Short self analysis on house dance move: toe tap

I almost always post recap videos on Instagram after taking dance classes (of course unless the class does not permit or discourages filming). In addition to capturing, creating and posting these videos (that hopefully show the spirit of the class), I’ll sometimes review clips of me dancing in class, playing back certain moves that I remember not “clicking” during the class; then I will try to observe and identify what specific parts of the move I’d like to refine. From yesterday’s class, one move (there are others) that I noticed I want to evaluate and improve was the part of the loose leg transition: the toe tap.

I like to be as specific as possible when attempting to self-correct a movement. And while there may be other aspects that could be “cleaned up”, the two that I’m going to direct my focus towards are:

  1. The the angle of the tapping leg when its lifting in the air – was not engaging the gluteus muscle (more on this below)
  2. The straightness of the base leg – again, was not engaging the gluteus

As a relatively new dancer (i.e. less than a year), it’s not always obvious to me what appears “off” (that’s why I feel private 1:1 are so effective because instructors can often immediately articulate what specifically needs attention).

In other words, sometimes my eye detects something needs improvement but I’m not able to pinpoint specifically what I’d like to change.

As such, I will juxtaposition two videos side by side, lining up two clips: the first clip of someone I consider performing the move that inspires me and the second clip of myself. I then frame by frame play back the two videos in sync (a whole separate topic), relying on my eye to spot the subtle differences.

After analyzing the above sequence, I walked over to the mirror hung up in my bedroom flat and then watched myself in the mirror as I emulated he r movement. I attempted to both straighten the base leg and lifted the tapping leg. What’s most interesting about this exercise is that (like I continually to learn over and over) I was essentially not engaging my gluteus muscles. My directing my attention to them and flexing them, the move itself cleaned up.

So in short, dance for me serves as a mechanism — a vehicle — for increasing body awareness.

Recap Video