The Movement Chick: “Effort Qualities”

| March 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Hello my darlings!!  Has the whirlwind of our crazy season swept you up and away yet?

[Why, yes, I WAS in Kansas… why do you ask?  Sigh…No, I never did find the ruby slippers.  My broom ride flight home, however, was lovely]

And, in the usual shocking nature of The Movement Chick, I digress into a conversation about shoes.


So.  I shall take a break from the interminable informative [fingers crossed its informative anyway, bah!] movement block development series in order to discuss movement “tweaking” during the tail end of the season.

It’s beginning to look a lot like {are you singing the tune now?  You’re welcome}


Yup.  They’re right around the corner, my darling readers.  And, while I’m hoping you are all done with the writing and the staging and the costuming and the make-up-ing [that is TOTALLY a word] of your performers, that does not mean you are “done” with your show.  Oh, heavens no. The fun is JUST beginning.  No, seriously, it really is.  It is time to


Okay, it’s also time to clean, but let’s just skip over that pesky little detail for the moment, shall we?

Here’s the idea.  Take a moment to watch your show with your “effort qualities” eyes on.

Say them with me now:


And what exactly I do want you to do with the aforementioned qualities?  Use them, my lovelies! Use them!

In terms of expressive qualities, what I want you to look for is RANGE.  When you are analyzing weight force changes, take advantage of the differences in heavier, bound moments and those which are lighter.  Use breath to advantage, especially during lighter moments.  Are you exploring gradations of time within your movement and equipment book?  When layering movement on body, on form, or exploring the triad, is it clear what quality is driving the moment?  Are you highlighting changes in direct to indirect space?

Pull back, review the ranges you have in place now, and take notes as you go.  Perhaps there is a moment when you utilize a skater turn.  Use a demi plie to drop down into the term, and bingo! Change in weight and space.  Taking the body off center in a lunge?  Engage the shoulders, neck and head to fully complete the line of the 45 and suddenly, you have a much grander exploration of space.

Moving backwards in a form responsibility?  Try it in demi pointe.  This elevates the body, smoothes out the travel and, yes, provides another level change.

There are SO many ways to subtly tweak your production, and I assure you, you will be AMAZED at what a change in level can provide. The skater turn I mentioned earlier?  Try half of the unit in plie, and half pulling into a pirouette.  [A-hem…ONLY if they have the training in place to effectively complete said pirouette, pleaseandthankyou]

Play around with your expressive range and the effort qualities and HAVE FUN.

Engage the performers in asking for suggestions to develop and deepen your movement book.  Keep it fresh, keep it expressive and keep your momentum all the way through to Championships, Nationals, and heck, the Memorial Day parade if you so desire.

Good Luck, my darlings.




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Category: Adjudication, Choreography, Design, Instruction, Movement, Performance, Professional Development, 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.

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