Tutorial #3222

Prepare for your First Dance

25 min - Tutorial


If you are going to work with a dancer for the first time, then this tutorial by Viktor Uygan is perfect for you. He shares information that will help you understand how you should approach a dancer so you know who they are, what their habits are, and why they need Pilates. He also teaches you basic terminology that dancers use so you can speak their language while you teach them.

For more information about working with dancers, look at Viktor's handout below.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Oct 22, 2017
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Hi, my name is Victoria Gunn and welcome to tutorial for the first stance. I'm here with my partner, which is in dance, in life and also in business. Kelly [inaudible] and today we're going to talk to you about it. What to do first time you work with the dancer. This is not about if you are teaching first time to a dancer or you're a professional dancer before and you work with the dancers many times it's literally there's a client, it's a dancer, you know it, they came to the studio and have to approach them.

Specially if you not a dancer and you never work with two dancers before. We're going to talk about what to do with them. We're going to talk about the WHO, what house and we're going to give you a little bit information before you start to work with them. Half the approach to your workout. Uh, we've been both professional dancers, me, Kelly, we dance together. This is how we met dancing. And after that we worked with two dancers, many years in our studio connect politeness and we have advanced conditioning program. And what do we do with them? Uh, as I mentioned, you really have to know who they are, who are they right? There are really determined individuals. They love to move, they work very hard and they want to be best at what they do day after day.

That's very important to know who they are. And they are also critical. They are very critical of themselves. It's nothing's never enough. They can achieve something, but they always want to be better and better and better. And unlike kind of different art forms, you could make a gorgeous statue and it will stay forever. Or uh, uh, painting. It will stay forever. But individual arts, most of the time special the videos came out, you know, people buy tickets, you watch and once you create your art and it's disappeared, every number was beautiful and you might not able to repeat that again. So there's always this work to achieve the betterness betterness.

Once you know who, you also know what their habits are, right? Uh, they have their habits and uh, before class, during class and after class. So already Kelly's going gonna start to show you what it used to be in the past. In the past specially we used to get up, we go to the class before the class starts, we warm up. Well this is our warm up. Especially if you flexible in our way, you can do the splits. Ladies, we'll sit this way.

I could have never said like that. My split look a little bit differently. But basically you sit, you breathe, you look at the time you wait during class you get up and you work very hard, very, very hard that things might go wrong but you just work hard to try to make it better. There is no time to kind of think what I when did wrong and how can I change it and its over repetitive movements and then after class basically you're done. You could be jumping the classes over and the teacher says thank you, see you tomorrow and this is where you do, you grab your back and you go home without doing anything. So these are kind of bad habits or [inaudible].

And this was in the past, like I said, and now there's little difference. So they go on the split actually before class, right? But there's something else. Here we go. Now this is the habits of today's dancers, right? They have the technology, they have a time and probably there's the app for warming up as well. And they're looking at that.

But it's not really your regarding children. All right, so these are some of the habits. And while I'm talking to you about the habits, I want to do a disclaimer. Once again, you might not be doing that. You might actually know exactly what to do and the correct way to do. And you are so lucky and I'm so happy because we need more like you.

And you could be a dancer knowing this. You could be a professional dancer knowing what to do and you could be a teacher knowing what to do. But trust me, when I dance, when we dance, we didn't know. Our teachers definitely didn't know. And there's still, there's many colleagues of us or I worked with many dancers. They really don't know half the proper way to stretch before the class or warming up. Technically I should say, and stretch after the class to take care of themselves. So that's where we're going to talk about it and why politeness now it's the why. Well polite is this obviously before I mentioned polite is the cross conditioning is known for many, many supports or athletes is a perfect to rebalance the repetitive body movements or the muscular movements we do to be better in our trade, in our support. It's dancing the same way.

So the plot is a perfect cross conditioning for dancers. It's a, it's for stretching, lengthening the balance. If you really think about what Joseph polite is, did the principles of polite is judge Joseph, polite is created. That's what dancers do every day. They turn trying to be precise. They trying to control.

They trying to be creative overall line and the body balance movement so polite is is amazing. That's why polite designing is great for them. And if you really thinking about it, what I'm going to do with them, anything, what exercises to choose them or which exercises to choose them. You could do any type of the exercises. It's going to help them, why it's going to help them. Also it's going to help them to do injury prevention. And once again it's going to balance overused muscles that they doing, which is most of the time external rotations.

And saying that again with the politesse who can also teach them the education education of anatomy. So I'll tell you right now, this is what I used to think and I still have dances. They do things same way. So Kelly's going to show with Dev low pay and my teacher used to tell me when you do develop pay, do not use your quartz, do not use your quotes, use your hamstrings. While now I know where well from the anatomy, hamstrings cannot do that. Action. Hamstrings are not hip flexors. So, but what the teacher, my teacher was trying to tell me, I believe trying to use external rotation and when you do the external rotation, your a d doctors also assistant and helper for the hip flection and then you will feel that less on your quartz. Right. But the idea is the minute the kid says like, I feel it here, I cannot do it.

