A visual that I rely on quite often when teaching classical technique is the "butterfly pinned to the mat".
How can this apply? And why do I gotta pin a poor butterfly?
First we must become the butterfly (or bug of choice). Just for pretend. Don't worry, nobody is getting pinned in a display case.
Imagine that you are standing in first position
Now imagine that a pin is running through the front of each shoulder, where the arm connects to the torso, through to a mat or imaginary wall.
Now do the same for the front of each hip, where the leg attaches up into the pelvis.
Because the arms and legs are not "pinned", but rather where the connect to the center of the body, the limbs are mobile. The limbs are mobile but the torso is not.
The concept of the "pinned butterfly" is to illustrate how the core, including the ribcage and collarbone, can be stabilized through movements.
Try it! Imagine you are pinned to a mat in the spots mentioned above. Now try bringing your arms to a position where you would hold an imaginary beach ball, while keeping those shoulders "pinned".
You can try the same for the legs. You don't need to do anything crazy. Just pin those hips and allow some movement in the leg without letting "the hip go".
Next week I will give a videoed tutorial of this concept in action.
Thanks for hanging out and reading.
Enjoy the dance that is life!