• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 200.00 credit to your HoP account.

Forums > Expressive movement / costumes and props > MCP's academy of how to move good and do other things good too.

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 12

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:Meg's Academy of How to Move Good and Do Other Things Good Too.

So back in the day I asked Drew what 'style' was. In our conversation, it came to be negatively defined. It wasn't a list of tricks that you did that others didn't do. That wasn't style. It wasn't the sequencing of the tricks or the transitions, it wasn't what movement you did 'underneath' the spinning. Well that doesn't leave much I thought. I couldn't figure out what was left remaining to 'be' style. If two people were doing the exact same thing, spinning and movement wise, surely they would have the same 'style'? Well nope.

Style isn't what your doing, it's how your doing it. Even deeper than that, it's who you are. You can't get away from it, unless of course, you study dance for ten years.

What is style then? For me at least, it's like that old jazz anecdote... how can a jazz player sound constantly lazy but never get out of time with the song? Well they consistently play a fraction after when they are supposed to, but always the same fraction of time, still keeping pace with the song.

How does this apply to spinning? Well in my view, part of the beauty of spinning, and part of some spinners good style is to be equally 'slow/lazy' so they consistently move just a fraction slower than they should.

Yes they're always in control, with good footwork and extremely smooth spinning. But there's something else in their movement that makes it their own. Some of this is a definition of grace, some of it is going towards style I guess... It's tough to delineate the two for me. I find it's only the graceful spinners that I want to watch...

Oh tangent time...

Yeah is these videos it's hard to distinguish the beauty in the movement alone, cos it's video and not real life... Some of them I think have better movement than others... but it's very hard to tell on video.

Thomas: Cares a lot about poi and has very clean considered body movement. Especially in the Levistick video, cos they do nice editing.

Shion: Shion has an amazingly deep squat that he is constantly using. He also controls his upper body a lot leading to his distinctive style of contact staff. More apparent in the second video. But the first shows his passion for staff.

Alex: A background in all martial arts and theatre has left this guy with awesome movement.

Malaman: Smooth, great footwork, great control, very french.

Banyan: Banyan's style is heavily influenced by his props and how he holds them. I think he keeps a tight grip on his props and this forces him to use his body more in his movements, rather than just his arms and wrists.

Club guy: Club guy here is awesome. His movement isn't so readily apparent as good, but the way he makes his clubs move is absolutely beautiful. He also has some really well thought out transitions and tricks in this video.

Nimi: Nimi, Nimi, Nimi. I love watching Nimi, It's hard to analyse because I'm constantly being distracted by the beauty of the movements he's doing and the difficulty of the tricks he does. He really uses his other arm to frame the ball and it's really magical... I love it. He seems to have more grace in any one joint than I have in my entire body.

Adrian Mondot: The possible king of the beautiful movement jugglers. He's controlled, graceful, he moves around and does tricks which compliment his movement.

c2laballe: This guy has good movement too. It's hard to tell in these videos of juggling, but if you saw him in real life you'd know. He's really passionate about adding movement to his juggling.

Emiliano Another dancer / juggler. He does some amazing ground work in this video and other beautiful shenanigans. Much better in person also.

Linda: Dance + Contact Staff, some beautiful stuff, shame about the skirt, can't see the footwork.

Yeah I can't get over this guy... This guy makes me crazy:


Bishop is the MAN!

This guy just has really really good movement.

Some really nice movement in this too, occasionally.

EDITED_BY: mcp (1228032558)

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Megs waaaay right as usual---

integrating movement into muscle memory through repetition is very useful. As the brain makes a mental pattern to do the broad aspect of a movement( enabling you to do it without thinking ), it frees itself up to focus on details. Then you can sort of layer your practice; get the base gesture first, then focus on timing, then focus on balance, then on symmetry, then on style etc etc, working each aspect until it is fully integrated and does not require thought to perform, and continuing to develop from there.

There are some interesting movement studies about learning effectiveness, that show that repeating the desired movement * in your mind* ie: visualization --can be almost as important as actual physical practice. Interesting, hey...

