Quick Update + Summer Camps + Workshops!

Just a couple of quick updates for you!

June 4th:  Privates Available
Please contact me if interested.

June 11th:  Arabian Nights Auditions

  1. If you’re interested in auditioning, please hit respond to this email and request an information packet prior to auditions.
  2. Submit your $25 Auditioning fee to Kelly Conaway.
  3. Make note of your audition time, based on your age below.
  4. If you’re unable to make auditions but are interested in auditioning, please contact me and let me know.  You can do so by hitting reply to this email.

June 17th:  Love To Dance Workshop
See Details Below

Acro Camps:
If you’re interested in participating in an Acro Camp this summer, please contact them directly to sign-up.
Signature Dance Academy:  July 10th– July 14th from 9am-12pm
Inspired Movement:  July 17th– 21st from 12:30-3:30
Element Dance Center:  24th– 28th from 9am-1pm
Signature Dance Academy:  July 31st– August 4th from 9am-12pm

We have several workshops happening in July as well.  More info on that below.

Enjoy!
Kelly Conaway

P.S.  We will be teaching afternoon classes this summer at the following studios.  Please contact them directly to sign-up:  So Cal Dance, Signature Dance Academy, Inspired Movement, Movement Dance Center, and Element Dance Center.

To read the rest of this newsletter, please click here.

Acro, Leaps and Turns Workshop August 7th 2016

Superman isn’t the only one who can fly through the air!  Check out our Acro, Leaps and Turns Workshop. Hosted by Aerial Achievements at SoCal Dance on August 7th 2016, these kids were flying through the air and even had straight legs and pointed toes!  Ms. Kelly, with the special guest Mr. KJ, took dancers and tumblers from beginners to advanced and made them fly through the air. Students from seven different studios came to the workshop to experience the thrills and learn techniques that will further help them in their dancing careers.

In the acro portion of their workshops, students worked with Ms. Kelly and her assistants to master old skills and learn new ones. They were pushed beyond what they originally thought they could do to achieve skills that put a huge smile not only on their face but on Ms. Kellys as well. Once the kids were finished with the acro portion of the workshop they were eager to join Mr. KJ were they worked on leaps and tricks, continuing to fly through the air. Mr. KJ focused on making the kids realize the beauty behind having straight legs and pointed feet. He also focused on teaching the students to use their strength to help elevate their dancing to the next level.

The students who attended this workshop, much like the many others that Ms. Kelly has hosted, not only learned new skills and tricks but also learned how to be leaders. Ms. Kelly pushes the kids to be the best they can be and to help others. Her favorite quote is “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”- Lao Tzu. Ms. Kelly gives the students the tools and steps back to let the kids achieve greatness;  they become their own “Supergirl”.

 

Written by: Ms. Brittany Onder

Acro and Turns Workshop July 10th 2016

“Practice makes perfect”, a saying we have all heard before and one that couldn’t be more true! The kids who attended Aerial Achievements weekend workshops get that additional “practice” that helps them to work on achieving those perfect dance and acro skills. On Sunday July 10th, Ms. Lynnrae and Ms. Kelly were at it again, bringing kids from all over San Diego County together to tumble and turn. From beginners to advance, these kids were broken up into 3 different groups based on levels and skills.

The beginners started our day with Ms. Kelly receiving a fantastic stretch and then continued on to the fundamentals of acro: backbend kickovers, front walkovers, and even some aerials. After an hour of fun with Ms. Kelly, they then joined Ms. Lynnrae.  The beginners learned a valuable lesson from Ms. Lynnrae before they began technique. All the girls were instructed to put their hair in a bun because as she states “You can’t turn with a ponytail whacking you in the face!”  Once the proper ‘turn hair’ was achieved, they proceed to work on the basic structure of how to execute a proper turn.  While Ms. Lynnrae worked with the beginners our intermediate girls joined Ms. Kelly practicing on making those acro skills as close to perfection as they could. Skills such as backwalkovers, aerials, and backhandsprings were keeping the kids focused, while giving them a great workout. After the hour the classes were switched again and the intermediate kids transferred to Ms. Lynnrae while our advance kids came to get tortured by Ms. Kelly. Ms. Lynnrae really focused on teaching her students about body placement and how turning involves ones’ entire body being positioned the right way. She used fun examples and even drew on her clothing and face to help her students understand the importance of correct posture.

The kids left Ms. Kelly and Ms. Lynnnrae’s classes not only sweaty and tired but filled with new information and confidence that will help them grow in their weekly classes. Building the students’ basic knowledge as well as building new friendships are the premise of these workshops and something Ms. Kelly hopes to continue.

