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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pirouette Tip: Using Imagery

In my lifetime, I have heard a million metaphors from instructors about pirouettes:

"Imagine you have a long pole from the top of your head through your spine."

"Imagine you are lifting your arms through marshmallow."

"Imagine you are a spinning top and your waist is the pull string."

One of these may work for you; who can say until you try? Those of you who take my classes or read my blog know that I approach just about all dance moves in a very practical fashion. I want to know the muscles that are needed to move the leg to retire. I want to find the bone to adjust to properly align the torso for balance.

But every once in a while an image works for me - or a student - and I want to share it, in case it turns out to be the elusive element that flips the switch on your pirouettes.

Photo: Coastal Dance Company
Be the balloon.

Imagine that your lungs are filled with helium, not oxygen. They don't lift your shoulders; they lift your ribs up and out and away from the center of your body. Unlike a normal balloon that deflates because it's just air, a helium balloon stays buoyant for a very long time.

That is YOU. That is your torso. That is your abdominal muscles pulled up and your rib cage and back wide. You don't sink on your demi-plie. You don't collapse as you releve. Because you are a helium balloon that rises, rises, rises.

Try it.

Happy dancing~

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