Forum: General / Jazz / Lyrical

how can I have a good center?
By Dancing_cutie05member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:34 AM

Hi!
I really have a hard time with turns. But I don't get why because my stomach is really hard and muscular, I do over a 100 crunches everyday and I keep my stomach in when I turn, and I'm still not good at it.Other girls in my class don't have the abs that I have and they can turn really good.How do I get a good center? Spotting is notmy problem because I'm good at it. It's just that I have a hard time staying in balance when I turn.

7 Replies to how can I have a good center?

re: how can I have a good center?
By Sumayah
On Wed Apr 08, 2009 08:16 AM
There may be other things going on. If you're rocking to the outside of your releve (sickling) that can throw off your balance. If you're dropping your arms (one or both) that can affect your center. If you're not lifting your hips up and attaching your passe beside your knee it can throw you off. Practice just doing a releve passe balance and look at it from the front and from the side. Is one side of your body collapsing in the balance? That'll throw you off. Find the shape in the balance you want in the turn and then work on finding those points when you turn. Start with a single and then start to increase the spot as you feel that strong position in the turn.
re: how can I have a good center? (karma: 1)
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:11 PM
Sumayah gave a great answer about so many of the things that can throw you off your center. The only thing I have to add is finding your center in the first place. Your core is not the same thing as your center, though having strong abs certainly is necessary for the muscular control necessary to keep you centered.

I was confused for a long time because people talked about this mystic "center" one had to find until I realized they were talking about different things. There is an emotional "center" which is a state of being very focused. There's a common sense "center", living a balanced life. There's also a spiritual center. Those are all good things. But what you're looking for is the center of a body's mass and its center of gravity from the standpoint of physics. Consider something in the shape of the letter "F". If its arms are made of lead while the back and foot are made of styrofoam, those arms are too heavy and it will fall over, forward. Unless, of course, it is capable of leaning backward so that enough of the weight is over the foot. Now consider the letter "C". It might fall backward and rock on its back if too much weight is in that back. On the other hand, if a lot of weight is at the front of the top and bottom curve, it might be able to balance on the center of that bottom curve.

Try making a "C" with your body by standing on one foot with your other foot raised in front of you and your arms out in front. You'll notice that your center of gravity is over your standing foot. It is also outside of your body, in the air in the middle of that "C". Yes, your center can be outside of you!

Now try making a "Y" by standing in first on releve with your arms up. To make it more of a challenge have those arms in ballet first. Of course your center is inside you this time. You'll find that it is impossible to stay pinpointed on an exact spot. You'll waver a bit to the left and correct. You'll waver a bit to the right and correct. Ditto forward and backward. If you waver beyond the point that your muscles have the strength to correct then you'll lose your balance and fall over. You need to feel the area within which which you have the ability to correct and that is your "center" for all practical purposes. Slow motion movies of expert dancers doing multiple pirouettes show that they are constantly making small corrections in order to stay in that center just as they would be if they were standing still on one foot in releve retire. Chances are you are "losing it" with one or more of the problems Sumayah mentioned and need to correct faster.

Of course your center is constantly changing as you move into different shapes. Just for awareness, see if you can feel where it is in arabesque, in the beginning, middle and end of a leap, etc.
re: how can I have a good center?
By dancetoexpressmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 08, 2009 07:24 PM
Wow, awesome answer toroandbruin. This is really helpful and you made some great metaphors. Thanks!
re: how can I have a good center?
By rachieluvsdance
On Fri Apr 17, 2009 02:17 PM
Doing lots of Ballet technique can help your core. Just try standing in Ballet 'Neutral' all the time. (with your stomach pulled up). Hope it helped. :)
re: how can I have a good center?
By NickfromDvaldamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:13 PM
Toroandbruin gave some excellent advice. However, I'm just going to add something about core vs. abs. I noticed this when I partner girls doing pirouettes en pointe. You can have the strongest abs in the world, but the muscles referred to as your core make a sort of band all the way around your midsection. You're most likely crunching your abs too tight without countering via the use of your rhomboids and your latissimus dorsi (and any other back muscles you can think of). When you do this, your torso collapses a bit, which is the exact opposite of what you want. You want to keep your stomach muscles tight, but lengthen the back using other "core" muscles.
re: how can I have a good center?
By imadanseurPremium member
On Sat Apr 18, 2009 07:08 AM
Your "core" is made up of your side and especially your back muscles that hold you up evenly. If your back is not as strong as your abs then what is holding your spine?

I think in addition to what some of the other people have already said you should concentrate on doing core exercises rather than just crunches. Crunches are building up only one small area of your body. Google search core exercises and you'll find a bunch.
re: how can I have a good center?
By xcaj
On Tue Jun 02, 2009 05:20 PM
Im not the best turner either but what really helps me is not thinking about the turns but thinking about going up. But remeber if your kneew doesnt feel locked your not straightening it and that will make you fall out and worse bad ankle injuries.

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