 

Written by: Ms Brittany Onder

Acro and Turns workshop January 3 2016

The definition of the word workshop given by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a class or series of classes in which a small group of people learn the methods and skills used in doing something. A perfect definition and description of what happened this weekend at our workshop! Held at Signature Dance Academy off Poway Rd, Ms. Kelly and Ms. Lynnrae taught kids from all over San Diego County, ages 6 and older how to tumble and turn. This workshop was broken into hour long segments where the kids each worked on different skills. They began their day with Ms. Kelly where they worked on a variety of acro tricks from cartwheels to aerials, backbend kickovers to back tucks. These kids were pushed and challenged to achieve goals. After their hour with Ms Kelly, the girls then transferred rooms where Ms. Lynnrae explained the fundamentals of turns. Not only describing with words but using fun visuals to help the students understand what she was teaching. After demonstrating and describing, Ms. Lynnrae then put the kids to work, giving them exercises and combinations to practice across the floor. 

The students that attended the workshop were encouraged to introduce themselves to someone they did not know and in doing so made new friends. Girls and boys that had met only moments before were encouraging and cheering on their new friends while they were working on new tricks. Ms. Kelly’s whole philosophy behind organizing these workshops, beyond teaching new technique, is to create long lasting friendships.

Written by:  Ms Brittany Onder

Jan 6 2016 mini group AA workshopJan 6 2016 middle group AA workshopJan 6 2016 big group AA workshop

July’s Turns Workshop: Younger Girls with Ms. Lynnrae

 

 

For the second hour of the workshop, the younger dancers moved into the back room at the studio to work with the guest teacher, Ms. Lynnrae, on their turns.

She began by running them through a warm up to get them out of a tumbling mindset, and into a dance mode.  They stretched themselves out again, and focused on their posture which would be important when they began to turn in a few minutes.

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They stretched their legs while seated on the floor some more also.

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They even worked on strengthening their cores.

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Then, it was time for them to turn.

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Ms. Lynnrae helped them perfect their starting position.  She explained how you can not expect to turn well, if you start off with bad form.  They must begin by standing tall, with a tight core, firm arms and strong legs.

She worked with them on perfecting their pique turning positions.  She discussed how there are a lot of other options of course, for but regardless of the position one is spinning in, the dancer still needs to have strong legs, firm arms, a tight core and, of course, beautiful, tall posture.

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She balanced rolls of tape on their legs and books on their heads to demonstrate her point.

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With all of this in mind, then, they practiced their pique turns some more.

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They worked on some other spinning positions too.

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They also worked on their fouettes and alsicones.

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Ms. Lynnrae put tape on one of her demonstrators to illustrate the natural “square” of the body.  She explained that it is important to keep the body “square” while spinning.  Too often dancers get off their balance (their square goes off kilter) and the turns don’t work.

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With all the new information fresh in everyone’s brains, she had them all do some turns moving towards the front of the room.  She encouraged them to carefully spot themselves in the mirror while they danced, focusing on their posture and keeping their bodies square.

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Towards the end, she played a little game with one of the youngest students.  She asked her to mimic like a mirror. She wanted to ensure that even the littlest ones understood they while they dance they can look to their demonstrators and try to copy what they see.

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Everyone took a few more passes across the floor.

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Sadly, time soon ran out.  Everyone thanked Ms. Lynnrae for the amazing lesson and then they posed for a group picture together.

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July’s Turns Workshop: Younger Girls Tumbling

July’s first weekend workshop was held at So Cal Dance.  It started out in the usual way, with the younger girls coming in first.  They began with their normal stretching exercises and warm ups.

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Back stretches

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Half splits and more back stretches

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Knee Scales, flipped over to back bends and then repeated on the other side

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Some jumps were mixed in.  Tucks, Pikes and of course, straddles

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More back bends.  Need to practice standing up from them, as well as kicking over.

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Then it was time to start tumbling, with some cartwheels

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Arabians

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Back walkovers

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Travelling back bends…. walking down the mat

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One armed cartwheels

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And the ever popular aerials!

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Hand stands

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Then handstands into into forward rolls

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Straddle presses to handstands

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Front Walkovers

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Chest rolls

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Back handsprings

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Finally it was time for everyone’s final trick.  Ms. Kelly calls this their “Thing of their choice.”  🙂  Most kids pick to do either the thing they are so close to finally perfecting or the one that have only just mastered.

Like this back walkover

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Or this one armed front walkover.

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What a great hour it had been.  But time was up already and these girls needed to head next door into the other room to work on their turns…..

Tricks, Turns and Acro Workshop: Older Ones Dancing

Once the older students finished their tumbling time, and Ms. Erica was done working with the younger ladies, she came over to spend some time teaching the more experienced group.

They too started off at the bar stretching their backs.

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Everyone came out to the middle of the floor and spread out in pairs next, to stretch their arms and chest.

First Ms. Erica demonstrated with one student.