I find all of the above, to be the most effective. ;p

Sometimes, work with a mirror, sometimes with a friend watching, sometimes with a teacher guiding,occasionally watching a video of yourself or someone else, sometimes crazily freestyling alone, sometimes just drilling a move over and over ad nauseum, and sometimes, just working it out in my mind, or dreaming... mix it up!

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


Future Mrs Pogo
Location: The wrong place
Member Since: 27th Aug 2006
Total posts: 4728
Posted:I was just discussing the advantages and disadvantages of vids and mirrors with Pat and he told me about this discussion.

I gave up spinning when I discovered belly dance and I'm completely addicted. I do ATS (American Tribal Style) and Tribal Fusion.

While we do work with mirrors in class, I don't really have one big enough to work with at home...and I don't have a camera good enough to vid myself with, so I pretty much have to dance without being able to see myself. I've found that this is a huge advantage, rather than a disadvantage. That way, I have to feel the movement, rather than look at it to get it right. I do practice occasionally in front of my mirror, but once I'm sure I've got the move looking right, I turn away...then feel it out. Muscle memory, exactly!

If you're always 'looking' to see if a move is right, it's only going to be visual and then when you get in front of an audience, you're lost. If you don't know how that move feels, then you're not going to be able to execute the move correctly. And that makes for a sloppy performance.

While mirrors and vids can be a good tool, on occasion, if you use them too much, they turn into a crutch and you can't move without them. I even have to turn away from the mirror sometimes in class, or I'll end up on the wrong foot or with the wrong timing...I get too focused on my image and not on my actual body.

Drilling moves is important...that's what creates the muscle memory that you need to perform without a crutch. Drill just up to the point where your body decides, 'nope, gonna lock up and not do this anymore'...cuz there is such a thing as overdoing it. It's pretty much the same thing as practicing a choreo before a performance...practice a couple times, but no more than that. Go thru it too much and you start to make mistakes...your body will just refuse to do what you want it to.

Okay...sylisation...I think that most people's dance/movement personality will reflect the type of music that they like. If you're a hard rocker, your style is gonna be more forceful and aggressive. If you're into hip-hop, your moves are gonna be more pop/lock style. Classical, you're gonna be more ethereal and flowing, etc. If you're into all kinds of music, you're gonna have a variety of styles of movement. It's just all a matter of finding where your groove lies and going with it.

I hope some of this makes sense, It's late and I'm a bit loopy.

"Absence is to love what wind is to fire...it extinguishes the small, enkindles the great."
--Comte Debussy-Rebutin


Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Regarding BansheeCat's comments on the muscle memory thing, doing it by getting a broad feel and refining it rather than looking in mirrors is how I have been taught kata (so far at least): get the broad sequence (this stance, this arm movement) then break it down to a possible application of the movement until it becomes habit.

Of course, to change those habits is tricky....

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland


Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:Yes I definitely agree no one thing is better than another. And practice makes memory.

I personally feel much better being able to see my moves I know FEELING is a massive part of finding new moves, but I personally feel that to perfect them I like to see how they look in execution since performing is about how it looks. I practice at home without visuals all the time, and I think that's important for having freedom and fun, but I'd imagine if you want to put together a routine, it's probably best to be able to see it, and the various ways to do so all have their pros and cons.


1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Alexander Koblikov, anyone?

His movements are effortless, and perfectly replicated.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Just was listening to a guy who wrote a book on what factors are common to people who excell in what they do. One of the key aspects he points out is hours dedicated to the craft/art. He says 10000 or more is consistant amongst the people who are considered the best. So that is like, four hours a day, for many many years...
( from Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, dont rememenber the name of it0

Practice, practice, practice...

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:I just started belly dancing lessons. Fun stuff, helping make me aware of the muscles I'm using while dancing. This will prove incredibly useful and fun.


there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo
Member Since: 6th Apr 2006
Total posts: 3764
Posted:Originally Posted By: MRCI just started belly dancing lessons. Fun stuff, helping make me aware of the muscles I'm using while dancing. This will prove incredibly useful and fun.

totally; I've got a bit of a fascination with belly dancing isolations; ditto for the same or similar ideas from things like liquid dance. seems to me being able to isolate and/or individually articulate and control the entire path of a movement would be a handy thing for a spinner to develop, regardless of where one chose to take it.

--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

Page: 12