Dance

Wednesday 7th September 2016

Helena’s Dance Class (Dance)

Today we had to test our flexibility and our core strength the test was un-stretched and un-warmed up. This was very helpful and the whole point was to see how much we progressed in a few days and also to see how much warming up can affect these things.

Some things to note is this test had to be un-stretched, un-warmed and un-prepared. On top of this I have currently ordered my gear but everyone else did their test in leggings. Because I did not have leggings yet I actually done the test in skinny jeans so this would impact my test results quite a bit.

Flexibility Test

flexibility-test-1

This was to test our Achilles heel if you can touch the floor or get close it is long enough (My Achilles heel is) I already knew i could do this from last year at college as we sometimes practised this stretch.

I was fairly surprised with these results mainly the second picture as my back is probably my least flexible part of my body (As commented about further below) and i got quite far considering this.

This was not so much a test but just to see how our bodies are built. This may not be the best pictures to see as my top was slightly loose (I will take a picture soon with a tighter top) Looking at the picture my left arm seems barely a cm longer than the other. This would explain why in another test I could link fingers on my left not my right. My chest points out slightly when in neutral and my back has a slight curve to it.

This test was simply to see our flexibility in our legs. My left seems very slightly more flexible. Although it may go further my left is a bit more at a angle than my right leg and therefore less straight. With both legs they seem to be very close.

flexibility-test-9

Another test for our Achilles heel. Again it seems my Achilles heel is not that much of a problem the aim of this test was to see if how far we can squat to the floor and if we could keep balance while we did it. I do notice the left foot seems to be slightly at a angle may make a difference. However I’m confident I could easily redo it with perfectly straight feet and still get quite far in this test.

A test to see our turnout. I have only attended very few ballet classes this year. Considering this I still have room for improvement here but am not too worried and am pretty happy with these results.

A test to see how flexible our arms are. The first picture I did not do very well and think I need to work on it. I think the reason why it does not go too far could possibly be to do with my back. The other two pictures results I am quite happy with I use to do these stretches quite regularly last year so am pretty flexible doing these stretches. Still room to improve and even maybe link my hands together and work on my other side so they can possibly be at the same level of flexibility.

A test to see the flexibility of our wrists. I am going to be honest and I don’t know what to say about this whether it is good or bad as I am not sure what to compare this too. And whether its average or not. Looks wise however maybe I can work on getting my fingers to point directly straight?

I am overly happy with these results I do aim however to manage to achieve the splits eventually. i have worked on stretches to try and praise the splits in my free time occasionally so I roughly knew how flexible my legs are. However maybe its the floor or environment but I have never managed to get this low especially un-streched while at home. I especially surprised at how my front splits went as I always feel very high but today it went pretty well. For my side splits I feel a few weeks of dedicated stretching and work and I may be able to achieve side splits. My right side is my better side (Most of the time it is considering I’m left handed?) on my right my back leg is straight and a bit closer however my left I struggled to straighten my back-leg as you can see above.

This test is slightly to see if we are capable of achieving the splits as some cannot as body structures are different. The way to tell if I’m correct is we needed to see if our legs went further apart of stayed the same. i had to ask the teacher as i could not really tell. I think my legs went further out but my bum went very slightly higher I am not too sure. Then again I am pretty close to splits so maybe if you are closer it is hard to tell. I also asked my partner to take a second photo of the side view as in one my back is very arched luckily I managed to straighten it quite easily.

Comparing to last year I feel I have improved my leg lay out on the floor. During dance company (During Level.2 Performing.Arts) we did this stretch and I’m not going to lie it was pretty bad. It is not amazing now but definitely looks a lot better than what is was. Apart from that my leg lay out on the floor needs improvement but I was not disappointed with my results. Now my leg lay out on the wall i had to wriggle myself very particularly to get against the wall. However although I made it my position was pretty bad (Should have had hips touching the floor I was pretty far off) and my spine dug quite badly into the ground (Ended up with small bruises just from this one small stretch). The teacher then asked me to retake the picture and come off the wall and try to sort my back and don’t let it arch against the floor so I did it although I was quite far from the wall. Surprisingly it did not make much different to how far my legs lay out. Although it did straighten them a bit more. Again I only really practised the wall lay out rarely when I was at home and I normally grab something to pull Myself in.

Flexibility Test 28.jpg

Yet another test to see how good our Achilles heel is. Again mine is pretty good and both my feet can touch in this position. Also it was to see how close our knees can reach the floor in this position I feel out of all the tests my skinny jeans was a big problem with this one in particular.

This was a test for back rotation. I was pleasantly surprised with this test and actually had well I think perfect back rotation. Maybe my knees could had touched a bit closer but apart from that I don’t see a massive flaw in this test. In comparison to another test I am very surprised as the other test below is very bad and not very flexible at all.

I feel this needs more improvement over any other part of my body. The only real notable good thing I notice about this stretch is when my legs go up my back stays pretty still but does not arch. This is a major flaw and possible my least flexible part of my body I have. Maybe it is because I use to have bad posture and still slightly do when sitting. Another reason could be I have not stretched my back at all barely when stretching. It also does not help when doing floor work my spine will dig into the floor and point out if not relaxed and comfortable.

