4 tips to travel further and stronger through space
4 tips to travel further and stronger through space

4 tips to travel further and stronger through space

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The dancers in Abby Z by Abby Zbikowski and company New Utilities travel across the stage with such force, with such explosive force, that it seems magical when they can stop before colliding with each other or members of the audience.

Zbikowski’s attractive and highly athletic style is unique. But the need for dancers to explode on stage – to “take up space”, as some teachers put it – is not. Even in dance forms that focus on elegance or lightness, the ability to travel further and thus take up more space can result in a more engaging and dynamic performance.

But “taking up space” can present a psychological challenge – sometimes asking dancers to resist the socialization that drives them to do so. not enough outer space – just like physicists.

change your mindset

If you’re often told to dance harder, or if you struggle to keep up with the group during traveling moves, it may be worth looking inward and questioning how you’ve been trained. The world at large teaches women and other marginalized identities to take up less space, says Zbikowski, and traditional studio culture often doesn’t approach this in a way that would empower dancers to take up more space. She says she often finds students in her class at Ohio State University who are afraid to move with force and explosions, or have psychological barriers. “You are against the beautiful image of what people think about dancing,” he said. “And that sometimes traps people inside their bodies.”

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Internalizing the idea that, as Zbikowski puts it, “everyone has the right to take up as much space as possible in the dance studio” isn’t as simple as pressing a button. Know that, like any new way of moving, it may feel unnatural at first, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, he says.

Use o piso

To make a powerful journey through space, dancers need to feel connected to the ground so they can truly step outside of it, says Ivalyo Alexiev, a faculty member at the Boston Ballet School. During his own dance career, Alexiev has found that wearing a barre in a sock helps him understand the relationship of his foot to the floor, and he recommends that dancers who usually dance in shoes try the floor this way during the barre if they are looking for a firmer grip. . . . Zbikowski agrees that using the floor is the key to explosive movement, in any style: “The floor will help you get to where you want to be, whether it’s up, down, out or in,” he says. “That’s what connects us all.”

3 dancers jump into retirement in the studio
Connecting to the ground is key to traveling through space, says Ivalyo Alexiev, who teaches at the Boston Ballet School. Photo by Igor Burlak Photography, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Athletic Channel

For many dancers, the challenge is being able to penetrate space while still maintaining the technique and artistic choreography that choreography demands. Zbikowski, whose approach focuses more on functionality and feel than on creating form, suggests that dancers take advantage of their strengths (at least temporarily) by letting themselves not care how their moves appear. For her, “ballerina or athlete” is not a binary choice, and she encourages dancers not to build walls between dancing technique and other types of movement. He helps his students channel athletics through “offence/defense” exercises, where dancers gather and “hold their ground” without touching. “You can’t just let your partner pass you by,” she says. “So to make that quick escape, you have to put your weight on the ground and leverage it in a certain direction. Putting people in this kind of scenario allows the body to break out of certain rigid regimes and figure it out on its own.”

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Short dancer, don’t worry

Little dancers, or dancers with short legs, may feel out of luck if they have to travel far and fast. But that’s not necessarily the case, says athletic trainer Lauren McIntyre. Short dancers have potential advantages, he says, such as having a lower center of gravity and the ability to spin faster.

Building Strength

Here’s how to prepare your body for explosive movement, according to athletic trainer Lauren McIntyre, who works with dancers at NYU Langone Health’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.

athletic trainer checking dancer's feet
Lauren McIntyre. Cortesia NYU Langone Health.

Smart fuel. To explode into space, your body needs to have carbohydrates available to power the movement, says McIntyre, who warns that a low-carb diet is unlikely to help dancers build more strength.

Train for power. Keep in mind that resistance training, strength training, and strength training are different, says McIntyre, and most cross-training dancers who have done it are probably geared more towards the first two. Plyometrics and HIIT can help build strength, he says, as can lifting heavy weights to build muscle. She also recommends using slightly lighter weights—about 30% of your maximum weight—but doing faster reps, especially during the concentric part of the action (for example, the “up” part of a weighted squat). Before increasing the load or speed, make sure you are sure of your form.

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Rest. Tired and overworked muscles will struggle to move explosively, says McIntyre, citing a study showing that as fatigue increases, speed decreases. This can be tricky for dancers with demanding schedules, especially if they incorporate cross-training such as plyometrics, which can be key to increasing strength but requires adequate recovery time to reap the benefits. He suggests that if dancers add cross-training to their routine, they look at their overall schedule and consider where they can rest—even if that means one less dance class a week.

Adjust your heating. When performing large, explosive movements—especially when they occur early in the section—make sure your warm-up involves activating the fast-twitch muscle fibers you need. In addition to dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and increased heart rate, McIntyre recommends doing plyometric exercises — such as kicks to the butt, high knees, or jumping jacks — to “speed up your machine,” he says. “It’s about activating that metabolic pathway.”

Source : dial.news

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