They said don't use your quads. Use your hamstrings. So you're going to see there's many different things like that. The kids, unfortunately they're not educated with the movement and we educate them. They will be able to troubleshoot themselves during the class and they could prevent the injury. So polite is great. You already know so much what to do with them. This is another thing that I wanted to tell it.

Don't think about trying to impress them by trying to know what they do or what they say. Just you have so much tools in your repertoire. You just tell them what you know and have to do it correctly so they can help their imbalances now have to make them trust you. So this is the one of the thing that when you first meet with the person, they should be a mutual trust, I remember is not with the dance, but uh, one of my clients said, oh, my husband is going to come go do a training with you or class. And I was like, great. So he walks in, the first thing he says, all right, she told you, right, I'm a golfer and I wanna hit the ball so much harder. Go ahead, fix me. I'm like, oh, okay. I never played golf in my life. So my approach was basically, I did tell them I never played golf, but tell me what is your weaknesses, what's your strengths?

And then he says, well, when I'm here, when I do upswing or the downswing, I started to listen. Oh my God, he's telling me some language that are ways that this is not, he is not telling me I'm lifting the club up and in hitting the ball. So I start to remember that. And I, after the session, actually I started study a little bit the language, so I can relate with him. But from the first time when he told me those things, I was already ready to know what to do. He needs the rotation. He needs to shoulder extension or strengthening. So I was able to approach it soon as I talked to them. So, uh, saying that half to make them trust you from the beginning.

Be honest with them. If you're not a dancer, don't tell them you're a dancer and tell them their movement educator you've been doing, how many years you doing what you're doing and you will be able to help them to achieve their goals are, there's a couple things I can tell you. If you are not a dancer or you're a dancer in a way, you get a professional dancer. You're so excited and dawn, go to them. Oh my God, are you a dancer? What do you do for living? Is Not gonna go around professional dancer. That's what they do for a living. Or Oh my God, you dancing.

Can you do flip flip? No, they don't. We don't. How about this? Oh, you're a dancer. Can you go on your tippy toes, right? That's not going to go rally. They're control your excitement, right? Just they're a dancer, they're normal. And don't say those things. What you say. Be honest with them.

Tell them you know you never worked with the dancers. If you never did, and go from there. Trust me, they're going to be fine. Saying that. If you know some language, it will be a plus. It's not that difficult, right? There's a couple language that I will like to tell you that is very important and you will be using with the dancer. And they will, once they hear that using those Virchow vocabulary, they're really gonna feel like, okay, she kind of knows. Or she has an interest in dance and she's talking to me with like my teacher talking to me. So they will feel a little bit more comfortable with you.

And let's talk about those languages, right? So Kelly's gonna spend regular a anatomy of a person, right? So this is it. And now we're going to show of your dancer and anatomy, and this is the tensor anatomy right there. And this starts basically rotation of the legs. And that's called turnout. You're going to use the turnout so many times, yes, they will maybe get it external rotation, internal rotation. But if you say go ahead, turn out whatever they are, they going to understand what to do, what you asking with them. Second thing, it's very common and it's important.

Instead of saying squats or bend your knees, you could say Paul, Yay. Yeah. And the police could be the first physician. Beautiful. It could be the second position, which is the wide. And yes, if you learn the positions like a second position is great, but if you don't, you could just say open your legs apart, hip width apart and do a [inaudible]. They'll be okay. Uh, fantastic. And after that, uh, as you seen killer was actually doing police, she couldn't stop control her arms and her arms were moving too. Right. So that's actually, there's a lot of positions with the arms too.

But once again, I don't want to really focus on the arm positions like first, second, third, fifth because there's three different schools, Russian school, Italian school, um, or French school. They have some different, they not really agreeing with which one is first, which one is fifth. So, but what you could say, go ahead. Bring your arms in front of your chest. She might do this and you say, why don't you use your port Deborah, but keep your arms there. They're gonna know what to do. Right? You could say one arm is up, one arms done, but maintain your [inaudible]. They are really gonna know what to do. So you don't have to remember is that first four, four and a half, three quarters? No, forget about it. Fantastic.

So we add that poor their brand. Now with pour their bra, it's not just about pour. Debra is armed. There's also movement of the body is pore, Deborah. Right. And what we do, especially going back of the spine, we use extension and art. If you tell the dancer, go ahead, extend, they're going to most likely lift their legs up. This is the extension in the dance. We actually, they might come tell you, you know what, I wanna work my extension mostly instead of the back extension spine extension. They are really referring the extension of their leg and flexibility.

