MOVEMENT MONDAY #5: Movement Under Equipment

| January 15, 2010 | 0 Comments


Ahem… Movement Monday this week became, well… Movement Friday… not quite the same cachet, hmmm?  My apologies to everyone.  I had all KINDS of clever excuses, but seeing as I made them all up, they weren’t really valid.  [I wasn’t sure anyone would believe I was captured by aliens anyway]

However. Back in the saddle jazz shoes I go.

I will be seriously short and sweet this week.

Okay, maybe not sweet.

Answer a question for me, will you please?  Yes, thinking caps on boys and girls.  Why, oh why, oh why… do teams present a stunning, lyrical, wonderful, oh my what use of dynamic range and expression movement section to open a show….

And then…

Wait for it…

They PICK UP equipment.

Mmm hmmm.  We’ve all been there. The body control, postural understanding and general poise immediately takes a nosedive and the movement program begins to teeter on its formerly strong foundation.

I know they’re young; and I know it’s early in the season.  But, I will ask you to take a moment, step back during a run through, and if there is a stark disparity between your performers ability to control and manipulate the body with vs. without equipment, it’s time to re-evaluate both your movement book and your movement block.

[Oh, I do love the alliteration!]

And, ummm, not for nothin’ but if they can do it without equipment, chances are they have the ability to do it WITH equipment in their hands.

By the way: I’m addressing this primarily to teams on the SRA and the A sheet.  Excellence is your friend in the downstairs captions, and being diligent on your attention to detail will drive your team to success.  If the students immediately forget the placement of their lower limbs the minute they pick up a gun, the skill needs to be addressed.

Now hold on, don’t yell at me.  I teach too.  I get it. I know it’s crunch time and you’re scrambling to get your show on the floor, held together by duct tape if need be. Humor me, and realize that the moments you spend making sure there is consistency in the training of your performers will come back to you threefold, or eighty fold, or some kind of fold, I promise.  You don’t want to hear the “R” word*. EVER.

{*that would be “rehearsed”}

But. If you do hear it; take it to heart, don’t get defensive and go back to basics.  It will pay off, pinky swear ~ and you know the Movement Chick wouldn’t lie to you, right?


Oh come on, of COURSE I wouldn’t lie to you!

Almost forgot.  Perhaps I should be helpful and not just scold, yes? [as previously noted, master of the obvious, I am]

If you are struggling with this situation, there are absolutely options to incorporate into your basics program.

1.    Add a piece of equipment to your across the floor warm-up – simply the understanding of the change in centering and control will begin to make a difference

2.    Conversely, add a movement series under your equipment block.  Tendu, plie and passe are all great skills to incorporate under your consecutives

3.    Improvisation.  Turn on music, any music; give your performers a piece of equipment, and let them go.  This is a strict “No Criticism” zone; and it takes a bit for a comfort level to be achieved ~ but, OH, what it will do for performance if when you stick with it!

4.    Do some of your warm-up to your show tune. Yes, I know, you want to throw the CD player OUT THE WINDOW, enjoy variety in musical choices, but trust me, the more the performers are in tune with their soundtrack, the more their muscles will respond in kind.



Tags: , , ,

Category: Instruction, 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.

Leave a Reply