Recently, I was in ballet class and the dance instructor reminded me about the differences in hand and arm movements between jazz and ballet techniques.
With this in mind, how do you reset your muscle memory before you take different styles of dance?
After all, most dancers take a conglomeration of classes including ballet, jazz, tap, Hip Hop, modern, and more. And each class requires different movements and specific techniques.
One of the things I do is focus on the lines of my body.
If I’m in ballet, I know that my arms need to be rounded with palms facing inward most of the time. In jazz class, it’s all about straight arms and legs and long, body lines while dancing.
By focusing on my lines at the beginning of each class, I’m able to tell my body what I need for that particular class. Then, I know whether to have curved or straight arms and legs.
Now, there are always exceptions, and you’ll see a lot of choreography that includes various lines from different styles. Your job as a dancer is to follow the choreographer’s instruction and provide the body lines he or she wants. Then, you can add your own special emotion and personality to the piece.
:so the next time you are about to start a new class or audition:Â
- Remind yourself what style of dancing you need for the class you are taking.
- Watch the dance instructor or choreographer to see exactly what he or she is doing with his or her arms, hands and legs.
- Do what the choreographer or instructor asks while sticking to the techniques for that particular, style.
Focus on Your Dance Lines.
Since there is a specific technique for each style, you need to train your body to switch between styles quickly and accurately. By focusing on where your arms, legs and hands are, and the lines your body creates, when you begin dancing, you can help your muscles remember where they need to be for each style. Then, you can focus on performing!
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