Happy Autumnal Equinox everybody! The first day of Fall has arrived, which is very great (or horrible) news for my fellow Texans. Personally, I enjoy the cooler weather.
Solar movement aside, consider this post to be a relative of my last one. I had enough time this Wednesday to go the “Dips and Tricks” class. There are two things you should know before I start. One, Nick ended up having new students so he couldn’t teach the class. Two, and more importantly, I am not very trusting when it comes to dips or lifts. I don’t care how light I am. I don’t care that I was once lifted by a football player twice my height and probably triple my weight for my dance formation senior year. If one or both parties do not know what they are doing, someone can end up seriously hurt.
Luckily, Nick’s professional partner, Jessica, was teaching the class. I know her well enough to trust her with dips or lifts. Of course, she couldn’t do them to the extent that Nick could, but I still felt relatively safe. She began by teaching the two of us, one of Nick’s other students and myself, how to roll into our left arm when the guy initiates. You don’t want to overdo it, and end up tangled in his feet. Then, the rest of the class was intermixed with dips, lifts, and technique.
The one technical aspect I’d like to address is the concept of “pushing” yourself into the floor. This is crucial for ballet, and I’m glad I already had the concept in mind when she addressed it. In ballet, you have to shove your shoulders down as if you were going to put them in you back pocket, engage your core, and literally try to press your feet/foot into the floor whenever you get into some elevated position. The same goes for dips and other tricks. Ladies, when dipping, hold yourself up as much as you can by forcing your weight into the ground. Activating your core is also crucial as it’s primarily what’s holding you up in this unusual position. To feel this concept, try standing in relevé, on the balls of your feet, with your legs slightly bent or completely straight. You can hold on to something or try to stand independently. Now, without lowering, try to press the balls of your feet into the ground as hard as you can.
Now, for any dancing men out there, I’d advise against trying to dip a lady unless you’ve been properly instructed. If you have, please ask the lady for permission before you do it. We really don’t like it when our world has suddenly been reversed. Ladies, try to keep both feet on the floor. If you want to do something pretty, try lifting your leg into a sort of low possé position.
That’s about it. Remember, dips and tricks are fun only if you know what you’re doing.