing up every time you try a pirouette! Give it time.

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