Technique

Free Leg Fluidity

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Many revels ask me about the fluidity of my free leg.

The first thing I tell them is that freedom of the free leg comes from the base leg. The way our bodies function is that if the body is out of balance, the psoas muscle of the free leg will not work as strongly So if we want that leg to be free, we have to activate our base securely.

The second point is to gently elongate the free leg. Whatever position your free leg is in, even about to take a tiny step in close embrace, you can extend it to make it look beautiful. Extension doesn’t mean that your leg is necessarily straight. Of course it depends on the position, but whatever position it is in, you can stretch the muscles all the way to your beautifully pointed toe, which is probably the most important part. Don’t be lazy about this!  Make sure that this stretching isn’t a contraction and hardening of the muscles, but a gentle elongation.

The third point about freedom of the free leg has to do with relaxation in all of the joints. Practice swinging your leg through its full range from front to back with complete relaxation/folding of the hip and knee joints as appropriate through the cycle. Support this motion with flexion in your base leg and don’t use your lower back to get more distance. Your range is whatever you can do without compromising or jerking your upper body.  (It is ok to tilt your torso slightly forward – about 15 degrees – but keep your core muscles on if you want it to be beautiful.) Only if your joints are relaxed will you be able to let your leg move as a consequence of the leader’s co-contraction. A natural arcing motion flows out from the strength of your base leg through smooth soft action of your psoas muscle (which is buried deep within the core) and no tension around the joints to block it.

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