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.
After a few minutes of improv, she pulled everyone back to attention while she started to teach a short routine.
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.
Ms. Michelle offered some tips and then everyone did the piece again in 2 large groups.
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.
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.
It was a wonderful class. Every single student seemed to learn so much and displayed such fine work.
The June workshop started out much like all the others, with everyone stretching and warming up.
Then it was time to stretch out their backs and stomachs with some donuts. Flipping back over in another back stretch. Touching their toes… or the floor… whatever ladies, just try and keep your knees straight! A half split with a back arch A back bend with one leg extended. More leg extensions And more back bends There were some jumps. Before everyone stretched tall on releve. Then, splits. And of course, splits with arched backs. Grabbing that back leg or foot is always an extra nice touch. Center splits. From there it was time to start tumbling. A few forward rolls got everybody started and then it was time for cartwheels. And then one armed carthweels. It wasn’t long of course before people started throwing their aerials. 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. Those who had their aerials really solid, were asked to work on them in combinations with heel stretches before and after. 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. Until the final stunt looks more like this: 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. 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. 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. Here’s another example of an aerial in combination with a dance move. There was a whole series of handstands. And then everyone worked handstands into different tricks as well. There straddle press handstands are always fun. 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.) Your guess is as good as mine, because I’m sure everyone was working them both ways. The walkovers were mixed in with some back beds, which the girls practice standing up from as well as kicking over out of. And of course, some of the girls were working on their back handsprings. And their back tucks. 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. 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.