Forum: Ballet / Pointe - Beginners

contortion on pointe
By GummieBear
On Fri Aug 10, 2012 01:12 PM
Edited by GummieBear (252657) on 2012-08-10 13:18:13 a mistake

I'm currently working on a performance at home with which i do contortion on pointe. Although its a bit to extreme for me considering i A) don't have flexibility and B) don't have pointe shoes. BUT, its a goal i am setting and i should have it accomplished in about four to five years......(who said you can't dream big!)Then i will post it on youtube, i just started working on this last year. Its a work in progress.




FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND SET GOALS
*GummieBear*

17 Replies to contortion on pointe

re: contortion on pointe
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Aug 10, 2012 01:28 PM
Edited by AlwaysOnStage (90901) on 2012-08-10 13:39:48
PLEASE do not work on the dance itself, first. Work on flexibility and ballet (to get to pointe) first, and when you have the ABILITY you'll put together the performance. You can really hurt yourself if you try to do contortion by yourself before you get the flexibility. You need the foundation set to get the awesome end result!

But YES, big goals are awesome, and this is a great goal that you can work on. I'm excited to hear about your progress to flexibility and in ballet class! There's a whole board on DDN dedicated to stretching if you ever need ideas or help, and as you progress towards point the ballet dancers here would love to hear about it!
re: contortion on pointe
By GummieBear
On Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:13 PM
Thanks for the support and for the concern. For flexibility I have saved several videos from youtube on contortion, and I am taking as many ballet classes as I can to get to the pointe shoes!
At first I was scared of sharing this goal with anyone because I thought I would be told that its impossible and that I wouldn't be able to do it because of age. But I would never give up on my dreams and goals!

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND SET GOALS
*GummieBear*
re: contortion on pointe
By greenpumpkinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:06 AM
You don't learn ballet by watching videos, but rather by studying with experienced dancers. Is contortion any different? If this is your goal, I would suggest you go study with a contortionist, as well as continuing your ballet training.
re: contortion on pointe
By GummieBear
On Mon Aug 27, 2012 02:23 PM
Edited by GummieBear (252657) on 2012-08-27 14:25:33 forgot to put signature
Its not that simple, the closest contortion instructor lives 5 to 6 hours away!!!!! I can't find anyone closer.....so I decided to watch videos and online video chats with my cousin who does contortion.



FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND SET GOALS
*GummieBear*
re: contortion on pointe
By GothyBallerina
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 07:37 PM
Definitely do lots of yoga. I'm a little bit interested in contortion myself actually although I haven't actually mastered any moves. I would mostly recommend regular hamstring stretches and back stretches (cat/cow is a good basic for your back) as those are stretched most often in contortion. Are there any particular poses you would like to master? That's the first step, then find basic beginning stretches to work on that particular pose.

And as far as instructors, contortion is more like trying to do the splits than it is like dance. You can stretch at home to work up to doing the splits as long as you're educated enough to know the do's and don'ts. Online advice from other contortionists should be fine, or even general stretching advice on here.
re: contortion on pointe
By hummingbird
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 08:49 PM
GothyBallerina wrote:


And as far as instructors, contortion is more like trying to do the splits than it is like dance. You can stretch at home to work up to doing the splits as long as you're educated enough to know the do's and don'ts. Online advice from other contortionists should be fine, or even general stretching advice on here.


Seriously?

There's a lot more to contortion than doing the splits and it is most definitely not a safe thing to teach yourself!
re: contortion on pointe
By GothyBallerina
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 09:07 PM
I'm thinking more the beginner stunts though, since the OP was saying she doesn't have flexibility.
Like, for putting your foot behind your head or something(random example) you would mostly have to stretch the outside part of your upper leg. You're not supposed to just shove the darn thing over your head, you do basic stretches that stretch that part of your body and when those stretches feel really easy you'd slowly pull your foot up to your neck and when the you could feel the stretch you wait and hold it. When you were at the point you thought you could actually put it behind your head, that's when you get someone there to help you and make sure you don't kill yourself when you try it full on for the first time. More advanced stuff you'd have to get a good teacher for you right from the beginning. I'm just saying for beginning poses and things it's not really necessary to have someone right there until you're actually about to try the stunt. I should have specified better I think, but I hope this sounds better.
re: contortion on pointe
By hummingbird
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 09:23 PM
GothyBallerina wrote:

I'm just saying for beginning poses and things it's not really necessary to have someone right there until you're actually about to try the stunt.


No, body alignment isn't needed at all for acro and contortion is it?

It's very important to be spotted into and out of tricks, especially if you're a beginner and even more so if you want to try these things whilst en pointe!
re: contortion on pointe
By GothyBallerina
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 09:37 PM
Okay, well I was thinking more of just poses than doing them as part of the routine. You would need someone professional there when you're incorporating the poses into tricks and dances and things, but I'll also say that all I know about contortion is from online so I could be wrong I suppose. It seems to me though, to get the actual poses you wouldn't necessarily need help as long as your stretching safely, doing more than just the initial pose you'd need help with body alignment and such like you said. This website has a lot of info: community.simplycircus.com . . .
You seem pretty upset so I'm sorry :/ And I really would not want anyone to injure themselves so like I said before I could be wrong and the OP should look into this more than just my comments before starting anything.
re: contortion on pointe
By hummingbird
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:05 PM
I'm not upset, I am just trying to understand how anyone can encourage a person teach themselves a routine that involves contortion and pointe without an instructor.

