MOVEMENT MONDAYS #3: Saute Arabesque

| December 21, 2009 | 0 Comments

Hello Everyone! 

I know!  Once again, here I am… the proverbial bad penny.

Third time’s the charm, right?  I am back to whisper sweet nothings at you with regard to your movement programs.  Warms the very soul, doesn’t it? 

[I DID mention the not getting out much thing, right?  Oh, good. ] 

This week’s topic comes to us from the fantastic mid section of our great country, where those crazy people fine pageantry people of Kansas City brought in yours truly to do some training for their association. 

No, I didn’t pay them, sheesh. 

I did promise to be their best friend and wash their windows, but that’s a completely different matter all together.

In a moment of seriousness, it was a great trip, great dialogue and great people.  Good pageantry times were had, and some in depth discussions were raised also.  [Incidentally, it’s not always safe to get that many movement people in a room together and show videos with, errr… shall we say “less than stellar” line…there may have been much some wincing and clutching of pearls. Hypothetically, of course]

Digress much? Alrighty then.

Can we please, please, pretty please discuss our most favorite-est sauté in the history of our activity?  Yes, boys and girls, it is the Sauté Arabesque.  If you are not doing this, you may want to peek out from that rock you’re living under and put your jazz shoes on.  It’s practically a staple on the A sheet, and it’s a great fill on any sheet. 

I promise, even if you don’t recognize the term, you know the movement to which I refer… back leg brushes back into a low arabesue, as the body pushes forward and up, using both the demi and the upper body to propel into the air. 

Sidebar: Wait… did The Movement Chick just say the upper body?

Why, yes I did, and thank you for noticing.  The torso/ribcage/sternum; [pick your anatomical reference of choice] IS instrumental in hurtling propelling the body into the air.  The demi plie, [or chasse if you are using that for preparation] gives you the impetus to become airborne, but we need to engage the ribcage too.  Trust me!  I’m a trained professional I’ve done approximately eleventy-million of these in gyms across the country northeast … and by the grace of the power invested in my tape recorder, I’ve WATCHED them in gyms everywhere.  Understanding the engagement of the upper body is the key differential to turning this from a “hop” into a soaring beautiful swanlike properly executed sauté.

Oh, let me guess.  Now you want me to tell you HOW. 

Oh, okay, fine. Stand up. Clear some space.

[Imagine the looks I’m getting through my office door right now… It’s an ACCOUNTING firm! ]

Let’s try it with a double-chasse, just because if I’m going to look like a fool, I WILL share the wealth.   You’re welcome

Breath in on your second chasse, gather your energy on the subsequent step; and as you push from your prep into the air, VISUALIZE your ribcage propelling upward at a 45 degree angle, whilst exhaling. 

[Quietly, no need to pant here unless you’re using breath as effect and not energy]

Open up your shoulders; use the energy you are pushing from your chest as a fountain, cascading up through the ribcage and flowing through your arms and your fingertips. [Goodness, I’m poetic, yes?] 

You will have greater success with this if your students are covering ground while performing this skill.  Doing this in place bears an uncanny and not-so flattering resemblance to a Charlie Jack in the Box [anybody get the movie reference?] and, more importantly, I’ve found students land it badly when trying to hold back their ribs and hips from moving forward; risking injury to their joints, especially the knees.  It’s very, very difficult, nigh impossible to stop the forward motion of the body Let’s remember our science, shall we? 

Say it with me:

An object in motion stays in motion.

So, why not use it to advantage?  As you work within this parameter, you’ll find your students can channel that fountain energy into greater height, and a sense of lightness will become simpler to achieve as well.

So, Miss Wordy-pants over here has completed defeated the point of Movement Mondays being brief.  [have they MET me?  The brevity and I, we are not close]  and the best part is… I had originally planned to discuss the extremities of the limbs technique for this sauté… NOT  the “getting into the air.”

Sigh… next time.

Until then I remain, respectfully yours,

*The Movement Chick


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.

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