Forum: Highland / Highland - Adult Dancers

Flinging all over the place....
By kinsidhe
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 07:56 AM

Hi!

I am hoping for thoughts, advice, words of encouragement, faerie dust..what ever is out there! I'm a novice dancer and have been dancing about a year and a half ( no previous dance training). I am really struggling with the Fling. I am still jumping all over the place. Does anyone have any ideas on how to work on staying on spot? My turns are particularly bad. But even in my steps without turns I am traveling quite a bit.Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

6 Replies to Flinging all over the place....

re: Flinging all over the place....
By LingScot
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:15 AM
A lot of people use "dance spots" or other similar kinds of devices to mark where you're supposed to hop. This helps you mentally know where you're supposed to be and exactly when you lose it. I actually prefer to use the reverse, if you have access to it: if you have three exercise mats (or towels or something similar) available in your practice space, put them in a triangular formation with a space in the middle of the triangle. Overlap the mats so that the space is pretty small (about the size of a dance spot). Then, when you practice the fling, you're dancing on your regular (hopefully wooden!) surface, but can easily feel when you move by feeling the softer surface of the mat. I like this better than the dance spots because the spots are an unusual surface to dance on and can sometimes slide around themselves. (As a bonus, you can also easily tell if you've got too much weight on your points in second position -- if the mats start moving around when you go from second to third aerial, you know something's wrong! Towels tend to move really easily, though, so if you have mats, I'd use those instead.)

As for HOW to actually stay on the spot: I'd recommend focusing on your core stability. If you're moving a lot on the turns, try to notice exactly which way you move and which parts are not lined up on top of one another (e.g., whether your shoulders are off-center from your hips). Try to keep everything in line; it may feel like you're moving things in the OPPOSITE direction of how they are going now. Also, try to focus on fixing things during one count at a time (e.g., "I'm going to stay right on the spot on the second count of the turn!") and keep doing it until you have that part right; then add other counts, rather than trying to fix it all at once.

Good luck!
re: Flinging all over the place....
By kinsidhe
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:30 AM
Thanks LingScot! Your ideas are brilliant! I feel like I have something concrete to try and cant wait to give it a go. Thank you for taking the time to respond with your ideas.

cheers!
re: Flinging all over the place....
By TamrasMom
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 01:28 PM
My physiotherapist is helping me build my core stability due to an unstable back that I've been suffering from for a number of years (apparently). She has given me exercises that help me to jump on the spot. First, hold both feet together at the ankle and bounce... eventually building this to a jump while keeping the stomach sucked in (imagine a string through your belly button being pulled through your back) and butt tucked under and shoulders back. This exercise can then be done (once you've established the ability to jump on the spot with your feet together) by adding a tennis ball between the ankles and performing the same thing. She is moving me in the direction of using the tennis ball in the shedding position and will get me turning (once I have established some form of balance on the on the spot jumping ;o).

Good luck!
re: Flinging all over the place....
By carolync
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 07:06 PM
I love LingScot's suggestions and have one more to add. I had a particularly difficult time staying in place on fling turns. For those, I would practice only the supporting foot at first (just keep the working foot off the ground). Taking out the shedding movement helped me focus on hopping straight up and down and making sure I faced front, corner, corner, front (or back, side, front). As LingScot says, think about your core. Once you're able to do that in place, add back in the shedding movement, but start by pointing count 1 to 2nd aerial low instead of to 2nd. Make sure you can still get all the way around and are still hopping straight up and down. Finally, go back to regular turns.
re: Flinging all over the place....
By MollyMac
On Tue Sep 13, 2011 09:18 PM
As my dance teacher would stay "Just... stop!!!"

Part of the way she broke my spirit and fixed my fling was by making me find three parallel points of vertical reference. Think The left corner for 2nd pos. facing to the left, the door jamb for first position, and the right corner for 2nd pos. right.

Practice jumping in first while facing front, the door jamb, 1st pos. vertical line. Do 8 jumps to establish that you can stay in place. Do 4 sheddings facing right, then 4 to the left. With each set, keep your core tight and your head in 2nd, with your eyes on the vertical line "guide". This establishes that you can stay in place on a constant shedding and just do the "up-down" without the travel in-between.

Them try shed right, left, right, left, getting your head to that 2nd position vertical "guide" and keeping your core tight.

With the turns, she makes me do them painfully slow to develop control of my body and knowledge of where I am. 1 - hold- 2- hold- 3- hold -4... it forces balance to improve, knowledge of where you develop muscle memory in the turn to improve and helped me stay on one spot a little better.

a lot of the travelling with hopping is indicative of using a lot of knee.foot and not a lot of elevation from the ball of the foot and glutes. Try using the barre to work on hops and springs using your glutes and less "foot" to develop strength.

This actually helped me. I am a premier, and before I compete, I will warm up onstange and scout my three vertical references as reminders.
re: Flinging all over the place....
By kinsidhe
On Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:13 AM
Thanks Everyone! It's so great to have so many ideas to work with. I feel armed with good stuff and, extra bonus, I can rotate through them to avoid burnout. You are all the best!

TamrasMom-When you are jumping with your ankles together are your feet parallel or turned out?

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