How to improve your plie


How to improve your plie

After such an exciting response to our first week’s release which focused on how to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet, it’s our pleasure to share Part 2 of our 5-part, Heal Yourself and Move series, presented through our friends at MDM!

This week we’ll demonstrate how to improve depth and softness in plie, as well as how the techniques can be applied to improve jumps and landing.

A deep, soft and responsive plie is vital to a dancers success as it is both the access point to elevating off the floor in rises, turns and jumps and the way we return to it as we land.

To achieve this it’s vital to acquire strength and adaptability at the hips, knees and ankles.

Without these qualities a dancer risks strain and blockages in their technique and potential injury.

HY+M’s training encourages the dancer to connect with their body as a unified system in motion.

One might ask; how can so many aspects of movement improve simultaneously and so quickly?

Can you really have both improved flexibility and strength, that when applied correctly, lead to breakthroughs in movement patterning and/in technique? The secret lies in the system.

Classical flexibility and strength training focus on breaking the body system down into parts, isolating and individually developing them with static movements and poses.

This industrial model of, ‘parts to make a whole’ doesn’t allow for developing a unified body system that engages with movement as a whole.

When formal technique training reduces a body to its individual parts, the unity and expressive nature of a body in dance has to work harder to connect to and learn from that model.

Heal Yourself and Move draws on aspects of Systems Theory as one of its many inspirations to allow the body to learn how to move as a whole.

Our training focuses on flow and movement in dance as a process rather than a result.

HY+M’s training encourages the dancer to connect with their body as a unified system in motion.

Making the shift to training through adaptable movement, rather than in static holds and mirrored postures, simultaneously develops flexibility and strength by working within the range of motion that will be used in performance.

The dynamic unity of movement that HY+M’s training develops allows the dancer’s body the agency of choice and expression, that is what makes dance art.

Such a breakthrough in a dancer’s evolution of body unity is something that can only be experienced within the investigation and process of the HY+M series.

The body should not be isolated into parts, as there is only one part: movement itself.

And a mystery at its centre … You!

In today’s session we examine how to increase depth and softness in plie.

As nothing in the HY+M system is apart from the whole, this technique’s principles can be extended for application in other areas such as jumping and landing.

What looks and sounds quite simple is actually the body releasing and integrating all its complex systems into one unified action.

By releasing tension at the hips, knees and ankles simultaneously, and by allowing the plie to be supported at every stage of the action, increased depth, ease and the simple enjoyment of being in plie becomes possible.

Check out a great example of this in Minute 2.51 of our MDM collaboration video below where Maddy talks about the changes in depth of plie and relaxation she has achieved in just a couple of minutes.

To see what happens when we apply these concepts to back mobility checkout Lottie’s results below from our HY+M 4 Week Foundation Course.

Click below to see more courses.