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Having seen what to do, everyone took turns stretching their arms with their buddy.

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Everyone also did some leg stretches.

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Once everybody was stretched out again, it was time to work on their scorpion poses.

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Many of the ladies were flexible enough already that they could fully straighten their back legs.

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Some even pulled their legs all the way up to a spike.

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This was a workshop to LEARN of course, so it seems those who didn’t yet quite have the flexibility to hit those more advanced poses learned the most because Ms. Erica taught them how to stretch and work there way there eventually.

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So many pretty stretches!

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Just like the earlier class had done, they worked these poses as the bar first so that they could move them out into the center of the room next and try to spin them and combine them with acro tricks.

First, spins:  (The dancers at different levels had different way of holding their legs up while they turned.)

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Taking a break from spinning for the time being, everyone had a few tries as a very cool acro trick known as a spider.  To do this, the dancers roll from their knees, through a sort of back bend position, back over onto their knees again.  Very cool!

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Next, Ms. Erica asked everyone to try to get into an acro trick from the floor.

First they’d press up in a v-position and then from there do a front walkover or cartwheel.

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For the next challenge, Ms. Erica asked everyone to extend their legs up above their head and then go into an acro trick smoothly.  Again, most did cartwheels or front walkovers, but I suppose in theory, there are a lot of cool trick that could come out of those heel stretches.

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As the time was winding down, there was time for one more challenge.  Everyone was to get into position with their back legs extended  and from there go directly and smoothly into a forward roll.  To finish, they were to try to stand up again on the same leg they started on WITHOUT putting their extended leg down again.

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It was really tough to photograph.

I’m sure though, that my difficulty trying to get some good pictures of it didn’t even compare to the difficulty of the trick though.

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It was another great workshop.  Everyone had a lot of fun and learned something to work on for the future.

Turns, Tricks and Acro Workshop: Older Ones Stretching and Tumbling

When the younger group of  ladies headed into the back room for the dance portion of the workshop, the older girls (and one fantastic boy!) came in and spread out across the mats to get started on their own warm ups and tumbling time.

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Once they completed the seated pike position stretches and butterflies, they moved on to stretching their leg extensions.

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Then of course, came back bends.

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Soon enough, everybody stood up to stretch out a bit more…

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And also throw some straddle jumps to get those leg muscles firing.

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Then everybody divided up across the three mats to start tumbling.  With these older, more advanced students, it wasn’t long at all before many of them were throwing their awesome aerials.

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Of course, not everyone has an aerial to work on yet, so don’t think that was the only thing happening.  Loads of variations on cartwheels (running, standing, both arms, one arm) were being thrown at the same time as all those aerials by all the students.

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Next it was time to work on front and back walkovers.  Honestly, in most of the pictures, I can’t even be sure which was everyone was going.

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Several students were working their front walkovers on only one arm.

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And some were using no arms at all, making them front aerials instead.

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Many of the tumblers worked on their round-off back handsprings as well as standing back handsprings.

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When not actively practicing their back handsprings, everyone had work to do in their back bends to keep building up their strength.

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Towards the end of class, some of the ladies worked on their aerials with a spotter.

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Some others just worked on theirs some more.

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A a few put them in combinations with heel stretches.

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Ms. Kelly and Ms. Lynne worked on back tucks with those who were ready.

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Basically, there had been a great deal of amazing acro, but the tumbling time flew by and soon enough, it was time to pile up the mats because Ms. Erica was coming in to start the dance portion of the workshop.

Turns, Tricks and Acro Workshop: Little Ones Dancing

For the second half of the workshop, the little dancers moved to the back room of the studio to work with guest teacher, Ms. Erica.  Her goal was to work on connecting dance moves (like turns) with acrobatic tricks, seamlessly within routines.

So one everybody gathered into the new room, Ms. Erica talked for a few moments about the things they were going to work on and gave the ladies a little time to warm up to her.

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The did a few brief exercises spread out in the center of the room before she had everyone move to the barres.  There she showed the girls some ways to work on their back stretching and flexibility.

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They went back out to the floor again to stretch their splits again because next they would be working some kicking exercises at the barre that would need their legs to be nice and extra flexible.

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The girls worked their high kicks to the back.  Started with their foot tendu to front first and then in one motion slide it back through first position and on up to the back in an attitude position…. aiming for the top of their own heads with their feet, if possible.

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Yes.  Like that.  They just made it look easy.

Anyway, after working on those for awhile, on both legs, they did something similar, only using straight legs kicking out and to the side.

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They also worked on their leg extensions while holding their on to their feet.  First they’d plie, put the foot in front of them to get a hold of it, then sort of swing it out beside them to an extended standing heel stretch position.

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Goodness, some of these girls are very flexible.

