Magazine article Dance Spirit

Dear Katie

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Dear Katie

Article excerpt

Dear Katie,

I love performing, but I dread class and rehearsals. They're so boring! How can I find tny passion in the studio as well as onstage?

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

Class and rehearsals may not be as exciting as performing, but they're essential to building your craft as a dancer. Start by reframing your perspective. Think of the studio as a place where you don't have to be afraid to fail. Go for that third pirouette; push your stamina to its limit. The harder you work and the more you focus in class and rehearsals, the more confident and free you'll feel onstage.

To fight off boredom, give yourself mini goals each day: "Today I'm going to focus on my alignment in class" or "In today's rehearsal, I want to work on my artistry." Zooming in on the details will keep your daily routine from feeling like a never-ending grind. Every moment in the studio is an opportunity to improve!

Dear Katie,

I'm starting to have knee problems because I've been forcing my turnout. I know I need to retrain my muscles so I can hold my turnout correctly-but I don't know how to do that HelpI

Maddy

Dear Maddy,

A lot of students force their turnout and aren't even aware of it-so you're actually ahead of the game!

I'm guessing you already know that you need to rotate from the top of your leg, not your knee. (Oh, that classic correction: "From the hips, dear.") But engaging the right muscles to hold that turnout can be tough. When you're at the barre, think about your inner thighs rotating forward. As I tell younger students, "Pretend you have two smiley-face stickers on your inner thighs, and make sure they're always looking at each other!" Also, focus on lifting up through the waist. The more space you can give your legs, the easier it'll be to turn out.

Make sure your hips aren't too tight, either. My turnout always improves a few degrees after I roll my hips out. …

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