Are you having a hard time spotting in turns? Here are some quick tips.
DO make it snappy.
No matter the tempo of the turn, the head must snap, with the eyes finding their focal point before the body catches up.
DO focus the eyes.
The action of the head is important but do not forget the role of the eyes in spotting. It helps to spot something like a photograph, painting, or word and really SEE the SPOT on each TURN. If you are using your head properly but still getting dizzy, it is probably because your eyes are not focusing. You need to get the head around with enough zing (see above) to have time for this, though.
DO you have to let it linger?
extra credit if you get that lyric reference above 😉
Yes. Though the whip of the head is crucial, let your gaze linger on your spot as long as possible at the start of the turn, as your body pushes off and begins to rotate. Taking the eyes away from your spot too soon leaves the head with nowhere to snap and it will throw off the turn.
- That your head remains stationary in space, or is the “space hold” (there’s a useful exploration of this concept in the book A Sense of Dance), as your body swivels beneath it.
- Magnets. You know that tug of attraction you feel when opposite ends of two magnets come together? Those magnets have no choice. By law, they must connect. Let your gaze lock onto its spot with that same compulsory (required) pull.
Slow Motion Spotting Technique
On both videos you can see these guys spotting in slow playback just after the one minute mark.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.