February 7, 2013
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 fourth potential problem may stem from how well you understand that one foot or leg is always more important than the other, and in fact, controls the movement of the other leg. In other words whenever you begin a combination, the first thing you must do is Get on Your Leg.
You should always try to keep your weight solidly on your supporting foot, or standing leg, or the foot that is going to push the floor.
Whether you’re in a static pose, or moving from one foot to the other across the floor, you always want to be completely balanced on one foot, which will then allow the other foot to either travel or go up into a position in the air.
Again, what I see repeatedly in the class room is students beginning a combination by trying to assume the pose without first making sure they are balanced on the supporting leg. I see them trying to lift a leg into position when they are not really standing on the other. As a result, they lose their balance and fall over. So, this too is going to make you lose time when you’re working in center floor.
In other words, you never want to think that first you lift your leg to a position, but rather where is your balance? What leg are you standing on?
And, more than that, what foot is going to push the floor? If you don’t push down, you’re not going to move. Realize that most traveling movements involve a plié-relevé. If you’re not driving down through your supporting leg and foot, you’re not going to go up on half-toe. You’re not going to be able to travel.
So, you want to always remember that one leg is always more important than the other, and it’s always the one you’re standing on.
The bottom line is you either stand or fall.
You’ve got to have a leg to dance on!
Our next post deals with Changing Directions.
To dance is to live — Finis
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