Bad Sides?

Hi everybody!  Today’s blog post is about improving your bad side.  Everybody knows their “good turning side” and “bad turning side” in addition to their good and bad jumping sides and good and bad extension sides.  And it’s no secret that these qualities of your technique apply that your recognize with your friends.

So, how can we get around these things and even out your sides?  Lots of choreography calls for different types of pirouettes on all different sides to all different directions – especially new choreography on a more contemporary base (classical is a little more right-side aimed).

So, let’s review my tips and tricks for evening out your sides.


Step 1: Conditioning (obviously)

So, step 1 to achieving anything in ballet is conditioning to help get even strength and flexibility throughout both of your sides.  There are two techniques you can use to do this:

REVERSIBILITY.  One of the principles of conditioning is reversibility.  If you discontinue exercise on one side of your body while continuing it at a regular rate on the other, you can even out your conditioning and fix your problem with your bad sides.  The only downside to this is loss of existing strength.  So, basically, this technique uses a fresh palette as your basis for developing new strength.  You clean out your palette and then develop your strength evenly throughout both sides by exercising equally from then on out.

DEVELOPMENT.  This is not a principle of conditioning – it is rather an enhancement of your current training or conditioning routine.  So, you’re on point A on the left side of your body and point B on the other.  You will continue your regular conditioning on the right side and eventually advance to point C.  But, in that process, you must advance two points with the left side of your body.  So, you need to increase conditioning on one side while maintaining your conditioning on the other.  The upsides include increased strength while evening out good and bad sides, but downsides include exhaustion, fatigue, and time/patience.

Step 2: Practice

Practice involves less of discontinuation or advancement of practice on a certain side, and more of basic evenness of practice.  If you are doing 6 double pirouettes a day to the right side, try doing 6 to the left.  Eventually, you will reach an uncontrolled factor with your double pirouettes to the right, and you will catch up to the left.  If you want results ver quickly, even though it might involve fatigue or loss of strength, you can use the techniques of reversibility and advancements that we discussed and considered in the conditioning section here.  I just find that immediate balance gives me better results as far as practice goes.

Now, another much-discussed question in regards to practice’s relationship to good and bad sides considers the amount and quality of practice needed to achieve your goals.

How do bad sides develop?

The basis for development of good and bad sides is your natural ability and strength on each side.  But, if you are more coordinated on your right side than your left, there must be a reason for this.

It all comes down to your practice.  Have you rehearsed a major ballet lately?  To which side are most of those pirouettes?  Right, am I right? (pun intended.)  Second comes deliberate practice.  If you’re going to try a pirouette before class, which side are you going to do it on?  Right, am I right?  (Unless your a poor lefty like me who gets the sour end in every ballet.)

A final conclusion

Basically, bad sides form due to:

  • Natural strength, dominance, and coordination
  • Deliberate practice from rehearsals, etc.

You can fix this by:

  • Practicing more on your bad side
  • Practicing less on your good side
  • Practicing equally (less effective)

And why do they matter?

  • Audition teachers and choreographers love ambidextrous freaks!
  • You will be more successful when choreographers ask you to do unique and different types of movements in more contemporary ballets if you are equal on both sides.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post!  You can expect informational blog posts and videos here on gouletballet.com every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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