Faking It

It’s time to jump… for both me and my students. However, on any given day, there are good reasons for not risking those steps in the air (i.e. age, injury, intimidation, confusion about the jump sequence). That doesn’t mean one abandons the attempt. There are very studied and effective ways to take the jump out of the jump, and still get the most out of the choreography.images-1.jpegIt’s called “marking”.

This season my students are going to learn how to fully mark steps. Then we’ll have no excuse for giving up, and fading into the back of the studio due to fear or fatigue. Our contemporary culture praises extreme, exhaustive effort. We confuse 100% physical effort with 100% commitment. Wrong.

Mastery comes from coordinating degrees of effort.

How do you know how much, and when, to push yourself?

This season we’ll learn how to properly mark the jumps in order to master six elements of their execution:

  1. Landings (safe and with clean and clear positions)
  2. Rhythm (the body mechanics do not match the downbeat of the music)
  3. Horizontal lift versus traveling distance (for every step)
  4. Arms (their position and pathway)
  5. Face (there’s more to it than simply watching oneself in the mirror)
  6. Accent (for every step) and the dramatic Arch (of the musical or movement phrase)

How’s that for an autumn harvest?


Double Duty

Talent abounds; but there’s only so much time and free rehearsal space available to foster communal creativity. I need to be very efficient with my tribe’s resources!Unknown-1.jpegI’ve got one-third of a dance to choreograph for the Autumn Performance Project on Thanksgiving weekend. I wonder if I can reconfigure the petite allegro combination from my ballet class into a popular, gestural sequence that will appeal to novice dancers who may be more comfortable with hip-hop than classical dance. Can I transform one little jump sequence into something-for-everyone? It has to fit Mike Posner’s pop tune,
“Cooler Than Me.”

How do you make your efforts yield their broadest impact?

Maybe I don’t have to come up with the vision of this double-duty dance all by myself. The art salon that I host each month at my fitness studio always begins with a communally created dance. I’ll try giving my problem to my guests, and ask them to transform the ballet pattern.

Let’s pARTy!