January 25, 2013
Hello and welcome to the Finis Jhung Blog.
I will be posting a new blog with video every Tuesday and Thursday. Subjects include answering your questions about ballet technique; ballet class observations; dancers you should know; performance reviews; stories from my past; and views on current happenings.
Some of you who are adult beginners (or former dancers returning to class) find it difficult to remember and execute center combinations and you’ve asked if I can help you. I’ve come up with a checklist for Learning Combinations which you will see in my first eight posts.
If you find you’re tripping over your feet, can’t keep up with the music, and lose your concentration and can’t remember the sequence of movement, it may not be because you can’t remember, but more because you may have some technical issues.
The first potential problem may stem from how well you know your Body Positions and Directions.
If you’re moving forward to downstage corner 2 from upstage corner 6, you are probably going to be in effacé or croisé. You’re moving to the corner in fourth position, with your shoulders and hips facing the corner, and your head facing out to the audience.
You could also be standing and moving in a second position (écarté), where your body faces corner 8 with your leg in second and you step sideways
What I see in class sometimes is that even though students are supposed to be stepping forward in fourth position to corner 2, they face corner 8 and step out with the leg in second. They are already confusing the position and direction, and end up putting the foot in the wrong place.
The next consideration with position is your posture. Are you standing up? Are you leaning over? Again, I see that most adult beginners, in their anxiety to move, tend to lean forward over the feet. I call this dancing with your nose instead of with your toes.
As soon as you are pitched forward, you are leaning over your feet and this will jumble your movements. How can you move your feet when you are leaning over them?
So what’s very important, again and again, is that you should always be in Number 1: you have to dance with correct posture.
And, you must understand body positioning. Are you working forward in fourth with your legs moving forward, or are you working sideways in second with your legs moving sideways?
These ideas have to be very clear in your mind, otherwise you won’t read the combination correctly and won’t be able to do it properly.
Our next post will discuss The Linking Steps.
To dance is to live — Finis
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