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Week 5 Homework: The Sauté Test
In Cohort 3
Carolina Valverde
Aug 10, 2022
Hi!! This week, I decided to try the test alongside my student. She was really excited that I would be doing the test with her and I think that motivated her to try a little harder, which was really sweet. What I noticed is that she found it hard to stay stationary. She was able to execute a few in a row in one place, but on the third or fourth one, she started traveling and then got back to a steady rhythm for a few more. You can also tell that the coupé leg is not attached during the sautés and she is pumping her arms a bit to get some more force. Towards the beginning, her bottom foot was really stretching and looked strong, but as the test progressed, you can see that the foot looks a bit less engaged, for lack of better terms, loosey goosey. On the topic of alignment, this student and I have been working to find a more neutral pelvis. She has slight anterior tilt. Because she’s a pretty bright student, I can give her a bit more detailed cues. We’ve talked about the tailbone pointing more towards the floor like a downward arrow instead of pointing to the student behind her. She understands that I don’t want her to tuck her pelvis and we haven’t had issues with that. Also engaging her “fish hook muscle” which are her lower and deep abdominals seems to be a good cue. This test was difficult, but not impossible for me. I noticed I held some tension in my fingers and I also noticed that it is harder when I am jumping on my left foot. This isn’t surprising for me though because I know I feel more confident and strong on my right foot. I also need to work on keeping that back foot attached!! Best, Carolina
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Week 4 Homework: The Airplane Test
In Cohort 3
Week 3 Homework: Grand Plie in Fifth Test
In Cohort 3
Carolina Valverde
Jul 27, 2022
Hi, A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the summer break had definitely taken a toll on the strength of my dancers. With that said, we worked our way slowly to a grand plie in fifth. We started off with some core exercises like dead bugs, or what we call "diamond abs," and then tried a grand plie in first facing the barre, progressing to a grand plie in first in the center, and finally a grand plie in fifth in the center. After trying the grand plie test with my student, I noticed that these progressions seemed to help find the placement and stability needed to perform this test. While a grand plie seems very basic, it can pose different challenges for sure! From my own perspective, I found that a grand plie was more successful when I thought of sliding straight up and down, making sure that my pelvis was not tipped and that my core was engaged. Additionally, I like to think of my heels coming together to shape the feet, but not in a way that is too exaggerated like the photo from the slides, where the ankles are less stable and prone to injury. I also like to think of showing two demi plies, one on the way down, and one on the way up. Even as a teacher, I am sure I do things incorrectly but it’s hard to know when I’m doing something wrong, so please feel free to correct me! I greatly appreciate it! It is easy in this test to force the turnout. With that in mind, it is important to look at the toes during this test to make sure that the majority of the rotation is coming from the tops of the legs, not from below the knee. If the toes are too turned out and the rotation is being forced instead of held, the kinetic chain is disrupted. The kinetic chain energy moves from the toes, up to the knee, through the pelvis and spine, and to the top of the head (or the other way). Best, Carolina
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Carolina Valverde

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