A MOVEMENT MOMENT #9: Line of the Leg

| March 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

LENT – what are you giving up this year?

Hello Everyone! Welcome to March.  Apparently there’s some basketball something or other [shout out to Syracuse, woo!] coming up this month, but really?  Let’s be honest… it’s a scant 3 ½ weeks to Champs for most of us, and I have started to see WGI prelims countdowns on Facebook. 

[Seriously, am I the only one who is woefully addicted to FB?  Craziness, I tell you. What did we do prior to Farmville? Strike that, I am NOT a fan of Farmville]


Back to my point.  Yes, I had a point, hush.  It’s about Lent. 

For the record, I am not Catholic, [Evangelical, but I won’t go there, and you’re welcome] I do not give up anything for Lent, but have a healthy respect for those who do.  This topic stemmed from an exhausting day of watching twirls and the resultant overtired adjudicators slugging wine and devouring fried food enjoying an adult beverage and a light snack post contest.

It was at this point that the inevitable discussion comes up.  Yes, we discuss this after EVERY contest… well; at least I do, because I insist on it if I have a pet peeve, it is this. 

Why oh why oh why… do many some teams think the line of the leg ends at the ANKLE???

Hilarity ensued as we pondered whether or not guards have given up shaping the foot for Lent.  No, really, it was funny.  Honest. It was. Hysterical, even.  Maybe one had to be there?   

[clears throat] 


This may come as a shock to anyone still reading, but I’m a movement person, and yes, that means I am a dancer. Or maybe I just played one on television, but either way, I have a foot thing.  No, not a fetish, settle down, but an expectation. 

An expectation that when you are training your team, you will teach, convey and enforce the understanding that the foot MUST have a shape.  A dead fish hanging off the ankle?  Not so much a shape. Sickled foot? A shape perhaps, but ripe with chance of injury, not to mention the burning retinas uncontrollable twitching dismay of your judges panel. 

Thus, your options are fairly limited. Ready? 

1. Flexed

2. Pointed

That is the extent of options I will give you. 

I know, I’m a miser. 

Should you choose to go w/pointed, then the use of turnout is non-negotiable.  Make sure the performers understand the line of the leg stems from the hip socket; and the toes must remain in line with the knee.  If you are wearing jazz shoes with laces, using a direction for the laces to go is a good way to help performers visualize the placement. 

[Oh, and PS: THIS is where the dratted tendu series is invaluable]

Going with flexed?  More power to you for changing it up a bit.  However.  [drags soapbox out of closet]  It is a progressive skill, and learning the proper elements of toe point first is a good rule of thumb. [clambers off soapbox]  The flexed foot requires a well trained hamstring and ankle strength. 

Try to fully flex your foot. 

No really, go ahead, I’ll wait. 

Feel the pull in your calf? The immediate contraction in you quadriceps?  Oh yes, boys and girls.  A proper flex is getting to a 90 degree angle.  We see many cheated insipid unclear flexed feet in our little world, and I assure you, I’m thrilled to give you the credit for challenging another set of muscles; but it needs to be CLEAR. 

[that darned stairway exercise? Oh yeah, here’s where it pays off]

So, whether or not you choose to give up something for Lent, please don’t let it be your movement technique, K? K. 

Hugs and Kisses,




Category: Movement

About the Author (Author Profile)

Cheryl Myers (aka “The (self-proclaimed) Movement Chick”) is a movement instructor, adjudicator and would-be rockette, living in the Fingerlakes area of New York State. Primary affiliations include the New York Federation of Contest Judges, and the Atlantic Indoor Association. She has most recently worked with Trumansburg High School, and is continually blessed by the opportunity to consult and adjudicate for circuits around the country. In addition to her pageantry career, Ms. Myers works in the accounting and insurance fields, and yes, is great fun at parties, thankyouverymuch. Her primary job, and that which she is most proud of, is raising her two beautiful children, a future dancer and drummer.

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