Monday, May 20, 2013

Awesome Abs!

Not a pic of my abs.

Any time of year is a good time to strive for a strong core and to firm up the abs. But this time of year, the swim suit time of year, adds just that little extra bit of pressure. Or incentive. It all depends on how you look at it.

So I have posted some links to past blog posts;

Awesome Abs!

6 exercises that will work your core. I do them with my teen dancers every few weeks and my 16 year old daughter has come out of her room many time, breathless, to tell me, "I just did the awesome abs series like 3 times! I. Am. A. Goddess. And really tired." Or something very similar to that.

Awesome Abs; Part Deux.

Same 6 exercises, but with some modifications.

Enjoy the dance that is life!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Magic Of You Tube {And Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks...}

I think we can all agree that You Tube is a great tool. Sure, among all the music videos and DIY tutorials some of the more disgusting and disappointing aspects of humanity are represented. But equally represented are the inspirational and amazing feats of humanity and nature. And there is some truly entertaining, if not befuddling things floating around the You Tube-o-sphere.

Aside from Bad Lip Reading videos, Steve Kardynal with a Shake Weight and epic-whatevers, I am constantly using You Tube for inspiration and education for much of what I do relating to dance, fitness and dance + fitness.

When I was growing up in dance, in a relatively small community at the time, from my best recollection there was ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Hip Hop had really not blown into town yet, and not as much fusion was going on. Contact improv was about as wild as it got. Much of what I learned was influenced by being in a college town with a pretty awesome dance department (during the 70's and 80's). Competitive dancing (competing in dance competitions, think "Dance Moms") just did not have legs in my town at the time. I had a very traditional upbringing in dance. Traditional ballet, traditional modern dance, traditional jazz moves (tap, traditional or otherwise, is still on my bucket list). So things like acro dance and trading in macro steps (perfectly placed turns, power moves with smooth transitions) for more expressive micro moves that bring individual beats of music to life really weren't featured tools in my tool box. I'm not complaining, and it's not to say that I wasn't exposed to creative and unique forms of dance or choreography. Because I most certainly was. But in my opinion, in today's world of dance, there is an explosion of styles that have a great way of combining the excitement of movement with a deep soulfulness, all the while having a certain amount of accessibility. I'm grateful for much of the dance education I have received over the years. And I'm grateful for all the stuff available to me now.

But I've got my own dance students to educate now. And while we aren't on the competitive dance circuit, it is important that they know what's out there that they need to know. And something else too. This stuff is hella fun to do! So often, I'm learning this stuff right along with my students!

Here are some of the dances I have found on You Tube that my lyrical class and I have been working on.

We are madly in love with this one. When I went to find the music on ITunes I came up against a bit of a struggle. The artist and the music are Russian. But I prevailed (a dramatic way of saying I used Google translate) and found it. And yes, I now know how to do a cartwheel onto my knee. The choreographer is Galina Peha.

This is the latest one we are working on. Great song. Some awesome moves. I'm especially excited because of all the little moves to individual beats in the music. A way to become one with a musical composition. The choreographer is Anita Zanelli.

So perhaps this old dog can learn some new tricks. Fuse the traditions of my upbringing with the amazing world of what's available with a mere click.

Got any cool dance videos to recommend?

Thanks for hanging out.

Enjoy the dance that is life!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Technique Tuesday! Using The Glutes In 2nd Position Plie.

This Tuesday's tutorial centers around maximizing the use of the glutes in a 2nd position plié. To go back to the basics of proper alignment during a 2nd position plié, click here for a tutorial.

I still haven't solved why the little Blogger elves (evil lil' buggers, they are!) won't link up directly to my You Tube channel. I'm sure if I appear frazzled and hopelessly inept enough my 12 year old son will come to my rescue (and I won't even have to pretend).

So whether you take ballet or a ballet flavored movement program or would just like to incorporate this into movements that you do at home or at the gym, you can easily do so.

Using The Glutes In 2nd Position Plie.

Throughout the week when I teach ballet or Balletone, I refer to the use of the glutes at the top, or completion of a second position plié. Especially when followed by a side port de bras, or side bend stretch. By emphasizing the maintaining of the gluteal engagement at the end of the plié into the side stretch the challenge of having the upper and lower halves of the body working together but separately is further illuminated. Bull on the bottom, Swan on top. As soon as any of my students are old enough to not fall apart into giggles at the words "butt cheeks", I try to instill this concept.

Thanks for hanging out!

Enjoy the dance that is life!

~ Erin

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dance Step Tutorial; Leg Circle With Body Wave.

For a few months I've been using a dance fitness routine in my Zumba classes to Beyoncé and Jay-Z's "Crazy In Love". It's a fun song, and I think, a pretty fun routine. Below is a link to a tutorial on how to do one of the moves. Right after the tutorial I show some of the dance routine itself. Why not all of it? Well, when we recorded it my husband thought it would be better lighting in a room different than the one I usually film in. He was right about the better lighting. But because of the shape of the room, I was much closer to the camera. Which also meant that my crazy dance faces where closer. I put up what I could handle seeing. The rest shall remain buried deep within my computer.

Leg Circle With Body Wave Tutorial

Usually I like to upload the video directly onto my blog, but for some reason the little cyber elves claim I don't have anything in my "My You Tube Videos", when normally I do. Erg. But the link should work.

Thanks for hanging out.

Enjoy the dance that is life!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Technique Tuesday! Using The Inner Thighs In First Position Plie.

It's Technique Tuesday. Today' s tutorial talks about how to increase the effectiveness of the inner thighs at the end of a plié in first position, or the "pull-up" phase.

For a look at how to do a plié in first position, click here.

When straightening the legs from the plié, think of pulling the inner thighs together and up into the body. Similar to zipping a sweatshirt up.

when I was trying to edit this video last night everything I have trained my Dino-tech self to do decide to not work. So I used the editing options on you Tube for the first time. I'm hoping it worked.

Thanks for watching!

Enjoy the dance that is life!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dance Fitness Video; "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (feat. Ray Dalton).

I love Macklemore and Ray Lewis's new song "Can't Hold Us".

I know the video is in black and white. What do you think?

Want some more Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? Here's my dance fitness video post for "Thrift Shop"
Thanks for watching!
Enjoy the dance that is life!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New Site I've Found; Fascia Freedom Fighters.

On Tuesdays I try to do a thing called "Technique Tuesdays", where I break down a small element of dance training. Yesterday I was going to type up a little something, but I really wanted to something more in depth. So, I'm going to just work on what I really want to do for next Tuesday.

Here are past 'Technique Tuesdays";

Placement Of The Leg In Tendu Side. A Simple Scarf Trick!

The "Pinned Butterfly".

More On The "Pinned Butterfly" {Placement For The Hips And Shoulders In Front Tendu.}

Opening Up The Collarbone...Upper Body Alignment For Ballet.

Pelvic Alignment In First Postion Plie.

Pelvic Alignment In Second Position Plie.

A new site I stumbled upon, Fascia Freedom Fighters, is proving to be awesome. I highly recommend you check it out.

A post I received yesterday was filled with links to other sites I love. A regular linked up love-fest.

DIY Friday: Piriformus Syndrome, The Literal Pain In The Ass.

I suffer from pain in the piriformus region (Oh, me arse!).

Where is the piriformus? Its location is explained in the link.

There was also this great video. I have done this exercise with a lacrosse ball, but I want what the woman has.

Click here to watch if you haven't already in the previous link.

Enjoy the dance that is life!