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Having, spent time working on the dance techniques at the bar, Ms. Erica invited everyone back out to spread out around the room and but some dance steps or turns together with a basic acro move.  Most girls put a basic turn together with a cartwheel.  The complexity and the acrobatic trick didn’t matter so much as the real key to the lesson was the way the girls were working on connecting the dance movements to the tumbling ones.  Too often movements can become choppy, with little break between dance elements and acrobatic tricks, so Ms. Erica was helping the girl learn how it feels to let the movements flow smoothly together.

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Here’s a nice series I got of one dancer spinning right into her cartwheel.

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Because the ladies have different strong sides Ms. Erica had divided the girls up into two separate groups, but everyone had time to try the spin to cartwheel move.

So then they worked on heel stretches into cartwheels.  Ms. Erica stressed repeatedly the importance of hitting the dance move strongly and correctly before trying to move into tumbling because if their heel stretches were wobbily or unbalanced on a weak bottom leg, that would be a very poor way to begin a cartwheel (or even an aerial someday) afterward.

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Finally, she helped the girls figure out how to get into different “cool” stretched poses before their tumbling tricks.  Several of the girls worked on scorpion poses, while others did various leg extensions or tried to pull their back leg all the way up behind them and above their head to a spike position.  Again, she concentrating on the girls getting into these positions properly and securely so that they could be strong and steady should they want to attempt some sort of tumbling coming right after hitting these positions in their routines.

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The time seemed to fly by.  Before anyone even knew it, Ms. Erica was finished up with their session.  It seemed like everyone learned a lot and to thank her, everyone shared a big group hug after class.

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Nice job everyone!  We hope to see you again soon at another workshop!!

Turns, Tricks and Acro Workshop: Little Ones Stretching and Tumbling

Last Sunday afternoon, we held our second workshop.  This time, in order to provide more specialized instruction, as well as accommodate more students, the workshop was divided up into two classes.  The younger girls came in first and spent their first hour on the mats with Ms. Kelly.

The master class began with a thorough warm up of stretches.  Legs in pike position with both pointed and flexed feet, butterfly positions, full body stretches, tucks, and back bend (bridges) were just a few of the positions incorporated in the first part of the warm up.

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Happy upside down faces. 🙂

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Next came donuts (where the ladies lay on their tummies and curl up to put their head to their feet) and several other variations on this position to thoroughly stretch out theirs.

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With everyone’s back flexing nicely, it was time to work on loosening up their legs and hips with different leg extensions, straddles and split leg stretches.

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They did a few straddle jumps as well.

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 Awesome.  It is awesome to see how much time and attention Ms. Kelly devotes to thorough warm ups and stretching beforehand.  Not only does this make for beautiful acrobatic technique and tricks, but it prevents injuries!

So once everyone was warm, it was time to start tumbling.  First up were cartwheels.

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After every did a few passes of cartwheels, it was time for a some straddle rolls.

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Beautiful pointed toes! Nicely done!

 

Then, one arm cartwheels.  These almost always photograph so nicely and make for some really fun pictures.

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When you were little did you ever do crab walk races?  Weren’t they fun?  I’m sure those aren’t what Ms. Kelly had in mind because she’d much rather her students use proper technique and build strength when they work, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of those next when everyone took a turn moving down the mats upside down with their walking back bends.

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Take your time ladies, it’s not a race. (It just really, really looks like one.)

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At this point, the class divided up a little.  About half of the ladies went to one mat to continue working on various skills and strength while the more experienced girls began working on their aerials.

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Each girl took a few turns with Ms. Kelly spotting them, and then those who seemed ready had a few goes at it without her spotting.  As you can see, many of them put an arm down.  It’s okay of course, aerial attempts without a spotter are a BIG deal!  Keep working hard ladies and it will come soon enough!

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Meanwhile, back on the other mat, ladies were working on their handstands and handstand rolls.

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These are such a nice trick, but it’s really hard to photograph the rolling over part.

Anyway, so the handstands looked pretty.  And soon enough the group that had been working on their aerials joined in as well.  They also did a series of handstand “falls” into backbend/bridges and stand ups, but the pictures of this all all mixed with the others.

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From there, it was time for some standing back bends, back bend kick overs and back walkovers.

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Most of the ladies kept working on those while once again a few of the more experienced ladies moved over to the cheese wedge mat to work on their back handsprings.

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Finally, as the time for tumbling was quickly drawing to a close, Ms. Kelly asked everyone to line up again for their final few passes.  This time it was time for them to do the tricks of their choice.

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Wow!  What a lot of fun that had been.  Time simply flew by!  Quickly, everyone gathered together for a couple of group shots with Ms. Kelly and then also with Ms. Erica (the guest dance instructor) before the they moved over to the other room for their dance time and the older girls came in to take over the mats.

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