When many of you put together dances for church, the congregation that you will be sharing with are usually on the flat, so their ability to view movements can be restricted, and it is useful to think of ways that this could be alleviated. Whilst I recognise that this isn’t the case for all churches, for the majority it is.
At the end of last year I headed along to one of Deo Gloria’s rehearsals. Deo Gloria is an associate SEED of Living Colour, meaning it was an established group before we were asked to come along and provide help and guidance to those that were in it. This was initially a short term thing, but we have had to privilege to stay part of their journey and join together on many different projects and performances.
The particular week that I went along they wanted to identify a different lift that they could incorporate into the dance. This was not only to add a different layer to the dance, but to also offer something to see for members of the congregation that were further back in the church and may not be able to see all the movements.
We decided to work on a Tilt Lift (that’s not a technical
name, just a name that I have given it for ease of teaching) that concentrates
on the transfer of weight to achieve the lift rather than strength.
So let’s break it down how you could do it for yourself:
· - A = person on the left and B = person on the right
· - Stand with your feet in parallel, hip width apart and a natural bend in the knees.
· - Connect the inside hips.
· - A, take Bs right arm and place around shoulders, then place your right hand on top.
· - A place left hand around Bs waist. B has the option to reinforce that hold by placing their left hand on top of As left or leave it free.
· - Both of you bend your knees further and transfer your weight to the left side.
· - Then A, using the connection on Bs hip, the inside hips, and stepping and transfer weight onto the right side.
· - Pull Bs weight sideways, give a gentle thrust of the hip to the left, and the amount that you tilt your back helps the height that B can go.
· - Be sure to control how your bring B down, try and maintain a straight line and don’t drop them inwards.
· - Make sure B has completely landed before you let go. The movement will generate a natural rock for A.
Things to bear in mind when doing the tilt –
· - B needs to use their core muscles to help A, and make every effort to stay inline and not drop left shoulder and hip forward.
· - B should try bending their inside leg and having their outer leg straight.
· - Bs left arm shouldn’t be an afterthought, take it up into the air as you are tilted, along with the left leg, it will help you to remain stable and generate more height.
The biggest thing to remember is to have fun whilst you are doing it, use your core, bend the knees and transfer the weight. Getting into a rhythm when you are doing it helps when you may be struggling to generate the height on the lift that you wanted.
Have a play and enjoy your weekend!