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Friday, August 19, 2016

Vacation plans and Earthquake proofing!

First of all, if you are a student of mine who is not on my email list, you might not realize I'm on vacation from August 22-27. That means there are no classes during that week.

My first class back is at Inspire Dance Studio on Monday, August 29, 6:30PM Intermediate ballet.

Classes at Dance Arts Academy begin Tuesday, August 30, 6:30PM Advanced beginner ballet.

Now on to my technique advice: Earthquake proofing your body!

People who live Southern California are always aware there could be an earthquake at some point. If you own your own home, you might even do what is called "bolting" which means your house is literally bolted into its foundation so it can withstand the shakes of an earthquake.

Not like this!
San Francisco after Lomo Prieta quake (Wikipedia)
 I like to imagine I do the same thing with my hips. I think of the femur fitting into the acetabulum of the pelvis and "bolting" it in place. I can do this with the very small, deep external rotators under the meaty glutes.

These external rotators will stabilize my pelvis so my extensions are more solid, my retire is flatter, and I can balance longer.

Many dancers, when they feel the earthquake, try to stabilize themselves with their hip flexors or thighs and then they end up gripping and turning in. This is the exact opposite effect you want and works against your technique. It also contributes to lower back problems, weak battu in allegro work, and shaky promenades.

Here is an image from Wikipedia that shows the deep external (lateral) rotator muscles of the hip. If you can access these, strengthen them, and bolt yourself in place, you will find stability and confidence whenever you step away from the barre.

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