Monday, October 12, 2020

Secrets for Dancing in Small Spaces - Tip 1

 Years of touring and traveling to perform, choreograph, teach and rehearse taught me to warm up in some strange places. Even when I give presentations, I want to feel like I am fully prepared to perform - because every presentation is a type of performance. So, I'll warm up. 

Hotel rooms, hallways, office spaces, porches, tiny dressing rooms, green rooms and backstage spaces have all been my "studio". 

Some of the lessons I've learned are particularly helpful during these strange times when dancing is limited to our isolated spaces. Folks who are able to get into a studio, while masked, still need to maintain distance in space. (Shout out to all of those studio spaces who have taken the time and effort to mark out DanceUSA's space recommendations and are super sanitizing!) 

Here are some of the things I've learned. 

Secrets for Dancing in Small Spaces - Tip 1:

Work in one plane. 

There are three anatomical planes of the body. Most dance practice moves through and engages all of these planes, but it's possible to just work in one plane. 

For example, undulations, flat backs/ tabletops, tendues/ degages, developes, fondus, grande battmonts can all be isolated in the sagittal plane (front and back). The body's facing can rotate to execute laterals, tendues/ degages, developes, fondus, grande battmonts in the coronal/ horizontal/ toaster plane (side to side). 

Strength and flexibility exercises derived from Yoga and Pilates often isolate into these planes. 

I challenge dancers to use the tools they have available to them to create warm up phrases that dance so that the body can fully warm up while engaging all of the methodologies that dance employs: joy, wellness of physical and mental bodies, strength, flexibility, movement flow, creativity, artistry, technical prowess, and whole body connectivity (among many others).  

What is a dance technique warm up that you can isolate into specific planes? Share a video of yourself moving in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jessica. This interesting. Something I would never have thought of. Mike Lancaster