That is what the OP is talking about, not just a few moves.

Having done Acro I know how much I was spotted and corrected as I did it.
re: contortion on pointe
By GothyBallerina
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:12 PM
Well I've spoken and seen to many self-taught contortionists and the general consensus of the contortionist community seems to be its safe to self-train as long as you're being smart about it (which most people on this site are as dancers stretch so much). As far as doing it on pointe I think the OP should see her ballet teacher and an acro teacher if possible when she works it into the dance. The contortion poses however, I believe are safe to teach yourself, even though having a teacher would be better. This is a small thread on contortionists unite which discusses the benefits of being self-taught compared to being trained, and I have seen many of them on the site: contortionistsunite.ning.com . . . If I am wrong then I am wrong but this is what I believe.
re: contortion on pointe
By hummingbird
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:26 PM
GummieBear wrote:

Its not that simple, the closest contortion instructor lives 5 to 6 hours away!!!!! I can't find anyone closer.....so I decided to watch videos and online video chats with my cousin who does contortion.



FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND SET GOALS
*GummieBear*


She does not have a contortion instructor.

But whatever floats your boat...
re: contortion on pointe
By GothyBallerina
On Sun Sep 02, 2012 04:30 PM
Edited by GothyBallerina (253261) on 2012-09-02 16:31:52
No but I'm sure she has a gymnastic teacher of some form somewhere within driving distance that could help her put everything together once she's been self-training and doing yoga for a couple years. The ballet teacher would be able to help with the actual routine as well. That is what I meant by my comment.
re: contortion on pointe
By GummieBear
On Mon Sep 03, 2012 09:18 PM
I agree with GothyBallerina. I am just working on small poses first and their is a gymnastics teacher who will be able to help me put it all together at the end. Even though someone might disagree I say that it is safe to teach yourself some poses. What I meant by this post is that I was going to dance pointe while doing some contortion poses to show flexibility. i will have a couple stunts but not to many because I have arthritis in my knees which causes them to get very stiff and I must constantly loosen them. Dispite this problem I can look past it and continue working on this just fine. Although this might be hard for flexibility I found a cure which is just shaking legs and stretching every day it helps with this problem. I guess you couldn't really call it arthritis but rather just knee pain every now and then.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND SET GOALS
*GummieBear*
re: contortion on pointe
By Sumayah
On Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:11 AM
First and foremost, we advocate safety and precaution on ddn. While we agree to follow your dreams and set goals, do so with proper instruction. A video does not have the capacity to correct you; best case scenario: you learn something improperly, worst case scenario: you seriously injure yourself. Especially with arthritis in your knees, even doing small poses could be devastating if you put strain in the wrong place. A professional trained in contortion will know how to work with and around injuries - help you strengthen and stretch correctly.

Now don't get me wrong, it is good to stretch at home and work on your flexibility. Ask your dance instructor for some suggestions - they should be able to assist in the meantime while you gain your splits and straddle and begin working some strength and flexibility in your back. Contortion isn't just about being bendy, you have to have great muscular strength as well. When you stretch at home make sure you have a thorough warm-up (a hot shower or a quick jog isn't sufficient), you need to begin with dynamic stretching followed by cardio and basic strength training before settling into deep isometric stretches. Your dance instructor should be able to give you some warm-up ideas and help correct simple stretches in class.

Working with a circus school would be ideal, but if not, see about beginning basic gymnastics. The upper body and core strength will help immensely and coaches are trained in how to properly spot. They will make sure that you learn simple tricks correctly that can later be used in contortion (back bend progression, walk overs, hand stands).

Nothing bad may happen from following youtube videos, but then again, you might end fracturing your back. And youtube isn't always trustworthy - a quick search for contortion for beginners brought up videos of kids and teens showing off basically. Even if you find someone who seems legit, you have no way of knowing if you're doing it right. Just because you think it looks the same doesn't mean it is being executed the same. Be safe. Get some instructors to help and you'll reach your goal before you know it.
re: contortion on pointe
By greenpumpkinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:36 AM
I think there's some serious lack of reality going on here.

First of all... are you sure you have arthritis? Has a doctor given you that diagnosis? Because if you're as young as you seem to be, then arthritis is unlikely. Much more likely is you have a muscle imbalance that's causing your knee cap to not track straight. Problems of that sort are all too common among ballet dancers. But you need to take it seriously.

Second... just because you have a dream, doesn't mean you should follow it. Contortion en pointe may be a nice trick, but where is it going to lead you in life? Ballet can last a lifetime because of its theatrical and dramatic nature, not its bag of tricks.

When I think of "follow your dreams," I imagine things that matter. Like... becoming the first woman astronaut or high school quarterback, or finding a cure for cancer, or becoming one of the first foreigners to study at Perm State Ballet, or building a society in which people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Those are dreams worth following: breaking down walls, building bridges, improving peoples' lives. In comparison, contortion en pointe seems trite.

And I agree with what hummingbird and Sumya have said above: the risks of this self-taught enterprise are probably not worth the dubious benefits. Some dreams are worth leaving behind.
re: contortion on pointe (karma: 1)
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Sep 04, 2012 08:52 AM
GummieBear wrote:

Even though someone might disagree I say that it is safe to teach yourself some poses.


You're not just getting replies from other young teenagers in this thread, some of the people who have advised you NOT to teach yourself contortion are qualified teachers and other professionals. They're not just sharing an opinion that you disagree with. They know what they're talking about. They do this for a living.

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2021 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS