Movement Training Series #3: Floor Barre

| January 3, 2012 | 1 Comment

Happppy New Year!

And how was everyone’s Holly-day season?  Full of twirls and high kicks, yes?

**crickets**

A-hem.  Well then, I shall extend my best wishes for a stellar 2012 for one and all, and we shall move on to the matter at hand.

Moving along in our quest for perfection in the Movement Block,

[Let’s review, shall we?  A good stretch, some pushups, some ab work, your team is looking good as January arrives, I am betting! **beams with pride**]

And so, you sayeth to me~ Oh Movement Chick, what shall we do next?  Ahh.  Come, and gather round, my gentle readers.  It is time to discuss the magic of the “Floor Barre.”

[that sound you are hearing is Each. And. Every. Student. I have ever taught groaning in memory.  The Evil laugh?  Oh, yeah. That’s all me.]

Oh, I kid  I suffer do it right along with them, and when I tell you it is a BEAR, I am not at all kidding.

The basic premise is this:

You are doing your Barre, but while on the ground; on your back, legs perpendicular to the floor.  [waits…]  Well, come on now, get on the floor.  Are you there?  Awesome.

So. You are hanging out there on that gym floor.  Pretty, isn’t it?  Yes, I know.  Bring a towel next time.

[Sidebar: if you are old and tired of a certain age, as is yours truly, said towel is a GIFT FROM ABOVE for the knees whilst doing those dratted pushups I seem to be so fond of ]

Also fond of?  Digressing.  Yes, contain your shock.

Okay, we’re back.  [On our Back…get it?  Oh, I kill me!  Bah!]

A-hem.

[Assumes business like tone]

Extend your legs perpendicular to the floor, stretching to the ceiling.  Your goal is to achieve your first position, with straight knees and a good degree of turn-out.  [Back hurting?  Place your hands under your lower back, or use the aforementioned towel ~ no lower back injuries for my little ones!]

Got your first position?  Excellent.   Now, we begin our plié series.  I like 4 demis, a grande plié  into rélevé and another grande.  However, we are not picky here at TMC ~ whatever tickles your fancy.

Now. Here is the tough part.  Going through the motions “upside down,” as it were may seem simple, but I challenge you to work through 4 sets of this series WITH proper form.  The key is to keep your feet pressed flat, just as if there were on the floor, doing a standard barre.  “Check your First” is my standard call-out during this series, as each time we return to first, it becomes tougher to maintain the integrity of the motion.

After completing the plié series if your students are still speaking to you, I stay in the same position, and do a tendu series en croix.  4 to the front, side, back, side, then switch.  The key here is to strreeettch through your tendu, just as one does when standing.  Brush forward, visualizing the foot gripping the ground and pushing into pointe at the last possible second.  Great work for the Achilles, the ankle, the inner thigh, and well, for perseverance.  Because, boys and girls, as simple as this is in theory ~ the reality?

How ‘bout this?   Give it a try, and let me know your thoughts.

PS for the record, as always, tweak and adjust your block to fit your students, your goals and the ability level you are working with.  Do as many series as you can WHILE maintaining proper form, and build up.  You will be astounded at the development of ankle strength and toe point.

Hugs!

TMC

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Category: Instruction, Movement, Regular Blog Features, The Movement Chick

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.

Comments (1)

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  1. Erin says:

    I recently graduated with a B.A. in dance and am now teaching movement to my dad’s color guard- I never marched myself, so I’ve been wondering if the very basic dance training I’ve been doing with them is what they need. I’ve really appreciated reading your posts- finally someone is speaking my dancer language!

    Also, I had a ballet teacher in college who would (very) occasionally do floor barre for class. 90 minutes. Killer!

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