Overall? 

Overall I feel for a student who lacks a lot of experience most students have as they have worked at a younger age to achieve where they are now. I feel I am  quite good in places and still have my strengths. Although from this test and the pictures above it is quite easy to pick out what they are. There is not many where tests above where I feel i have reached my cap maybe 2 ? So I will need to work hard to achieve the top end of my flexibility capabilities. This also helps me to see how I work best again from this test as I feel I achieved better results than i normally would do at home. Although this could be the floor or even my shoes which helped me achieve better results than normal. But in argument against this it would be the environment is helping me to try and reach my limits more.

Core Tests

3 Minute Plank – Max: 6 minutes

Thoughts: I was very happy with this result as I managed to reach halfway although I know that next time I will be bale to reach higher I quitted a bit early on this my core was only just starting to shake and I felt I should have pushed further. I am not to sure but I fell I would be happy to re do this and hopefully improve.

Side Plank (Straight Legs)

1:35 Plank (Left Leg) – Max: 3 minutes

Thoughts: Comparing to my other leg I stopped way too early also with the other leg I was looking at a student and focused on them as they gave me and their self encouragement by saying things such as just 30seconds more and etc. . This proved to me quite clearly I can push myself more if I have encouragement and other people are their rather than zoning out or being alone. I was not to happy with this result and would happily re do it another time.

3:00 Plank (Right Leg) – Max: 3 minutes

Thoughts: I managed to reach the cap finally. I was impressed by this result I can’t really complain. This result did help however to know what environment I am best taught in by comparing the left and right. This simply proves I work a lot better and show better results with other people around. There was one point where I shook badly and almost lost but I managed to regain control. Honestly if I did not have a student doing the exercise with me at the same time I would have given up around 2:20 – 2:40 mark. Maybe even earlier possibly.

3:20 Balance Test –  No Max

Thoughts: By this I was shaking as soon as we started due to just finishing the right leg plank. I was fairly surprised I lasted as long as I did due to the instant shaking I had. I think I may have been able to go a bit more but my body was starting to ache so I thought it was best to stop.

 

Thursday 8th September 2016

Sarah’s Tap/Jazz Lesson (Dance)

First we started with some exercises and stretches. This was not too hard but definitely helped get me warm and stretched more. We then learn’t a slight disco kind of jazz dance. It took me a bit but eventually I feel I did ok. It was quite slow but had a lot of big movements.

We then started to learn some tap dance. I still do not have all my equipment so i had to borrow some and they was very tight and I felt they restricted my toes a small amount. The simple taps where we had to move from the top of the room to the other side was a lot easier and I occasionally got it. Later we then needed to create our own sequence this was very hard we had some beats to tap too. However me and my partner has had very little to no tap dance training before. We only got some of the beats done it was very simple. I personally have never had tap dance training before it is definitely fun but takes a bit of believing and time to get the hold of movements. This is probably my weakest point in dance so far.

After College Stretch/Workout (Dance)

Me and a student (Daytona Florian) decided to start stretching for 30minutes – 1hr of stretching and excises to help prepare ourselves for dance and improve our endurance swell as get extra work in. Today was more of a stretch day we did a small warm up nothing strenuous then I got into splits and she helped push me into it a bit more and I held the splits for about 45 seconds. I did this with both legs and she helped ease me into going further to get closer. after this I used the ballet bar to stretch my legs and done a couple of stretches and jogged a bit. We are planning to make this a daily habit of coming into the dance studio to practise and improve.

 

Friday 9th September 2016

Lynn’s 3pm Session (Dance)

A very short but productive lesson we danced two styles of dance. The first from the ‘Gay Gordans’ and the other one ‘Witches Reel’ both very different and cheery styles. The first ‘Gay Gordans’ which was very much like a ball room style dance. Very slow with a partner a few steps and turns. Me and my partner at first got confused with the rotating to move but got corrected and found out it was a lot more simple than we thought at first. The other one ‘Witches Reel’ was a group dance again fairly simple but both upbeat dances. With this one i have done it as warmup before so I knew roughly what to expect. The only bit which was a bit challenging but easily sorted was kicking to the opposite side of the person in front of us. Mainly because some people would kick the wrong way I occasionally missed the first kick but managed to pick it up again quickly.

After College Stretch/Workout (Dance)

Today we mainly focused on simple stretches and doing a small exercise. I did not get Daytona to help ease me into stretches today as I could not reach that far with certain stretches because of yesterdays flexibility testing. My legs was very tired and slightly hurting so I took today slowly and relatively easy. I did not practise side splits as it hurt way too much instead I tried to focus on forward splits and it did not hurt as much. I also used the ballet bar again to stretch and held it for a bit to stretch my legs a bit more. We then finished up by playing some music and doing a small workout. Also while i was waiting for Daytona I attempted to practise tap it went pretty well however i find it near impossible to tap dance with my left foot and it was a lot harder than with my right this proves that my right foot is more dominant in tap dance however it is only one session I’ve had with tap dance so it could all change possibly. Todays exercise and stretches lasted about 40 minutes.Overall most of todays workout was just exercise due to yesterday and pushing myself. We plan to continue Monday depending on if the dance studio is free again or not. And we also plan to let ourselves rest during the weekend to ease up out muscles and let them rest ready for Monday.

