I feel like I’ve gained more strength in my shoulders in the last week than in the last year. Thanks to Mel’s choreography to an Ellie Goulding song that we’ve been learning piece by piece on Wednesday nights, I’ve simultaneously stretched my external rotators and strengthened my deltoids to the point of ridiculousness. They hurt…but in a really good way.
I mostly blame the spin that requires you to hold onto one foot and (ideally) straighten your leg into the air, fall forward, and wrap your inside leg into a modified Fireman spin. It looks spectacular. I tried it in my 6-inch red Pleasers, and found myself to be about an inch taller on my left side when I was done. Then there are ALL the aerial inversions. Mel’s asking for three in a row; I think she’s crazy. But goodness knows I try to get them anyway. Then there’s going into Extended Butterfly from a sit on the pole. I think I’ll figure the mechanics out eventually…
The point is this: when there is choreography to learn and perfect, I don’t mind trying out all of these hard tricks as much. Mel is really smart to appeal to the dancer in all of us. Instead of breaking down new moves in a class setting, she shows us a beautiful dance she’s created. Everyone wants to dance like that, and so we become ever more determined to learn the moves required to make it happen. It’s pure genius.
I think I’ll start taking this method into Art of Sensual Movement. Sometimes just choreographing a small piece and teaching it in a class is enough to engage students and get them not just excited to try new things, but eager enough to be willing to perfect them.