Finally got around to posting this for the April Challenge – favorite Dance Imagery!
I was reading Moira’s response to the challenge about Irish Dance imagery (or lack thereof) and realized that all of my imagery happens when I teach modern, jazz or ballet… not too much in tap class. I am going to pay attention in the next few months and see if I can’t come up with some tap imagery.
In the meantime, here are my favorite images, which all happen to be in ballet. Probably because my youngest students are my ballet class and I try to use a lot of imagery to help concepts stay in their minds and bodies. Enjoy… and please don’t laugh too much at my drawing skillz 🙂
|Balloons on the ears!
Balloons tied to your ears: To keep necks long, and ankles, knees, hips and shoulders over toes in releve, I ask my students to pretend they have balloons tied to their ears to keep them lifted up.
Here's some other posts you might enjoy: Preparing to Exercise, Foot & Ankle Exercises or read all the posts here: Thera-bands for Dancers
Today's post contains exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength. Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.
Benefit to dancers: Strengthened hip flexor muscles and improving balance on one leg (which helps with turns and static poses).
All of these exercises need the band to be stabilized by a stationary object low to the floor. At home, this could be a sturdy table, bed post or other heavy piece of furniture. In class, you could use a partner – just remind the students to check their bands for small tears which could cause the band to snap.
Slow Degages to the Side (Hip Abduction / Adduction)
Loop the band around your ankle and attach the other end to the sturdy object.
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This is a great video on balancing created by The Anaheim Ballet (via BalletScoop):
I like the way they illustrate pushing down while pulling up – the one thing I always tell my students. This can be hard to visualize, so I am going to share this video with my students and see if it helps!
The other thing they didn’t really touch on is focus – I find that when I tell my students to focus on something that is eye-level instead of looking around, they are able to balance longer. Then as you get better at balancing, you can challenge them to move their head while balancing.
What are you favorite balancing tips?