June’s Acro and Contemporary Workshop Part 2



The second half the June workshop focused on incorporating Acro movements into Contemporary style dance.   The guest teacher, Ms. Michelle asked everyone to get started with some improvisation.  She reminded everyone to keep moving, and no matter what, try not to be shy and just commit to whatever it is they were doing.

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After a few minutes of improv, she pulled everyone back to attention while she started to teach a short routine.

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Once everyone had learned the entire routine, everyone divided up in small groups to perform the number for everyone else.  Ms. Michelle asked the dancers to improve as a group, working together for the first several bars before the choreography began.

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Ms. Michelle offered some tips and then everyone did the piece again in 2 large groups.

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She pulled out a small group of the dancers who she felt were not only doing the choreography well, but also really going for the improv. section and showing a great deal of intensity and expression.



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All in all, there were SO many great things happening during this master class.  Such great dancing, creative improvisation, unique choreography and such great insensity of emotions.

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It was a wonderful class.  Every single student seemed to learn so much and displayed such fine work.

June’s Acro and Contemporary Dance Workshop part 1

The June workshop started out much like all the others, with everyone stretching and warming up.

Seated pike stretches
Butterfly stretches
More pike positions

Then it was time to stretch out their backs and stomachs with some donuts. DSC_2013 DSC_2015 Flipping back over in another back stretch. DSC_2023 DSC_2024 DSC_2034 Touching their toes… or the floor… whatever ladies, just try and keep your knees straight! DSC_2020 DSC_2019   A half split with a back arch DSC_2022   A back bend with one leg extended. DSC_2016   More leg extensions DSC_2028 DSC_2031DSC_2036 DSC_2037   And more back bends DSC_2018 DSC_2038 There were some jumps. DSC_2039   Before everyone stretched tall on releve. DSC_2041   Then, splits. DSC_2044 DSC_2046 DSC_2048   And of course, splits with arched backs.  Grabbing that back leg or foot is always an extra nice touch. DSC_2050 DSC_2051 DSC_2059   Center splits. DSC_2061 DSC_2067 DSC_2068     DSC_2077 DSC_2078 From there it was time to start tumbling.  A few forward rolls got everybody started and then it was time for cartwheels. DSC_2083 DSC_2084 DSC_2085 DSC_2088 DSC_2089 DSC_2093 DSC_2094 DSC_2096 DSC_2099   And then one armed carthweels. DSC_2101 DSC_2102 DSC_2116 DSC_2118 DSC_2119 It wasn’t long of course before people started throwing their aerials. DSC_2132 DSC_2147 DSC_2148 DSC_2153 DSC_2155 DSC_2157 DSC_2158 DSC_2159 DSC_2160 DSC_2162   Ms. Kelly was sure to include everyone, even those who weren’t able to do aerials yet.  She head them working their one armed cartwheels and then started spotting them with a lift, as she would for an aerial, so that they could begin to feel how one would go. DSC_2164 DSC_2169   Those who had their aerials really solid, were asked to work on them in combinations with heel stretches before and after.       DSC_2185 DSC_2188 DSC_2189 DSC_2197 DSC_2199   DSC_2202 DSC_2203 DSC_2204 DSC_2214 DSC_2215 DSC_2216   Once a dancer has her aerial, Ms. Kelly works with them to clean it up.  She has them concentrate on keeping their legs straight and pointing their toes of course, but also on hitting a good split position in the air and keeping their arms straight and by their hips rather than just flailing around haphazardly. DSC_2224 DSC_2225 DSC_2226 Until the final stunt looks more like this:   DSC_2227   It’s interesting to watch the workshop as each student is at a different level with each trick so Ms. Kelly and her team adapt their teaching and spotting accordingly to help everyone progress. Here she is working with some who are still trying to learn their aerials. DSC_2228 DSC_2230 DSC_2231 DSC_2232 DSC_2233 DSC_2235 DSC_2236 DSC_2222DSC_2237   Nobody is every left to just settle on what they can already do.  Everyone is always encouraged to keep trying new things. Like putting tricks together with dance moves. DSC_2239 DSC_2241   Not only was there a lot of work on “regular (sideways) aerials, but there was a lot of work on front walkovers which lead into front aerials. DSC_2220 DSC_2243 Here’s another example of an aerial in combination with a dance move. DSC_2244 DSC_2245 DSC_2252       There was a whole series of handstands. DSC_2257 DSC_2259 DSC_2260 And then everyone worked handstands into different tricks as well. DSC_2262 DSC_2263 DSC_2265 There straddle press handstands are always fun. DSC_2270 DSC_2273 DSC_2278 DSC_2281 DSC_2295 DSC_2296 DSC_2299   More walkovers.  It’s interesting to look at the pictures afterward because I can almost never tell which direction the walkovers were going (front or back.) DSC_2305 DSC_2307 DSC_2309 DSC_2312 Your guess is as good as mine, because I’m sure everyone was working them both ways. DSC_2318 DSC_2322 DSC_2325 DSC_2328 The walkovers were mixed in with some back beds, which the girls practice standing up from as well as kicking over out of. DSC_2347 DSC_2348 DSC_2349 DSC_2353 DSC_2355 DSC_2361   And of course, some of the girls were working on their back handsprings. DSC_2371 DSC_2375 DSC_2381 DSC_2382   And their back tucks. DSC_2384 DSC_2389 As the time wore down, everyone took their last few turn on the mat doing their “thing of their choice” as Ms. Kelly calls it.  This is a time to work on your latest, newest, most favorite trick a few more times, before the class is over. DSC_2395 DSC_2397 DSC_2399 DSC_2401 DSC_2404 DSC_2405 DSC_2406 DSC_2407 DSC_2408 DSC_2414 DSC_2418 DSC_2421 DSC_2423 DSC_2427 It was another fun first hour or so of tumbling.  Quickly, it was time to gather for a group photo before everybody moved on to work on their contemporary style dancing. DSC_2433