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Monday, July 6, 2015

Open your eyes!

Abre los ojos!

It's one of my favorite Penelope Cruz movies and also one of my favorite corrections for students.

My dog Peaches shows how to open your eyes
Open your eyes!

Many times we dance in a box and we don't realize it. We keep our movements close to our bodies rather than stretching beyond. Whether it's an adagio or an allegro, we need to dance outwardly, dance bigger for our audience to see, even if it's just the teacher watching.

We start by opening our eyes and seeing something.

Adagio: Look beyond your reflection in the mirror; Look behind it to the back wall or imagine your audience up in the balcony.

Pirouettes: Lift your gaze slightly higher than you think so you rise up to meet it when you go en releve.

Big jumps: Keep your chin up on tour jetes and grands sauts; gaze out past your stretched arms or the direction you're traveling to.

I tease my female students that I can see they're wearing blue eye shadow because they're keeping their eyes shaded or lowered. The joke is that of course they're not wearing blue eye shadow (this isn't the 80s!) but their eyes are only half-open or they are looking down.

Simply by lifting our chins and opening our eyes, we are lifting our chests and not collapsing inward. That will help suspend us and lengthen our spines which will make it easier to turn and allow us to have more ballon on jumps.

Happy dancing~


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