Forum: Irish / Irish

Back again, some advice please..
By IzzyIRISH
On Thu Dec 12, 2013 04:26 AM

Back again, I have been dancing for almost 2 months now ive come so far. I’ve learnt the reel, light jig and now hop jig (still practicing to get perfect)

I am back with some more questions to help me with my dancing. I am very grateful for everything you have helped me with!

My teacher says I will be learning my slip jig just before Christmas if I perfect my hop jig- The I will be on to heavy’s. I know this is going quick but I used to do Irish for a year plus I do other dances!

Question 1) when I do my jump 2,3’s how do I get height?
Question 2) my turn out isn’t very good at the moment and if I want to compete it will need to be – my left foot is the worst
Question 3) any tips for me when I am taught the slip jig
Question 4) should I buy socks for class? If so why is it important?
Question 5) (UK) for my first feis what should I wear- can I wear makeup? Tan? Eyelashes?
Question 6) (UK) what category I be in for under 17’s as I’ve just started?
7) tips on my hop/single jig

3 Replies to Back again, some advice please..

re: Back again, some advice please..
By IrishLizzymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Dec 12, 2013 06:53 AM
1) Bring your front leg up high and tuck the back leg quickly. It'll take some core work, too.

2) Turn out comes from the hip so work on rotating your hips, straight then out straight then out. Stretching your hips will help.

3) Slip jig is flowly, so think "graceful" when you're dancing it.

4) I've always worn poodle/bubble socks for class, it's personal preference. Some teachers also prefer their students to wear proper socks, so you may want to check with her/him.

5) I'm not from the UK, but do not wear fake eyelashes and fake tan. Wear minimal makeup and keep your whole look simple.

6) Again not in the UK, but you'd be in beginners, most likely an over category such as 12+ or 14+.

7) Be bouncy in your hop/single jig.
re: Back again, some advice please.. (karma: 2)
By boleyngrrl
On Thu Dec 12, 2013 05:08 PM
1. You're a beginner. You don't need to work on freezing your jumps yet, but height is always good. Right now, focus on getting your back leg all the way to your bum (pointed). It doesn't need to be quick because you shouldn't be trying to freeze yet, but it needs to get there to finish the jump. Focus on getting your front leg up straight. Push off your back foot hard to get height. Most of all, make sure you're taking off and landing with your legs straight, don't bend your knees. Focus on maintaining height on your toes.

2. Assuming you want stretches? The butterfly stretch is a great one. If you research yoga hip openers and start with beginner ones and work your way up as you improve that's a great way to open your hips. Here's a link to a few, but if you google beginning hip yoga exercises or something along those lines you should get a ton of results. Don't try to overdo it--hips can be pains in the butts sometimes. www.shape.com . . .

3. Slip jig is very fluid. Your reel should be sharp, but your slip jig should be flowy. Not saying to make it boring at all, just more flowy. Look up the mid-american oireachtas parade of champs--they do both SJ and Reel. You can compare them. I think New England may have done SJ too--check their parade as well. It'll give you a better idea of what it should be like.

4. Ask you teacher. If she/he has a dress code for class that involves poodle socks, then yes you definitely need them for class. Otherwise, just get a few pairs at your first feis or at a school sale and split them--keep one pair for competition (so it's nice) and split the others for class and practice. I know I like practicing in my socks in my shoes so that I know what the moves will feel like on a competition stage, but that's just a personal preference. When I was in novice my school's practice stage was in a leaky basement so I wore ski socks to practice. Not the best, but a lot better than messing with my muscles in a cold area.

5. I'm not in the UK, but as a general rule beginners shouldn't tan. There's no need. I would do a bit of natural makeup (so no eyelashes) if you want, but that's really a question you need to ask your teacher.

6. Definitely a teacher question. You'd be in a primary/beginner level. In Irish dance, age generally does not define where you start. Here's a good resource, if you haven't already taken a look. www.dance.net . . .

7. High on your toes. Point. Kick your bum. Stay on time and be sharp and bouncy. Look like you're having fun, but taking it seriously. Smile. Be confident.

Congratulations on coming so far so quickly--best of luck.
re: Back again, some advice please.. (karma: 1)
By Realtreble
On Fri Dec 13, 2013 07:53 AM
In general, you can divide Irish dance into two catagories, basic technique and polished technique. As a beginner, you want to nail basic technique before worrying about polish. Basic technique involves posture, still arms and good hand position, stamina, turn out, height on toes, rhythm, straight legs, good points and foot placement. Height, hang-time, fancier steps and syncopated rhythm fall into the catagory of polish.

Proper turn out is an important part of technique. Make certain your back and legs are well stretched and warmed up before dancing. Give your muscles the chance to be ready to turn out. To improve turn out, try adding temporary adhesive dots to your shoes just above your arches. When you dance in front of a mirror concentrate on being able to see those dots on both feet. Remember to turn out from the hips, not your knees. Warning: do not try this practice method if you have no mirror or it will teach you to look down, not ahead.

As you dance, try to keep all your movement in a direct vertical line from the floor up to your head. That will ensure good posture and straight legs. If you find that vertical line is being disrupted, you probably aren't doing a step correctly or performing a move beyond your natural range. For example, dancers who try to kick too high beyond their natural range will bend the knee of their supporting leg and often come down off their toes on the supporting leg. The leg being kicked may also be bent. For a beginner, it is better to do a lower kick on your toes, with both legs in their proper position.

There's a reason a huge percentage of a ballerina's work out is spent stretching and working at the bar. Range, balance and core are better increased before working on steps not while performing them.

Your progress is very impressive. Building a strong foundation in technique will help you keep improving.

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