This St. Patty’s day, we are taking a look at common issues dancers face in the studio, on the stage and during competition. While you may look at a talented dancer and deem them lucky to be able to execute certain moves with style and grace, it’s important to understand the science and practice behind being the best you can be. That being said, here are some things to think about when it comes to relying less on luck and more on the foundations of technique for performance.
NAILING YOUR PIROUETTES.
When it comes to nailing multiple turns, a four leaf clover will only get you so far. Some common turning issues:
- Falling backwards, forwards or to the side
- Bent supporting leg
- Splaying ribs
- “Whipping” effect in your arm movement
Fixing these habits are no easy task, so it’s important to train diligently to conquer these skewed movement patterns. Think about these cues when you are prepping for a turn to ensure success:
- Forcefully exhale as you begin your turn to engage your core and keep your ribs aligned over your pelvis.
- Beware of tilting your pelvis anteriorly (sticking your butt out) — aim to keep your sitz bone of your standing leg over your heel.
- Keep your arms in a perfect prep position and use the momentum of your back swinging around to complete the turn.
We envy those who can jump for days with the most elegant air time. If you’re looking to create buoyancy in your jumps to reach new heights, rely more on these things and less on the luck of a leprechaun:
- Keep your heels on the floor for a better surface for push off.
- Find a long spine and imagine a string pulling you from the top of your head.
- Point your toes as soon as they leave the floor.
- In some jumps, use the momentum and coordination of your arms to complete the full range of motion.
It’s not uncommon to feel that the most flexible dancers are the luckiest dancers on the planet. However, with proper stretching best practices and a regular stretching routine, you can gain healthy muscle flexibility. Here’s how:
- Use therabands and other stretching tools on a regular basis — before and after class, at home watching television or before performance.
- Stretch right after a warm bath when muscles are already warm and supple.
- Foam roll to release any unwanted tension and keep muscles healthy to prevent injury.
No luck needed here! Use these tips to improve performance and you won’t be needing a leprechaun to land the gold.