The past two (or three?) weeks have been some kind of a whirlwind, what with Sensei Kae taught us a new way to spin (I'll write it up in another blog entry, I promise. Oh, and that blog entry will also include the Extended Prayer. I just need to doodle and scan it to better illustrate the full gorgeousness of the whole Puja), me recovering (I'm 98% healthy! Yay!), and another Tannourine show coming up (Friday, November 18), this time with live music by Helm. I know, right? This is going to be my first performance with live music and it's the great Helm of all bands. Oy, the pressure.
These notes are from Sensei Kae's class:
- Start with Basic Egyptian (first until fourth counts), then angle the body on the fifth count so your chest faces the left wall of your phone booth and you almost show your back to the audience in front of you.
- When angling the body, drop the two arms, just like in the first part of Sahra Turn (actually, the body angle at this moment should also match the first part of Sahra Turn).
- On the sixth count, move your right arm just like when you do the first turn of the Sahra Turn (like holding a tray above your head). Also like a Sahra Turn, to your right on the sixth count.
- Keep your left hand near your left hip and bring it up only on the seventh count (while you're turning), but slowly so it floats up and ends its float on the eighth count.
- The eighth count (or half of the eighth count) of Egyptian Sevillana is spent by doing the pose with arms raised and waiting for another down beat to start a new count.
- You have to pay attention to your leader when he/she is doing Basic Egyptian and cuing to Egyptian Sevillana. You might not be able to execute the first move (arms sweeping down like Sahra Turn) properly if you don't concentrate and therefore have to rush the sweeping down and the turn.
- This is a very beautiful eight-count step indeed. I will ask the assistance from the big-ass footprints once again.
- Imagine there's an inverted triangle (dotted orange) inside your pizza box (red). On the first count, place your right foot on the upper left point of the triangle. Make sure that your toes point to the front, therefore stopping the lower body from twisting too much but still get the upper body to twist just enough so that you feel like showing the audience your back (but not much). Your arms should be framing your body as if you're doing a Wrap Around Turn, however, your right arm should be lower (the right arm in Wrap Around Turn is table-top height, the right arm in the first section of Triangle Step is about 45 degrees). There is one soft floreo on each wrist when bringing the arms to frame the body. Chest lifted at all times. The corresponding number in the diagram is number 1. On the first count, the weight of your body goes to your right foot.
- Stay until the second count.On the second count, the weight of your body switches to the left foot.
- On the third count, move your right foot back near your left foot, but keeping the arm frame and body angle the same. Body weight distributed evenly on both feet.
- On the fourth count (not the fifth!), move your left foot to the upper right point of the triangle. This is the mirror image of what you just did on pointer #2, including the floreo. The corresponding number in the diagram is number 2. Body weight is on left foot.
- On the fifth count, switch the body weight to the right foot. Arms stay.
- On the sixth count, move your left foot near the to the right, but as you step in, the toes of the left foot should point to 10 o'clock (or somewhere like this). This will give you the momentum to do a T-step turn on seventh and eighth counts. Starting on the sixth count, move the arms up with a soft floreo, just like when doing the turn in Arabic Twist with Turn.
These notes are from Ms. Kristine Adam's class (featuring a photography also by Ms. Kristine Adams. This photo is a series of a very fun project involving Ms. Nericcio and Rachel Brice switching their costumes and make-up!). Also, when I realized that it was going to be Ms. Adams teaching for that Saturday, I really wanted to work on laybacks and floorworks, knowing that she's one of FCBD troupe members who did that Layback Song (as featured in Volume 7). So it was really nice that Theresa, one of my classmates, requested to do a layback.
- Laybacks, like Diagonal Trio, Dueling Duets, and Floorworks, have to be discussed prior to dancing.
- Do not initiate (that means cue) a Layback if you don't feel comfortable doing it, or if you haven't done enough warm-up for your back.
- The cue for a Layback is what makes it different than a Deep Bodywave. When doing a Deep Bodywave, your head stays level while your upper body (below the neck) undulates. Imagine having a sword or a basket or something balanced on your head. You want to keep the head level and stable. On the other hand, when doing a Layback, you sort of fuse your head to your neck, and they should be one line. Think of this as having an apple wedged under your chin. You don't want to squeeze the apple, but you also don't want to drop it.
- The initial arm placement is Split Arm #2 (right arm up, left arm table top).
- To do a Layback, lift your ribcage up, so you have the slight tilt on your upper back, and when you can't lift your ribcage up anymore, start to bend your upper body backwards. DO NOT FORGET TO BREATHE. DO NOT BEND YOUR KNEES TOO DEEP. DO NOT THRUST YOUR HIPS FORWARD.
- When you have achieved the degree of bending that's comfortable to you, sweep the left arm down your body and to your left to go all the way up above your head (not above your forehead!) while sweeping the right arm to your right and ending with your right hand next to your right hip. Then (without stopping, actually), sweep the left arm down along the left side of your body and the right arm up along the right side of your body, the left hand should end next to your left hip. Then as you go up, with your left hand, trace an imaginary half circle on your left, so both arms will end above your head. I hope this makes sens.
- Remember to always breathe. Not breathing will make you see stars when you come up.
- Bending the knees too deep will make the hips thrust forward and will put more strain on the lower back.
- To keep the hips from bending forward, you may want to create the sense that your lower body (hip downward) is anchoring itself to the ground by squeezing your thighs together and or engaging your core muscles. This also helps with Torso Twist. I actually tried squeezing my hips together and engaging my abs and my hips stopped swinging when doing Torso Twist!
On a somewhat related note, on Dance Conditioning last week, Ms. Lalwani showed us a really cool trick for a Backbend when doing Floorwork.
If you don't have anyone to spot you and you happen to have one of those exercise bands, use it like a rower. Secure the band, grab each end of the band, and get on your Floorwork position and try the Backbend. As you come up, if you feel tired, the exercise band will help pull you up. The goal is to rely on the band less and less as you work on the Backbend. Work on your Quads, Glutes, and Abs for the effortless look of a Floorworks.
Well, that's it! Quite a long post, eh? If nothing of this makes sense, I'm really sorry, but I hope these notes will help you. And remember, always do a proper warm-up before doing Layback and Floorworks.