Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Achievements

Ballet - Achievements
Turn improvement, and right back from an injury!
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 457, member since Tue Aug 28, 2012
On Fri Oct 03, 2014 05:08 PM

This week was my first week back to ballet after a mild (yet extremely aggravating) case of turf toe--a sprain of the joint where your big toe joins the foot. Now, footnotes on me, I have some pretty bad vision impairments that corrective lenses cannot fix (problems in optic nerves and retinas), and one result of that is that it's very hard for my eyes to focus. Spotting (and thus turning) is a challenge, and when I was starting out so was balancing--we use our eyes to balance, but I had to rely mostly on my strength and placement from the get go.

Anyway, I was expecting to come back from my injury being all awkward and sore, and then my teacher gave us this combination that was just fast pique and chaines turns across the floor. On a whim, I decided to take off my glasses even though I've never had them slip while dancing because I could still see a red blur where the "exit" sign is, and that was enough to spot. Well, I guess not having that fear of sending my glasses flying helped because both my teacher and one of my best dance friends said that was the best they've ever seen me do the traveling sort of turns, and in the straightest line!

Next class I tried the no glasses thing again, and when this teacher does a combo with a turn, unless we're specifically working on breaking down turns, she usually puts the turn at the very end so dancers who are capable of doing more can practice that without losing the music. We had a few combinations like this, and each time I managed to do a double. Some of them were ugly, but WOW, this time last year I was thinking that my disability was what held me back from doing more than a single.

Finally--sorry this got long, I don't get to talk about dance often--tomorrow I'll be trying to get back to pointe. Doc and teacher have given me the ok, and I've missed it!

1 Replies to Turn improvement, and right back from an injury!

re: Turn improvement, and right back from an injury!
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sat Oct 04, 2014 08:56 AM
Good for you!

From my experience a lot of people over think turns and they try to use far too small a spot. When I teach them I ask my dancers what they use to spot and some of the answers are interesting to say the least, chips in the paint, stickers, one kid even thought she was going to see a bump in the wall as she spun round.

I use A4 sized sheets of paper with pictures printed on them for my dancers to help them learn how to spot. In a theatre you have a red light bulb in the tech box or at the back of the auditorium so it's a brightish glow, like your exit sign. I look upon it this way, Alicia Alonso was one of the best ballerinas of her era and her turns were second to none, she was also registered blind, if she can do it, none of us has an excuse for not spotting properly :)