It is common for many dancers to have trouble with their turns, or to favor one side more than the other. For example, I personally favor my left side more than my right. In this case, I would constantly turn and practice my left side and not even attempt my right side. Soon, I learned that you have to practice both sides evenly. My advice is to practice your bad side more than your good side. If you are practicing your bad side more than your good side, then you will be kind of balanced on both sides. I am not asking you to totally ignore your good side, because it is good to practice your good side every now and then too, but it is important to be strong on both sides. So, if you start to practice your bad side a lot more, then you will start to see progress and be able to turn just as good on that side as you can on the other side. Here are some helpful exercises that you can start to do to help your turning troubleshooting. If you have any questions, just feel free to let me know.
It is important to first address the problem and figure out why you are falling out of your turns:
Then, here are some tips to help you with the problem:
I remember, when I first started dancing again after I had quit for a long time, one my old studios dancers Constance Doyle had always been there for me. She kept me dancing, and kept me inspired to dance. She was one of the studios best dancers and had always been there for me. She had helped me when I needed help on something, and she always had faith in me. She was the person that truly kept me dancing and when I needed a little boost of confidence, she was always right there. If I needed someone to look up to, I always had her. She reminded me every time I watched her dance, why I was dancing and why I was doing this with my life. She kept me motivated and on my feet. I still remember, it was Christmas time and we were preparing for the Nutcracker ballet, and she walked in a brought me a card. I still have it saved and in a box, and it had said, “Dear Munchkin, Happy Nutcracker and Merry Christmas! Your enthusiasm and energy make you so much fun to watch… if you keep working hard, you can go FAR! 🙂 ❤ I hope you have a wonderful performance and a blessed Christmas! Isaiah 43:1 ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine.’ 🙂 Love, Constance Doyle” She always brought me cards and hugs. One day, she got accepted into the American School of Ballet and left. She had moved and I never thought I could ever find her again. Ever since then, I had been working to try and inspire younger students at MY studio and keep them motivated just as she did for me. If it weren’t for her, I would probably look at dance much differently. I want to be like Constance and be able to do everything she did. I still look up to her and get inspired every time I think of her name. I miss her dancing, and watching her everyday… but then it hit me, I looked up her name and found a video of her dancing. I checked to make sure that it truly was her, and sure enough it WAS! I watched some of her videos and how beautiful her dancing was. She is so graceful…I don’t know what I would do without her. I love you Constance!!!!!
Lately, I have been very busy. We have two upcoming performances in a month that HAVE to be finished by this week. I am in the middle of learning seven dances right now, and I am getting very excited! One of my favorite dances we are learning right now is called “Infra”. It is going to be one of the dances I will perform for our studios professional training showcase. Anyway, in “Infra” I am constantly being lifted and carried and turned. I feel bad for the other girls though, I am the only one who gets lifted. But besides that, I feel like I have a close connection with that dance, and I feel like I can put some real emotion into it.There is one lift I have to do where I run as fast as I can and jump where the boy catches me, (if it is done correctly, picture me standing on shoulder, but a little below shoulder height) Then, on count eight, every one else on the floor drops while he drops me a little so that he is holding my knees and I fall over his shoulder, and just lay limp. The first time I did this step, it was a little scary, but now I almost feel like I am flying! Too, after the showcase, this is not going to be the end of it because it sounds like we are going to take it to Tennessee to show and compete. Maybe soon, I can get a video of me doing this dance and post it so that I can share it with you as well…
Lately, I have been asked a lot of questions on foot strength by younger dancers. Everyone knows that to start pointe, you must have strong feet. Don’t worry about it too much, if you don’t have strong feet that’s OK! Just because you don’t have strong feet now, doesn’t mean that you will never have strong feet! As long as you are working hard, a little everyday goes a long way. Although you may not realize it, you are improving and getting a little better everyday! Below are some great stretches to help strengthen your toes and feet. I hope that these help, and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to ask. Your pointe shoes are just a few stretches away!!! 😉 You can do it, you’ve just got to believe in yourself!
I know that in the dance world people are constantly telling you, ” you cant. ” Trust me, I know this because I had to face this phrase many times in my life. You see, I was not born flexible and so when I would dance, it wouldn’t be as flexible or “impressive” as other people. In this case, I was always told by teachers and other students “you cant become a professional because you aren’t flexible enough.” Although these words may be small, they are definitely powerful and made me very discouraged for a long time. I felt like I had stopped believing in myself, but there were so may people who hadn’t lost belief and kept me going and kept me in the dance world. When times get tough, although you may not believe in yourself, there are still people that believe in you. Now, I have worked very hard and in fact, I got all of my splits this year! As long as you believe in your self, you can do anything, go anywhere, and live to the impossible. Never forget that nothing is impossible. Actually, the word itself says “Im Possible!” You just have to believe…..
~Spoken through the life of a dancer.
One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a dancer is to never give up and to keep going. People at school or other places outside of dance may have a hard time understanding what you do, but you cant let that discourage you. For example, they might not understand why you couldn’t come to your friends birthday party on the weekends, or that you weren’t able to meet up with your friends right after school for some ice-cream. Ballet and dance takes dedication, time, and effort. That means practice every night or every other night. It is very important to not let what other people say or think bother you.You are amazing and talented. You are unique in your own way and that’s ok. Be proud of who you are and never let what anyone else says let you down. Always remember to Never Give Up!