Here we go. That's what they wanna do. So that's the extension, but the movement of the body, especially with the arms, that could be [inaudible] as well. So this is basically shoes going back, pour Debra with the arms and with her spine and she's going to do full downpour. Debra. Beautiful. Moving down, going flection. This is a poor Deborah as well. So to know that it's very nice as well.

Then we're going to go back to the leg. There's some positions of the leg we have passed set, right? So from here we do have a passe. Here we go and we use the person mostly in turnings and bring the leg down please. Before we did pass, say I missed the relevance. So I'm going to talk about the role of a desk real important too.

So instead of high heels going up on the toes, which we call rollover, and uh, this is the roll away and there's a point, but the point, obviously they need the pointe shoe to do that, right? So if the leg is up in the air, you can ask them to point your feet or flex your feet. But if they're on the jump board or their foot on the bar, the do actually tell them to roll away. They go up and they go down there. Another thing you need to know, cycling and whinging. So she is going to show the sideways. This is winging of the food, not even the proper position or alignment of our joint.

It kind of requires and is very much needed position in dance. People love to have winning feet specially when they go back in there. Our best when they go back in, you lift your leg up, killed a little bit more if she's sickles. Do you guys see her line is going from straight to down, which is not good, but when right now if she goes down and suddenly even going up and out, it creates a longer line. So that's why a lot of dancers wing. So just know that instead of don't supinate or pronate your feet.

If you tell them are you cycling, don't sickle or you know, I know you love to wing but less to right now straight. I want to work on the alignment so I don't want you to wing there. We'll get you there. We'll understand. So we did those and we did the poor Deborah, we did the arm. The second thing I want to mention, I will talk about this on the evaluation too, but it's about a square.

So every dancer has obviously audience, this is the audience I'm looking at you. But imagine if I was on the stage and I have 10 people next to me and if the choreographer says go ahead and turn towards the right door of the stage, everybody is right door, the angle is going to be different. So to able to be in the same alignment. So what do we do? The dancers, we use our own box. So we have our own stage, whatever we are, we could be in front of the stage, we could be in the back of the stage side or in the middle. So you have to pretend there's a small box. So if you tell them actually stay square, they need to know their hip actually facing to that square.

And if you want them to be open this way, once again to the left to the corner, they turn with their hip. Then they could be actually with their body. They could be doing porter, Debra and towards the audience, but the movement will stay in that corner. So we know all of this. Now we're going to go a little bit more [inaudible], which is the evaluation. So you could do this by yourself. Now the client came, the dancer, we are excited. I said Hi and the first thing I do, I ask them two questions. First, I said, what are you really good at?

What would you say you are amazing at? And we really enjoy doing it. So that's going to give you so much about a dancer. If she says, I love jumping, I love moving fast and things like that. So you already know, most likely she's as strong and fast mover. If she tells you, you know what, I love stretching, I love splits or I love Adagio. Slow of moon will have legs going extensions now you know pretty much most likely they could be balanced. Again, there's always exceptions but most likely that a dancer is going to be more weaker side and she needs a lot more stabilization. And this strength, once I do this questions, I also ask them, what are you really bad at? And I'm a person, I tried to never use negative words actually. I usually tried to tell my clients what would you like to improve? But if you ask dancer, what would you like to improve?

You will sit there half an hour and they will tell the everything. [inaudible] point is this, this is so they, because they always want to improve. So I kind of trying to be, what are you really bad at? You feel you cannot do it or you don't like to do it. So once again, that gives me a really sense of feeling. If she says, oh my God, I hate turning or I don't like jumping at all. I wish there was no jump. So you know a lot about that client and what do you do? This is my personality.

You should be your stew. I go attack those actually. Instead of saying, oh we want jump down, I tried to figure out what can I do to help her so she could be actually a jumper. So here we gone evaluation. I asked my dancer to be in the first position. We all know the plum line and kind of looking at hub. She is placing herself in this most commonly used ballet position. Right? This is one of the first thing we do in the bar.

We end the first position and we start with the player and um, I asked her to do player and I don't let her to hold the bar. I want to see how she does it in the center. Couple things that I do, it's very important so we can get maybe sideways Skelly in her first position. When she does play it, she rolling forward with her feet and knees or not issue rolling back to pretend that but nice though goes forward. Right. I want to see if there's alignment problems here. So obviously what you guys want to do, the knee has the track right on top of the first door and the second toe and straight your legs and relax.

Second thing that I look in here is she gripping her ankle when she does play or she able to relax her ankle and glide the joint on top. That's very important to teach them as well. So I placed my finger here and I asked them, when you do play, trying to keep this soft, beautiful. So there's a glide, the gravity slides it down and then they can use their muscles to come up. So this is the one of the real important things that we do. And sometimes I try to make sense by telling them stay parallel please.