 

Wednesday 14th September 2016

Continued Tests

13 Pushups – Recommended: 30

This is definitely my biggest downfall of all the tests. My upper body strength is way below the average. All I can really do i make sure I improve this as upper body strength is needed to be able to lift people in dance as well as other things too.

2:03 Left Leg Balance – Recommended: 8 seconds

Not much I can say I done very well although I was surprised as my left leg is noticeably way better than my right leg. Should not be much of a surprise although i am left handed if I spin of anything else my dominant hand is my right. I only really write with my left hand. My spins are always stronger and more controlled on my left although this tests shows I am actually more co ordinated on my left side?

30 seconds Right Leg Balance – Recommended: 8 seconds

Although my left is better we did this test not long after testing our other side so possibly this affected this test. Either way I met the recommended for this test.

70 Crunches (Unsupported) – Recommended: 45

I was happily surprised with this result at home I normally only make between 20-30 compared to todays results. This also shows my core is fairly strong.

108 Crunches (Supported)

This time someone held out feet in place. This made it easier and my partner urged me on to get 100 crunches. It was a lot harder and I felt my stomach muscles hurting a small amount as just before this test we only had a small break. Again my results on this test I cannot really complain about this as its a very good score. Although the next day my muscles in my stomach are vert tense right now so I guess I overworked the muscles a bit. So possibly I need to work on my endurance.

In the first photo is me with my turnout holding the ballet bar. Something to note it was only a very small amount but my partners waist was a small amount higher so the bar was only a few cm off my waist. the 2nd photo is my full plia. The 4th picture is me doing the plea wrong before I got corrected. The reason it was wrong as I did straightened my bum too much and had a completely flat back. Not really sure what to comment on this apart from I still need to improve my turnout and ballet posture a fair amount.

Sarah’s Lesson (Dance)

Today we had a small warmup and focused on tap and jazz more. The steps was very hard as usual. Also the point that I am waiting on my tap shoes so I am using very tight fitting tap shoes for now. It s always fun I normally get the steps as quick as I lose them. With jazz I found it easier to pick up just a bit of the footwork I was a little bit slow on. For tap occasionally I got it but as soon as we moved on to more challenging steps I struggled a lot. I got corrected a lot which is good and bad as at least it means I know what to not do now. Also being my few tap lessons I think I am coping well although I am far from show worthy with my tap dance skills.

 

Thursday 15th September 2016

Sarah’s Tap/Jazz Lesson (Dance)

Before we started we done a circuit for certain counts and repeated it. This was a great warmup and got me ready for today. Today in tap we praised similar things we did last lesson. Although some bits was different and some was harder and easier than some of it. I think i picked up on more this lesson although near the end I feel I started to flag a bit as I was a bit tired from todays lesson. We also got told todays lesson will be similar each day and will be used as a warmup. I am happy to hear this as it means I can focus on the bits I could not pick up from this and last lesson to try and learn it all and eventually move onto more challenging tap dance once I get the basics. For jazz it was different as she explained some positions and how they can be similar to ballet but for jazz it is slightly differently. We had small spins involved today.  For one spin on my right I felt I had very good momentum however my arms was a bit random. I actually surprised myself with how much speed I actually had. The rest of the spins we done I felt I done pretty bad and it needs to be worked on.

 

Wednesday 28th September 2016

Christmas Dance (Dance)

Today for seasonal session we got given the task of creating a christmas dance piece which is simple and aimed at older people. We will be showing it to elderly peoples homes closer to christmas time. Luckily as last week I was busy doing other things. There was a place to fill in for one of the dances. Although now she had to relearn it although the learnt bits was not too long yet as it has only just been worked on recently. Now the dance has become a partner dance as it now has two boys and two girls. Which makes it more interesting than most and gives us something we can work around that is different to the rest. Our song we are dancing to is ‘Jingle Bells Rock (Glee Version)’ It has a nicer tempo compared to another we listened too which was lot more slow. We still have plenty of time and have just over half of the dance choreographed. I feel as though this is a good group to work with some of us aren’t experienced dancers but regardless we all seem to be trying and having fun.

 

Thursday 29th September 2016

Body conditioning (Dance)

Today was body conditioning it is basically a workout eccentually it was a hard session it had a typical warmup then went into things such as planks and more. I did not find it too hard occasionally I feel etc and just got back up. Although something to note from this and street dance this week I now have a slight pain in my back. Probably as I am not use to using my back muscles much although I personally count this as a positive as it means I must be actually using now.

 

Friday 30th September 2016

Pilates Class (Dance)

Not many of us so was there today so its was more better and easier to get told if we was right or wrong. It was turned into a pilates class as not many of us was there. This is the first ever pilates class I had and it was very hard and needed us to engage our cores and balance. I found it hard to keep my balance when on my side and alternated between keeping my finger tips down and on my side. Overall this was great and through out I could feel slight discomfort and stretches when doing this class.