Saturday, August 29, 2015

Shoulders over Hips

That seems to be the secret. Apparently I've been leaning back when balancing all this time, and no one corrected me until I asked for help a few weeks ago. With a conscious effort to move my upper body forward I can balance with less effort than before, and some of my turns immediately improved (others I'm having to unlearn bad technique and relearn).

I'm at once relieved and annoyed. Shouldn't one of the five instructors I've taken classes with over the last four years have said something before now? Is it because it's not as obvious on an average adult as with a stick-figure pre-pro kid? Or do they assume most adults aren't looking to be taught and corrected? I suspect it's mostly the latter.

Thinking about it, students in adult classes seem to fall into a few categories. One is the accomplished, experienced dancer. At my school these are often retired pros or could have been pros. They want a good workout but rarely need instruction. A second group are those who are happy with the level they've achieved and either don't want or won't take correction. That leaves the third group who want to improve; sometimes we need instruction and sometimes we just need practice. It's a challenge to the instructor to give help to those who want and need it while still leading a class of 20-some students.


  1. So who was the instructor who gave you the needed correction?

    1. The phrase "shoulders over hips" came from someone substituting this past Thursday night, but my regular Tuesday night instructor originally gave me the suggestion a few weeks ago. I've been trying to incorporate that suggestion ever since. It's a slow process, but I think I'm getting better and better results from it.

  2. My instructor focuses on having the entire back straight, but with shoulders pulled back ("Shoulders back, stomach in, butt under"). Did you have a splayed back? That's what I have to fight.


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