General Dance Discussion > Exercises For A Stiff Upper Half

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Vince A, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. WCSgal

    WCSgal New Member

    to SD salsaguy...from WSCgal

    Oh, sometimes I know how these conversations can get too disagreeable and this one is right and this one is wrong...but I think anything that helps YOU (and me) look better, dance better, feel better, must be good, it releases all those good endorphins and dancing IS social for most of us, more competitive for some (I like to compete to have a GOOD time!) But I tell you, bellly dancing is something that is amazing for a great waistline and ribs, etc (especially after children!)

    I enjoy reading about the other viewers and their opinions and statements from dances that I am not so proficient in (lack of practice and time), but it helps me when I am asked by those other dancers that I have some info...I do have a great ballroom dance friend (we are partners on a swing team) and we actually look great....he still is ballroom, but with a little TUG ( :lol: ) I think we might be able to pull off a swing routine....we shall see!
  2. dancergal

    dancergal New Member

    I just wanted to comment on this subject. In taking our first private from a different Pro this last weekend, she actually told this same thing to my partner. She said he needed more "middle body movement" and less shoulders. She told him to practice moving his rib cage in front of a mirror. When we took privates from a different Pro, he told us that he only gives us what we are ready to learn in our skill level. So if we're are still trying to master footwork, he doesn't want to overload us with style and body movement until we are ready for it.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Ok . . . last night, I asked my Pro why she didn't teach this . . .

    She replied "I do teach it to her students who need it."

    She paid me a compliment, saying that "you do it naturally, and I don't have to work on that with you. Although, in time I will learn to do it more, as I need to lead much more with my center." Which to me is "use those ribs!"

    I guess, now that I am aware of it, and what I have read from msc and SD, I will practice much more in front of mirror.

    Thanks to all who contributed to this topic. I have gleened a great deal of info.
  4. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Just adding to what everyone else mentioned...

    Here are a few things that I tell people when they want to add movement to their upper body.

    Work on flexibility by:

    1- Moving your stomach area back and forth, side to side, and eventually roll it in circles. Concentrate on the middle of your stomach if you need help finding a center point. Do this standing straight with a slight bend of the knees, Then do it bending the knees to almost a squat. Lastly if you want added difficulty do it while bending your knees to a squat position then up again. You might look crazy but it will help loosen your ribcage, back, and stomach muscles. Streching a lot helps as well. If you can't do it by squating down and up while moving the stomach, don't worry about it. The first two are enough.

    2- Bring your chin to your chest then let your shoulders drop, then follow them with your spinal-cord, follow the shoulders slowly. Notice that your back begins to arch following the shoulders. Do that until you've reached maximum bend, then do the same going up to a straight position. Do it a couple of times. Remember to always allow the shoulders to hang enabling the back muscles to do all the work.

    Hope it helps a bit.
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I printed this out . . will give it a try when I'm able to get to it at home on the practice floor! I really appreciate the advice . . .

    Thanks you,
  6. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    You are very welcome... Don't get discouraged by the new movements, or lack of success. The moves will seem foreign at first but when you get it down, you'll love it. :D
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I'll let you know how it works!!! :D
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    This is a great topic. Thanks for bringing it back to life, borikensalsero.

    I must be one of the lucky ones, because, during my first lesson with my current coach, we talked about these very things. And of course, watching him and me side-by-side in the mirror is enough to keep me aware. He's SO good at this stuff, and I look "stiff as a board" next to him. Much better than last year, though.

    Still, the descriptions that all of you have written out will help me practice more effectively.

  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Hiya Jenn,
    With all the help that I've received here from fellow dancers, etc., I've improved bunches. I cannot wait to get back on the floor (hopefully this weekend) and get some videos of the vast improvement over last year!

    The help on this site has contributed so much to my dancing.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks to you, too, Vince. You've definitely passed it on, and helped lots of others, me especially. You should see how good my ripples are getting!


  11. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I had one teacher tell me that many of the top pros actually 'pulse' their solar plexus to cha-cha-cha, one pulse for each cha. I tried to do it myseld, but all I could do was laugh. Has anyone every heard this or is it a myth?
  12. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    You are very welcome pygmalion. I love reading the enthusiasm you guys write with. I get goose bumps from reading your posts. It makes me want to go out and dance the night away... :D The thank you is all mine.
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    My wife says I "look terribly funny," especially in the squatted position.

    But wanted you to know that I'm trying to do it . . .
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    This is true!

    I had one lesson on this three weeks ago in San Jose. It is very difficult and to me, it looks silly on a male.

    We have a Pro from Southern CA, who does this better than anyone that I've seen do it, coming to the studio this weekend for privates. She does it all the way through a full count of 1, 2, 3, 4, & 1 . . . :shock:

    I am going to ask her to show me how to do it. Just for grins . . .

    It does look good when others are doing it, but on me . . . nah!!!
  15. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    lol... She must be getting a good laugh. My instructor actually had me doing it in front of the class. I looked so funny, I actually lost my balance when I tried squating down and moving my upper body. Had I been a shy person I wouldn't have shown up to the next few classes. It's a good thing she actually looks good doing it because otherwise I would have never done it. :oops:
  16. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I know what you mean when you say " lost my balance." It is difficult to do at first.

    At first???

  17. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    lol... You can try not going down all the way to a squat. I go all the way down because at times I get pretty low dancing salsa and don't want my upper half looking stiff.
  18. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I'll keep "this" in mind!!!

    Thanks again . . .
  19. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I just took a poll here at work and asked them to do what you are doing, then asked them to concentrate first in the mid-stomach, then on the lower rib-cage. My coworkers had an easier time moving concentration on the lower rib-cage than they did in mid-stomach. I feel them the same... Just thougth I'd let you know, maybe that will help you out.

  20. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Javier, the stomach isolations were twice as hard as the rib ones. I agree with your co-workers . . . the ribs are much easier!

    I have other exercises that J. Paul and others have sent me, and now adding your exercises to my workouts . . . WOW!

    As we get older, this area tends to stiffen up because our neck muscles are no longer loose. So, when we turn, we turn our whole upper body. In everyday movements and on the dance floor! We can still do neck exercises, but we still look stiff. Doing all of these exercises, especially the rib and stomach ones, really loosen up the upper body.

    Since May, my dancing has gone to the top. I cannot express how much it has changed . . . my appreciative thanks to all of you.

    These exercises hsould be in the Beginner's Forum if and when it takes off!

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