Forum: Highland / Highland - National

Highland - National
Flora - Balance!
By LunaNyteskye Comments: 61, member since Sun Jul 29, 2012
On Thu Jan 17, 2013 02:54 AM
Edited by LunaNyteskye (252293) on 2013-01-17 02:55:05


I'm looking for some tips on how to improve my daughter's balance as she is really struggling with the Flora. She knows the dance, and dances it quite well, apart from losing her balance slightly when she's not hopping.

This is the first time we've really come across a problem that isn't cured by simply practicing the steps. So any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for looking.

8 Replies to Flora - Balance!

re: Flora - Balance!
By kinsidhe Comments: 248, member since Fri May 14, 2010
On Thu Jan 17, 2013 08:02 AM
Edited by kinsidhe (222831) on 2013-01-17 08:05:38 adding a thought.

I found balance tricky in the Flora as well. Now I am not a teacher nor even a very experienced dancer but maybe some of this will help your daughter. One of the things that makes the Flora a bit different is the first dance we learn where our arms held in one position through the dance so we can't use them in the same way to counter balance extended legs like we can in say the Lilt, fling, Sean Triubhas etc. It really takes a lot of control and support in the smaller muscles of the ankles and feet. Core strength and control is also important. I would recommend having your daughter try doing some series of releves-that is slowly rising up on her toes and then slowly lowering her heels again. Making sure to keep as smooth a movement as possible and working to control her balance all the way up and all the way down. Try this with her feet parallel as well as in first. Holding onto something at first and then without holding on. Two feet together and then one foot at a time. Knees straight and knees slightly bent. With working foot held close say in 3rd aerial or with working foot extended. Each position will change slightly how and what muscles she'll be using and will help strengthen them all and give her better control. No need to overwork but doing a few to several every day or every other day should help her be able to hold her balance. and of course the usual making sure she is looking up and holding her center. I am notorious for looking slightly down to see my feet! never helps with balance. :).

Oh yes, these are the kinds of exercises I tend to do while waiting in line, watching TV, waiting for the water boil etc. It all adds up.

Hope this helps and best of luck!
re: Flora - Balance!
By CompactDiscomember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1076, member since Fri Aug 29, 2008
On Thu Jan 17, 2013 03:09 PM
Have her stand on the ball of one foot when standing in lines etc. with her knee bent. The more she does that the more comfortable the position becomes. Also, is she bending her supporting knee much? That might help if she isn't.
re: Flora - Balance!
By meghanbold Comments: 71, member since Sun Oct 29, 2006
On Tue Jan 22, 2013 04:31 AM
It's all about bending the supporting knee. I make students stand with their working foot out to the corner (4th int Ariel) with their supporting heel up and their supporting knee bent and I make them see who can hold it the longest. She can practice this holding onto a barre or chair a then work to doing it without it.

Goo luck!
re: Flora - Balance!
By LunaNyteskye Comments: 61, member since Sun Jul 29, 2012
On Tue Jan 22, 2013 09:27 AM
Thank you for your suggestions. I will have her try them out!
re: Flora - Balance!
By puddinsmom Comments: 22, member since Sun Aug 08, 2010
On Sun Feb 24, 2013 03:22 PM
The core is also super important. Strengthening her core will help with balance in all dances, as well as the flora.
re: Flora - Balance!
By scottish_spirit Comments: 75, member since Tue Oct 30, 2007
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 05:27 PM
I am a dance teacher who has recently started teaching some of my dancers the flora and I have also found that the biggest contributor to bad balance in this dance is not having arm positions and bad upper body posture. I do also agree with the above posts about practicing standing on one foot with knees bent holding on to something and then not, but this will only help you so far.

Once of my dance teachers used to tie a meter stick to my back to make me stand up straighter and fix my horrible posture, and although this is a bit extreme (I was an older dancer by this point) there are certain things you can do to fix posture.

Make sure your daughter dances with her shoulders back, chin high. Tell her to try and make the top of her head touch your hand as you hold it an inch or two above her head without jumping and doing those tricky non-hoping movements. The sooner her upper body is straightened up, the less balance problems she will have in all of her dancing and the easier the dancing becomes.
re: Flora - Balance! (karma: 1)
By HighlandLaura Comments: 32, member since Mon Aug 13, 2012
On Fri Mar 22, 2013 03:01 PM
I too have found that my balance in the Flora hinged on my core. A dance teacher at a workshop once told me to imagine my belly button as a person getting into an elevator. She gets in the elevator (suck it in), the doors close (tighten the sides of your waist in), and the elevator goes up (lift your rib cage). Hope that makes sense without a visual! :) It really makes a difference.
re: Flora - Balance!
By sew_what Comments: 113, member since Mon Mar 18, 2013
On Fri Apr 12, 2013 02:43 AM
Thank you all for your excellent tips. Daughter just about to learn the flora and we will start the exercises before she even gets there so that she can improve her balance. She is a cheerleader though and has to stand on top of people with her leg stretched out above her head and then change positions so balance is probably ok