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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