I've been playing with the staff for a few days now, and I can do a few simple contacts like shoulder rolls, neck wraps and a scrappy halo or two, but I'm having trouble with changing from horizontal to vertical planes, particularly when entering and exiting neck wraps. It just feels cludged and entirely ungraceful to fudge the angle of the rotation for a few spins to change between the horizontal and vertical planes. Is there a move or collection of moves that will change the plane of the staff without this clunky manoeuvering, or is it simply a case of practice?
Posted:Well, Jpunk... I'm a poister primarily so I think about staff plane changes the same way I do poi plane changes.
You will get better at plane bending with practice, but in poi a "plane change" requires some point isolation, so one head stays still... maybe that sort of exercise will help you...
Excuse me while I try to explain this as I don't tend to know staff terminology because I just relate it all to poi.
Try spinning the staff in a figure 8 or with more beats, as you please... But do so while facing 90 degrees at a right angle to the plane your staff is spinning.
That is to say, spin the thing at your side.
When it comes in front of you with your knuckles facing you, fist pointed at the sky, the thumbside head equal with your face or your right chin, just stop spinning right there. Then keep the head in the same position and move the rest of the staff around it on a horizontal plane.
This is a way of changing planes that can look funky and should be easier if you're struggling with plane bending.
It also might make the plane bending approach more instinctive because its the same thing, really, just with different rotation points.
Posted:I think it's a practice thing. try different ways of switching planes, even if you throw in a stall and stop the staff entirely first. If you can film yerself so you can watch and see what each way looks like
Posted:changing from vertical to horizontal will alwas feel akward in the beginning... it comes with practise, you get used to the feeling. However, it doesn't nearly look as it feels. If that is helping
Just thinking of it.... when you are spinning (horizontally) you could do some contact and let the staff roll over your back, this way you are already "bending the plane" ...
Posted:one way to change planes is to use techniques like statics (that's what Noel called them) which stop the momentum. From a static position you can restart spinning in any direction. Another is to plane bend from something like fish tails. They actually can transitions nicely into horizontal propellers.
Posted:oh, and if you are comfortable with grabbing your staff, then anti-spin flowers can make changing planes smoother. For example, when you reach a horizontal petal in a vertical anti-spin, redirect the momentum of the spin horizontally.
Posted:Thanks for the suggestions everyone. They've come in useful. I find it quite difficult to condition myself to bring the staff to a complete stop as my natural incliniation is to keep it spinning. However I am finding it good practice towards stalling the staff at a dead stop at unusual angles. I am now finding it is easier and more natural just through practice to enter the horizontal from the vertical with a long swoop, and I'm using the stall technique when going from H to V. Time to try and learn it the other way around!
Posted:I find it useful from vertical to horizontal to do a stall, it makes plane changes look much smoother. can stall at the neck or in front of you in your hands. as well as looking smoother it gives you a pause for applause (in shows) so works well in performance as well as practice.
A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.