May’s Acro and Jazz Workshop: Older Girls Dancing

Once the older students finished the first our of the workshop working with Ms. Kelly on their acro tricks, they changed gears.  Ms. Marianne was going to work with them all on incorporating some of their acro skills into their jazz dancing.

But of course, she needed to run them all through her own warm up….

Running in place


They didn’t just jog in place.  They did jumping jacks, the did lunges, they even did….





Remind me never to try to workout with Ms.  Marianne!

Actually, no, if you want to get fit, you should definitely work out with her.

Anyway, they stretched some more.



Flat backs:

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Center Splits

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Right Splits

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Left splits

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There were even a few over splits for the extra flexible ladies.



Then they did a whole bunch of crunches.


After all these crunches, they stretched back out their tummies and backs for a moment.



And then it was time to start dance moves across the floor.

First up, battements to the front and to the sides.

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After a couple of passes, they added an ankle grab and a spin in that position for those who were able.


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And alright, so by all those pictures you may never believe that any of the girls spun in their ankle grab position, but they did.  It’s just whenever dancers start to spin, getting good pictures can become sort of tricky.

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Then they started a more complex pattern.  I can’t remember how it went exactly, but included a turn, into a backwards kick  up towards their head into a heel grab followed by an illusion.

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Then they did it on their opposite side, heading the other direction.

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For the next combination, Marianne had them to a toward roll out of a penche position (with their back legs extended behind them while they lean forward.)  It went kind of like this, only I’m not sure these pictures quite do it justice.





But of course, if it was just the leg extension, and the role, that wouldn’t be much of a combination.  So after the roll, the dancers were supposed to a series of three leaps.

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The very best “rollers” didn’t use their arms at all.

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Oh.  And did I mention there was a pique turn that started them out, before the forward roll movement?




Really it was all very impressive.



And everyone was working very very hard.

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Also, when it comes to those forward rolls, the same problem with the awkward photos occurs.  It’s tough to capture the girls doing the movement but not have it come off looking awkward.

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Next Marianne had them doing knee drop leaps.



She helped the girls figure out what position they were aiming for in the air.

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So then for the next pass there were several different spins which the did into their knee drops.

So turns… turns… turns…

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All those turns led them to the jump.

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Of course, once everyone had their first go, they turned it around and went back across the floor, doing the moves on the other leg.

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Finally, the did another series of across the floor movements.  This time there were several more types of spins which led them into an illusion.

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Okay, and there must have been a few leaps in there as well.  It was actually pretty complicated.



This next series of pictures of one girl spinning turned out well.  She looks so lovely in every picture and that is hard to do.

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Here are some of those illusions finally.

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It really was an amazing workshop.  Honestly, the combinations that Marianne was throwing out at them to work on were very difficult and intense.  I had a hard time keeping up with my camera.  The dance and acrobatic tricks that she got out of them, even in this workshop setting where they really were just learning, there was some amazing dancing going on.