Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Technique Tip: Stack your pirouette with boxes of kittens!

When we talk about alignment for pirouettes, we often use the visual image of a long pole representing the spine. We don't want the spine to bend in the middle - that's our strong core that we need to maintain the proper shape that allows us to turn smoothly and quickly.

(A food analogy: don't be the cooked linguine noodle; be the dried one fresh out of the box. Hmm, am I hungry this morning?)

Don't be mushy!

Do be firm!

But there is another way to visualize our bodies for pirouettes: stacked boxes.

Imagine your body as 3 boxes on top of each other (head, torso and hips). You want to keep the boxes balanced evenly. If one is off the edge (e.g. your chin is pulled back or jutted far forward, your rib cage is sticking out, your pelvis is behind your heels, and so on), it will threaten to collapse when you take it en releve.

Remember: releve is a precarious place for your body to be. To be stable and steady, everything needs to be aligned properly.

Next time you work on pirouette, try to visualize your body as 3 boxes filled with kittens (why kittens? because they love boxes and because they move around a lot which makes them hard to control, much like your body!).

Kittens! In a box!

If you can keep the boxes steady - and the kittens inside them quiet and still - you will have an easier time balancing them. This visual image will help remind you to push UP to releve rather than forward because you sure don't want to toss those kittens from side to side!

During the turn, hold your arms steady (maybe you even think about wrapping your arms around your kittens!), and maintain the shape of the 3 boxes.

On the finish, roll down smoothly and evenly, and don't disrupt the kittens in the boxes. You don't want to finish abruptly and throw one of the boxes off the center. Kittens everywhere!

Happy dancing~

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