And I tell them stay parallel. And I tell them, just bend your knees. They bend their knees. So once I tell them, look, this is your alignment and actually your first position, which is the turnout is exactly same thing. Nothing changes. Only thing changes in the hip. There's the external rotation. So freeze the right leg and just rotate with the left. Here we go. She came actually to her first position.

So nothing change is the alignment's exactly same. So this is what you need to do. There's like exercises that you can even give it to them doing this. They will understand how they using their glute muscles to externally rotate. They're like awesome, beautiful. So go back.

The first was phishing Kayla police. One of the things that's going to happen again soon as you them to do first position, they're going to over-rotate, right? This is a over rotation. Once again, when she bends the police, the knee is going to go forward. So if I see this problem, here we go, this is what's going to happen. And the second thing when I asked them to externally rotate, she's going to go arch, which is the pelvic is going to go anterior lift forward because of the rotation and to compensate that so she won't fall forward. What she's going to do, she's going to arch from the lower back. So now she's balanced right here.

So this is very common and there is a magic word that fixes this, but it's really wrong. And it's very common. While most of the teacher says talk, right? So let's see, let's go to the bad position. She is like that. And I say Tuck, what happens? Suddenly the knee starts the band little bit, but they could keep it straight too. But this problem suddenly it fixes himself. But now we have another problem because there's a lot of imbalances on the hip. So another thing that I teach them, which is this kind of heart is the neutral pelvic position. The pelvic has to be neutral. So let's keep it nice and tall.

Let's do pally to pelvic neutral. Beautiful in here. Sometimes I tell them to stay here and why don't you do posterior tilt and Ontario tilt, posterior tilt and Ontario tilt, then find the center and stay in the center. And in here, if there's any problem like a glute engagement or abdominal, you just queue that you basically Q to sing there, transfer of dominance in, engage and squeeze their glutes to stay in the proper position instead of changing the structure of the bonds to trying to fix the problem. That stat. So, uh, as a politesse educator, we know many things to do, to work with the hip half to get into neutral pelvic position. And also we talked about the spine on the Lordosis. We know many things. We work a lot with the spine, articulating the spine neutral spine position. We have many, many exercises we could use do that.

And one of the things also is the arms in the poor Debra, I trying to pay attention. How is the arm and the weakness of the elbow? Usually elbow drops like that. And one of the last thing, the stability of the shoulder and the health of the shoulder. Unfortunately the, once again, if the teacher sees the dancer going this, they tell them to basically engage their scapular schools, their scapula. So the position is actually is in front, is to anterior. And what they do that fix is bring it to posterior, right?

Instead of finding the middle, gliding down and understanding the stability of the scar, it's not freezing it, but it's controlled movement, which is when it goes up, there's a rotation when it opens up. There's a small glide, but not excessive movement. Once again, you as a politesse teacher, we know all about this. We teach regular clients, but we are going to continue teaching to dancers the same way. It's nothing's wrong. They just have different languages that set and that's it.

I think this is the tutorial. One more time. I really want to tell Lou if you guys already know this or you don't do, this is awesome. I'm so happy, but if you're doing it, you should think about it. Talk to your politesse teacher or your dancers. There's different ways to approach it. This thing's is going to help you. Now you are ready to watch the first dance classes.


1 person likes this.
informative, elegant and entertaining: thank you Viktor and Kelly! :)
Thank you Paulinka I am happy you liked the tutorial and you enjoyed that, we make it little fun :)
1 person likes this.
Wonderful ! I’m a runner without a dance background that would enjoy learning how to dance ! I’m also a Pilates teacher, this was really informative and enjoyable ~ I’ll watch again and I’m certain I will apply aspects of it while teaching. Thank you ! Susan
Hi, Susan, it is never too late to Dance :) and you should teach dancers how to run properly they could benefit from the endurance and cardiovascular aspects of running. Thanks
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Viktor! This was very helpful. Seeing I'm not a dancer--but work with them, it's important to know all the vocabulary. Amazing teacher!!
1 person likes this.
Hi Kat Ernst Happy that you are working with the Dancers and the information we presented was useful. They are lucky to have you to achieve their dreams and stay healthy during their journey. Thanks :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for this Victor and Kelly! It was fun to watch and really helpful as I am currently teaching a former ballet dancer in her 50s.
You welcome Nicole Let me know how she likes it? :)
1 person likes this.
I thought this would have been more informative for a 25 minute tutorial.  It was cute and fun though, I enjoyed it.
Hi A happy to hear you enjoyed my my class and thought It was fun. This class was preparation for the first dance class I have in Pilates Anytime. I hope you'll get chance to watch that one as well Thank you for your feed back 🙏
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