Tutorial: Round 1
This is a wonderful round so make the most out of each stretch and extension, back bend and spinal twist. Enjoy the flow and repeat as many times as you like. It's important on a physical level to warm up properly, but also on a mental level to focus and give your work to come and intention.
Study and reflect
- What are your alignment habits?
- How can you change your habits?
- What is muscle memory?
For any posture or exercise a strong foundation is the most important thing. Think of your alignment as the foundation or scaffolding of a house. Even if it is just a little bit off – you may not see it at first but it will effect the entire structure once the house is built, with other words become an injury down the line. Likewise if the foundation is solid, the house will last forever. I. e. with mobility and muscle strength added to correct alignment you practically learn to do anything with your body. Correct alignment is therefore the answer to preventing injuries and improving technique.
Think about your angles when demonstrating
We aim to make the transitions and usage of different angles as seamless and non-distracting or confusing for the students as possible. Explore different ways of coaching and ensure that the coach doesn’t ‘get stuck’ in one angle. Now try exploring different angles of teaching the salutation:
- Face the student.
- Face the student and mirror their movements.
- Have your back to the student.
- Keep eye contact with the student through the mirror (if you have one)
- Keep a profile to the student.
Study and reflect
- Which one did the student prefer?
- Which angle was easiest for you as a teacher? why?
- Can you see your student?
- Change it up! For example face the student when the posture is symmetrical then move into a profile. Later turn your back to your student so he/she can follow your arm circles etc.
- Talk to the student and guide him/her verbally through the exercise and make the physical transitions seamless. e.g “I’m going to mirror you so lift your right leg(…)” “Follow me” or “Stay facing front(…)” etc.
Note. A very flexible/strong coach can be encouraging and inspiring to the students, but performed badly it can have the opposite effect and put the student off their own practice and confidence/motivation. Pay attention to your own alignment when you are demonstrating -especially your neck and spine- to prevent repetitive injuries and imbalances in your body.
What about students different learning styles?
We aim to give our students a 'rich' learning experience and should therefor cater to as many of the styles below as possible. Multi-tasking!
- Sensory - Many participants will require a physical demonstration of poses and sequences, and will appreciate visual, auditory and kinaesthetic information from the coach in order to perform the poses safely and effectively. Some dance teachers use imagery as a method to improve posture and alignment as well as develop technique and performance.
- Linguistic - Some participants will require descriptive instructions to learn most effectively. Some students will find metaphors useful. Others still, typically more experienced participants, will simply require the name of the pose without demonstration.
- Familiarity - Some participants learn best by relating all new postures and movements to familiar postures and movements.
- Novelty - Other participants learn best by paying attention to the novel or unfamiliar aspects of a movement.
Study and reflect
- What is your learning style?
- Which learning style do you identify yourself with the most?
- How can you adapt to everyone’s needs in the group?
Note. Remember that by OBSERVING your students, they will tell you what information they need. Offer solutions and be creative.