PowerDance Technique - The Change We Need

8:28 AM

There are a lot of things in the dance world that are out of date (forcing turn out) or that we've recently learned more about (bouncing stretches). Sadly, a lot of out of date teaching methods are still being used. In fact that's what I'll be talking about during the conference - how we need to change the way we dance and teach for longevity.

There's another out of date method that almost every single teacher uses.

OK, I'm going to get a lot of hate for this but here it goes... *takes deep breath.*

The ballet barre.

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Sorry guys... but the ballet barre is over-rated, over-used, and almost non-essential.

(Please note I did not say completely useless. I would never say that. And I don't think Eileen would either.) But there's a reason only my intermediate/advance dancers ever do barre, and even though we do some stuff, most of our class is done on the floor or in the center.


There is one reason. Just one.

1. It's too easy to cheat. 

Seriously. How often do we see our dancers gripping, leaning, pulling, pushing on the barre? Or we tell them their standing leg needs to stay activated, and not just hang out while their working leg works? It's just too easy to cheat, leave your hip open, lose your turn-out, or stop engaging the body fully.

Photo credit: quinn.anya via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Do your dancers find it impossible to use their arms and their legs at the same time? They've learned to "hold the arm" in a position while the leg moves. That's not how ballet works! Instead, they need to learn to use their arms to help their legs, and vice versus.

Photo credit: fingle via / CC BY-NC-SA

Are your dancers significantly stronger on one side than the other? Many times, it's because the body compensates on the weaker side, and because barre is so easy to do it wrong, it doesn't get corrected. Another reason is because we do things once on each side, rather than working the weaker side extra.

Imagine doing your hardest barre combo without the barre.

Now imagine that it's actually easier to do with without the barre than with.

Because if you are utilizing your muscles correctly and efficiently, it will be!

OK Haley, what is this amazing phenomenal program you're about to sell me?

Well first of all let me be super clear about something: I am not being compensated in any way to share or promote PowerDance Technique. I do not gain affiliate payment. I don't get a lump sum. There's no link exchange. I'm sharing the program with you because I believe in it.

OK so now about the program.

Here are the amazing things that you will discover after working through these exercises:

  • You will understand where rotation comes from
  • You will feel resistance to movement, and take on a whole new level of elongation
  • You will feel how to "squeeze your butt" the right way.
  • You will feel your back - all of it
  • Your neck tension will go away
  • Your ankle tension will go away
  • You will feel how your arms and your legs are connected
  • You will be in control of your body
  • You will experience opposition in a whole new way
  • You will see the connection between different dance steps (how are glissade, petite jeté, grand jeté, developpé, and ballancé all related?)
  • You will stop making the same mistakes over and over and over, instead being able to understand and be in control of the correction.
  • You will revolutionize your turns. Pun fully intended.

So this is what I want you to do. 

1. Decide what 2 or 3 things you want to change in your dancing.

2. Figure out exactly what the source of the problem is. For example: you want to make your turns better? Great. But what is throwing your turns off? Your spot? your arms? Your rotation?  Maybe you want higher extensions and better battements, but what is the source? Are you hauling your leg up? Are you tight? Is your placement wrong?

Photo credit: kauiwaui via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Wouldn't it be great to never have to tell your kids "Stop forcing your turn-out!"

All of these things are automatically corrected when you are put in a position where you have no choice but to do the step correctly, otherwise you will fall flat on your face. You can't pronate, because you're activating the right muscles. You can't force your turnout because you're on the ground with nothing to force it against. You can't help but use your arms because if you don't, you'll fall.

Eileen's new videos are online and are in the following categories:
  • Extension (lengthened muscles, developpes, foutees, being in control of a straight leg)
  • Turns
  • Take-offs and landings (articulation, use of the seat)
Then you need to purchase these videos  (it's like paying a ballet teacher $1/minute for a lesson you get to watch over and over again, which is totally a good price for a teacher like Eileen!). Watch them over and over. Work through them. Do the exercises as slow as you need to. 

You will immediately see where you struggle, and that will point out your weaknesses and what you need to drill. You will start to see the connection in what you were missing.

Then come back and tell me what it did to you. Because I'll tell you what it did for me...
  • I have never been able to do more than a forced double turn. I can now get consistent quads with half as much effort.
  • My leaps are much higher
  • My extension is higher
  • My feet are significantly stronger
  • I have twice as much rotation as I used to
  • My arms don't drop or look nasty
  • My arms and back are very strong, and are connected.
  • I feel my movements through my whole body
  • I have better visualization skills
  • I'm able to identify weakness in one side or the other, and train myself appropriately (i.e. this foot is weaker, this rotation is weaker, this arm is weaker, in this muscle, so we will do double conditioning on that side).
  • I don't lose my rotation while dancing - I can maintain it. At all times. No matter the position or the step. Do you realize how amazing that feels!!?!
Seriously. Check it out.

I will be interviewing Eileen Juric about her program and it's benefits during the Healthy Dancer's conference.

Eileen Juric draws from a multi-layered history in the dance world. She began her career training on full scholarships at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet, afterwards dancing professionally as a soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet. Read the rest of Eileen's bio here.

***PS I do barre with my intermediate and advanced dancers. I don't hate barre. I love barre! I really do. but I incorporate a lot of the PDT into my dancers training during the beginner years, so by the time they go to the barre, they don't get the same corrections normal students get!***

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