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prancer

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Reply with quote  #1 
To be honest, my dd needs to work on her turns.  She is tall and lanky with very narrow hips.  Other than having a strong core, she is the farthest thing from a natural turner.  So it drives me crazy when I see her class practicing a dance (pretty full out) except they are marking turns and skills like aerials. I could see avoiding repeated hard landings on acrobatic skills, but why are they marking turns? I am wondering if there is a good reason for this because it is not just my dd, it's the whole crew of them (and the dancers from her last studio too) - good and bad turners alike.  I don't want to be an overbearing dance mom, but I think my kid ought to practice her turns whenever she gets the chance.  Is there a reason they are marking, or is it just being lazy like it seems to this (getting ever crazier) dance mom?
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #2 
Former "studio" marked turns all the time and it drove me bananas because so many kids needed the practice, however I think it depends upon the intensity of the turns you are talking about and the number of times the girls will be running through the routine itself in that practice, and it depends on what the teachers/ coaches are trying to accomplish at that moment.

For example, at times blocking or spacing or transitions are really just not hitting and they want the dancers to focus on just those specific aspects and so they would tell the girls (no boys at old 'studio') to mark turns and acro and focus on the corrections at hand.

A different example would be the higher age groups had some extremely demanding turn sequences that were mentally and physically intense. As they were older, they often self paced and marked the turns at their own discretion to focus on the overall routine. Routines there were always extremely fast paced and intense, practices ran 2 hours and often it was 2 hours of running and running and cleaning. The girls had to conserve their energy. Coaches would tell them when it was time to assemble all the parts and perform "full out including turns and acro".

Sometimes it depended on how well the team was hitting the turns as a group. If turns on the whole were a complete disaster often coaches wanted them to mark because just the distraction of just how off they were took away from a lot of other important points and the coaches always come back to the turns and correct and polish just on their own time frame.

That said, this was an All Star category 'studio' that uses practices for running and cleaning routines only, not for teaching skills, and makes no effort to try to sugar coat that. Skills acquisition and improvement is relegated to private lessons and studio classes and even then specific turn sequences were rarely addressed in studio classes. Forget about technique... something many parents with inquisitive minds such as yours noted and were not fans of.

So, in my opinion, done well there is a good balance and marking turns can be valuable... like anything, to excess it's a problem and probably not in the dancer's best interest. Just as never marking turns is probably not in their best interest either.

As a PT I would say never marking, particularly if a routine is being run and run and run and run, is a recipe for overuse injury to the turning leg. Time would be best spent taking time to work on turn technique individually with each dancer, then as a whole for timing and precision, and then hold off until full out practices while you focus on other aspects.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Noel for your very well thought out reply! Yes, sometimes they mark to learn new choreo, and I think the dancers probably are tired after a long night (which is all I see at pick up). However, I think I will remind my dd that she needs to work on her turns, so she should take the opportunity when it is reasonable to do so.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #4 
I used to tell DD that when her coaches explicitly told them to mark turns/ acro to work on her posture during the mark: tight tummy, ribs up and elongated, pelvis tucked, bottom squeezed and to go up on releve' and squeeze squeeze squeeze that knee tight to use it as an opportunity to get stronger. Not explicitly disobeying orders to mark but still very productive.
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Rhythmaster101

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Reply with quote  #5 
Never mark!! It will become muscle memory and will happen on stage! There is an amazing training tool for improving turns, balance, and turnout called The Spin Spot. The little girl Paige Glenn who was on Little Big Shots and can turn like a top now, is a Spin Spot ambassador. She has been training with hers since she was 6. She recently turned 8 and can easily do 8 turns and not move from the place she started. thespinspot "dot"com is where you can order one.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmaster101
Never mark!! It will become muscle memory and will happen on stage! There is an amazing training tool for improving turns, balance, and turnout called The Spin Spot. The little girl Paige Glenn who was on Little Big Shots and can turn like a top now, is a Spin Spot ambassador. She has been training with hers since she was 6. She recently turned 8 and can easily do 8 turns and not move from the place she started. thespinspot "dot"com is where you can order one.



DD's DT told her she doesn't need a turning board because she has a strong core.  She just needs to practice.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #7 
I would not recommend a turning board.  The main problem with turning boards is that most kids use them flat footed - in fact videos on their website feature kids turning flat footed.  Practicing turns in this way works against one of the greatest challenges in nice turns - turning on a high releve. At least when dd marks, she goes on releve! (I don't have any comments on a spin spot.)
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