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Contemporary Dancing for Beginners

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Contemporary Dancing Torso Contractions

Contemporary Dancing Spirals and Breaths

Contemporary Dancing Spirals and Breaths

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Contemporary Dancing Leg Extensions

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Contemporary Dancing Side and Circular Stretches

Contemporary Dancing Side and Circular Stretches

Contemporary Dancing Foot Exercises

Contemporary Dancing Foot Exercises

Contemporary Dancing Spirals and Breaths

Contemporary Dancing Spirals and Breaths

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Contemporary Dancing Torso Contractions

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Contemporary Dancing Spirals and Breaths

Dancer Theresa D'Alessandro demonstrates how to contemporary dance and discusses spirals and breaths.

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Theresa D'Alessandro: Hi, I am Theresa D'Alessandro, the Director at the School of Theatrical Dance. We're sharing with you some of the basics of contemporary dance technique. Today's lesson is about torso spirals and breath. In contemporary and modern dance the movement often emanates from the center of the body and the spiral and the breath is a great illustration of how this works.

Joanie is standing in second position parallel, she is going to press her left hip forward and begin a spiral to the right which ends with her head looking as far over her right shoulder as possible. She reverses the sequences, pelvis, waist, chest head to bring her body back to center and repeats to the right, pressing spiral, spiral, spiral and as she recovers to her center she is bringing her body back into an alignment, vertical spine, vertebrae over vertebrae, she will then take it to the left side pressing her right hip forward spiraling, spiraling all the way around till her head is over her left shoulder and reverse the process, even through the foot controlling the heel coming down, ball and step heel as she comes back to center. Thank you.

Dana is seated in a first position with her soles of the feet together. In this posture the pelvis is anchored to the floor so the movement must begin at the waist. Now Dana will rotate from the waist, moving the right shoulder back, taking the head over the shoulder and reverse back to center, always maintaining a nice stretch to the spine and repeat, right shoulder is coming back, chin towards the right shoulder and back to center and then to the left from the waist, left shoulder pulls back and chin over the left shoulder and recover and one more time, pulling the left side back and head to the left and body back to the center nice and tall and relax. Good. Stormie is seated in fourth position. When she begins this part of the exercise she is going to press her hip forward followed by the waist and lengthening up towards the ceiling and then recovering back to the hip being on the floor, this helps build a range of motion and flexibility in hip socket as well as torso strength and recovering with the hip coming down to the floor, Stormie is going to take a transition stretching the toes out, rolling to the other hip to give her the opportunity to do it on the other side and here we go pelvis, waist, chest and head and reverse pelvis, waist, chest and head. Again pelvis, waist, chest and head and lengthening, lengthening back to center.

Dana is going to demonstrate breath. Starting from relax posture with a weight feeling forward, exhale and begin with an inhale, inhale two three four and the focus comes out and exhale two, three, four and you can see as she works that the air appears to be filling out through her fingertips and out up through her face and down, two, three, four and it's kind of the feeling of the bright sunshine on your face. Just raise the focus, up and exhale and one more and inhale two, three, four and exhale. Now Dana will take this into a high arch pressing on her fingertips, lifting the chest and throat and face to the ceiling but not allowing the head to fall back on to the neck and exhale and inhale, pulling up into the high arch, chest to the ceiling, see how her focus is on the ceiling, she is not allowing her head to fall back.

Now we are going to take a look at the high arch from the profile view so you can see exactly what I am talking about with her placement of the head. So Dana is going to inhale up through the spine and she lifts her chest to the ceiling, her focus is on the ceiling but there is this space here, she is not allowing the head to touch the upper back, she is supporting the chest and neck and head by her shoulder blade and center and exhale.

In our next contemporary dance lesson we will be learning about exercises for the feet and the ankles as well as Plis and Relevs.