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Everyday Poise: Spiraling Street Performer

by Ellen on May 14th, 2015

In today’s Everyday Poise, I’m highlighting a video of a street performer that made the rounds on social media a few weeks ago. Check out his beautiful routine below, and then read on.

EDIT: The original video has been removed, so I replaced it with a new one. It’s not quite the same routine, but most of the same moves are present. The time codes I mention below just won’t be right anymore. Sorry!

Since we’ve been talking about spirals recently, watch it again and pay attention to the focus in his eyes in relation to the direction of spin in his hoop, particularly when he switches from one pattern to another. He controls the spinning of the hoop with his eyes and his whole self; letting his eyes lead him into a big spiral that, because he’s holding on to the hoop, takes the hoop with him into a new pattern. At the very beginning of the routine, where he’s changing patterns a lot, you can see his head always turning in the direction he’d like to go next. In particular, right around 0:50 seconds in you can see him open up from a spin by letting go of his right hand, going into a large beautiful spiral spin, and you can really see the spiral through his whole torso, up and out of his right hand.

Also, remember a few months ago when I mentioned Primary and Secondary curves, and how spirals are a combination of the two? Several times during this routine you can see him working with the shift between primary and secondary as a way of gaining momentum. When spread-eagled inside the hoop, he generally stays tending towards primary, presumably because it’s a more stable direction to sustain, but he shifts into secondary to change shapes or speed up the spin. Right around 1:10, he does a pattern alternating between picking up one foot into what I’d call an arabesque and placing it back down on the hoop. The extensions are beautiful secondary curves, and the placing of the foot back down brings him back into primary. Put together, these two create a very natural way of generating the momentum to keep the spin going. Overall, this performance showcases the idea of spirals as the building blocks of movement, and shows just how powerful a tool they can be when you allow them to move you.

Forward and Up! is a Pittsburgh-based private practice offering quality instruction in the Alexander Technique in a positive and supportive environment.

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