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Guest Starling

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Guest Starling

I was working on my spotting last night....and it NEEDS work!


Do you guys have any tips or suggestions on improving one's spotting?


My problem is that I seem to always feel dizzy - even if I'm pretty sure I've got it right! I'm going to ask my teacher on Thursday when I have my small class (there's more time for the teacher to give individual help) - but I thought maybe you guys could give me some ideas so that I can work on it a bit before I see her!


Thanks so much!


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Guest BBNButterscotch

Hi! I've had problems with spotting for sooo long too... and i dont know if this advice will help you or not,but maybe it will help someone. After having problems spotting for awhile, my teacher finally figured out that my glasses were the problem. As i would turn, my glasses would slide up and down on my head, making it hard to keep on point of focus. So not i usually dont wear glasses for turns. :D

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Wearing glasses for ballet glass is definitely not recommended. Have you tried contact lenses? There are so many turns in class, of various kinds in different combinations, it would be very hard to try and take the glasses on and off all the time. We get the young students in contacts as soon as their doctor will allow it!

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Guest MTdancer

Starling - ah, spotting is always such a wonderful thing to work on ... ;)


As for advice, I'm sure that your teacher has already told you a great deal of tips. One that really works for me is to keep my eyes locked on the point I am "spotting" until the very last second. When I reach the point where my neck simply can't twist anymore, that's when I know it's time to snap my head around and find that that imaginary X on the wall that I stare at.


I know that in my classes, a few dancers who have problems with spotting often unconsiously close their eyes in the middle of a turn, or inadvertantly look down at the floor. This can cause a great deal of dizziness, as you can imagine! Perhaps making sure your eyes are up and open at all times could help you as well.


Best of luck, and let me know if you come up with any other handy hints!



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If you wear glasses and don't want or can't manage contacts, look for a heavy-duty eyeglass retainer. "Croakies" is the brand I'm familiar with; they're sold at athletic supply stores and optical outlets. These can be adjusted to hold your glasses very tight so they don't move at all on your face.

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Some of my students also have the same sort of problems you describe.

What sometimes helps, besides continuous practice and the good advice of "fixing" your spot on something concrete, is to make sure that your head is not tilted in any way as you go around.


Even a small tilt could set your inner ear into the belief that it is not level and therefore make you think you are about to fall and then you feel dizzy.

That is most likely what happens when someone unintentionally looks down at the floor while turning, too!


Think of keeping your head quite balanced on your spine, chin not thrust forward, "ears back".



Good luck!



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And on that same note, don't drop one shoulder on entering the turn. It will make it that much more difficult to keep the head centered, let alone spot!

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I too have trouble with dizziness, but I'm not sure how much is me not spotting properly and how much is my sinuses on the right side of my head, which cause me problems with normal balance let alone turns :D .


Have a look at this for some extra info - there's some fantastic footage of Marianela Nunez as well, she can turn for England (or Argentina!!!).





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With respect to getting dizzy, why not daily just practice a series of pique turns or chaines. With easier turns such as those, you can concentrate more on spotting and will become accustomed to turning. My experience is that turning more often results in a decreased sense of disorientation.

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Yes Garyecht I couldn't agree more. The more turns you do, the less dizzy you will become. Boring though the remedy may be, its the only answer. When you can, practice turns across the floor, and a la manège

those are the best for combating dizziness. The only way to overcome it and I know Mjr Johnson would agree..is practice, practice, practice. Because no amount of wonderful advice given here can actually mean anything unless you practice. It will get easier, and you will become less dizzy with experience.



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Has anyone here ever done turning or spinning exercises outside of class to improve spotting? I was wondering if it would be beneficial to practice spotting by just standing in place and turning or by sitting on a rotating stool and going for a spin (using proper head spotting). If dancers build up a tolerance to getting dizzy through daily practice will "adult beginners" ever build up that tolerance going to class 2 or 3 times a week? Would this sort of extra practice help or is it just likely to make me feel nauseated:confused: before breakfast?

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One of teachers has told me to fix on one point but not until the very last moment as she had been taught, since that might make you tilt you back. We do spotting excersices where you put your hands on your hips (side) and turn with tip-toe steps 90degrees (1/4 of a whole turn) with your head still facing the same spot and then as you tiptoe further you should turn your head as fast as you can to the inital spot. Then your head will help you body to turn too. And I really think that helps me.


Another teacher taught the common technique when you stare at one spot as long as possible and then turn fast with your head. But I thought the other one suited me better.


Hope that helps!

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I'd like to add on to this discussion. I can spot in pique turns and chaines, but one of my teachers told me tonight that I do NOT know how to spot for pirouettes. What's funny, though, is that I can make doubles and sometimes even triples. I guess I don't have that whole snap the head around thing. I tried to whip my head around at the last second, but I just ended up messing up the landing--badly. Any more tips :confused:

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starling - one possibility - IF you are genuinely doing all the right things for 'spotting' but you still get dizzy - is that you may NEED glasses. consider whether your vision seems to be as good as your friends' vision, when you are NOT turning....if you sense there might be a problem, have your eyes tested. :)


in response to basilio, who wrote: "Has anyone here ever done turning or spinning exercises outside of class to improve spotting? I was wondering if it would be beneficial to practice spotting by just standing in place and turning or by sitting on a rotating stool and going for a spin (using proper head spotting)" -


the answer is 'yes' you CAN practice spotting this way, and it DOES work. it works exactly as you say it does: by familiarising your body to the sensation, and overcoming the dizziness by practice/ repetition. however, if it makes you nauseous, then you are probably going too far or too fast! ;)


don't overdo it!

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