Forum: Irish / Irish

Drill Suggestions for Toe Stands and Quick Twitch?
By jlhaygoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Nov 28, 2013 09:41 AM

Hey guys,

I was out for almost a year being preggers, back four months now, and -- extension of being a tad busier these days -- haven't seen the gym or practice time to get my quick twitch muscle back yet. My whips (cuts), double pumps, bicycles, etc. just aren't pulling in &/or releasing quickly enough and I think I'm not engaging the right muscle group or something? Like, when I do a cut, I know proper form & can do it when asked, but mid-step I'm pulling up from the knee & getting this awkward half-hop instead.

Also, I used to be super confident of my toe stands & runs, but lately I feel like I'm going to break an ankle & usually don't have chutzpah to get up on them.

Does anyone know a few good drills to sharpen me up? I feel bad, TC always having to redesign her favorite steps because I haven't progressed...Please and thanks!!

3 Replies to Drill Suggestions for Toe Stands and Quick Twitch?

re: Drill Suggestions for Toe Stands and Quick Twitch?
By IrishLizzymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:45 AM
I had no idea you had a baby, congratulations!

As for getting back into dance, I would suggest doing things with proper technique slowly and then progressing faster and faster until you do them properly to the right speed. That way you can build muscle memory. I know it'll be a bit boring and it isn't a quick fix, but it will work.
re: Drill Suggestions for Toe Stands and Quick Twitch?
By boleyngrrl
On Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:39 AM
^Agreed. (Congratulations!!! :D) You basically have to retrain your muscles. Break down trebles into tips and then slowly build them into full slow trebles (think the beginning of St. Patrick's Day), then start running them together.

Start with just basic toe walks. A good drill is to put on some TJ music and do treble and hop toe toe toe toe toe continuously. Once you have those down, then move into the more complex drills. Think back to what you did as a novice or OPW dancer and pull those exercises, because that's what's going to help you get yourself back in shape. Drill before you put it into steps, it will help.

Be careful with your ankles. Don't push yourself too fast--better to take it slow and get everything back. Try rolling them before you start dancing to loosen them up--that might help a bit.

Good luck! :)
re: Drill Suggestions for Toe Stands and Quick Twitch?
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 01, 2013 06:45 PM
Edited by GannTheGlorious (253131) on 2013-12-01 18:46:56
I don't have toe stands in any of my Irish steps, but I do a lot of pointe for ballet, and I hope my suggestions can help. My ballet teacher has said many times that the intrinsic muscles in your feet and ankles (these are the ones where the whole muscle is contained in the foot) can lose strength very quickly--they're small muscles that don't get used much in everyday life, especially when you wear shoes! This is why most good ballet schools only allow students to dance en pointe when they're doing at least 3 technique classes a week.

Anyway, after a year off, I'm pretty sure feet and ankle strength is a BIG part of what's holding you back. Boleyngrrl's suggestion to take it slow is a good one, also work on getting strength back in your feet and ankles. I found this in the ballet pointe section (don't be discourage if your feet don't look like hers, her feet and ankles are EXTREMELY flexible)
www.dance.net . . .

I also recommend "doming," which is when you stand flat on your feet and pick up your arch, trying to pull your toes to your heel without curling your toes or giving yourself hammer toes. Theraband exercises are good too. Put the band so it goes under your ball of the foot and toes, pull it taught, slowly point and flex through it, slowly make circles.

Again, haven't done any toe work for Irish, but I've learned that balancing and feeling safe and secure on your toes is equal parts strength and correct placement. Since you used to be very confident and stable on your toes, I'm guessing it's the strength. Working on it can only help, Good luck.

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