Something a little different for you today! I’ve decided to do a mini, 3-part series, on how to safely spot different Acro skills. I know most of my talented dancers love to practice at home, and whilst I apologise to grownups who may be accustomed to now seeing their children upside down, it makes me very happy to hear. So, what better way to put your minds at rest than to feel confident in knowing how to assist your superstars in reaching their Acro goals!
The Bridge is one of the fundamental skills in the Acrobatic Arts syllabus and for good reason. If you read my blog post ‘A Beautiful Bridge’ you’ll know its more than just how much your back can bend. If you missed it, then follow the link to catch up. (it will compliment the understanding of this post rather nicely) https://dancersdiscussion.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/a-beautiful-bridge-2/.
There are many ways to correctly spotting ‘Down to Bridge’. The one I will use is just an example but I feel is very safe and comfortable for both dancer and spotter.
1) Position yourself behind the dancer (stood or kneeling dependant on their height) with your close arm low on the dancer’s hips and your farm arm across the dancer’s shoulders. Try and avoid spotting this skill in the lower back. We want to aid the dancer in pushing forward in the hips before bending in the lumbar spine.
2) Start to guide the hips forward as the dancer reaches the arms and shoulders up and over.
3) As the dancer starts to reach for the floor, use the arm supporting the shoulders to control the bridge and guide the dancer’s hands to the floor.
4) Once the dancer is securely in bridge, correct their technique with your hands and verbal cues.
5) If they are then wishing to kick over (providing they have enough strength), firstly, secure your far arm to support their shoulders (this should also help dancers to keep the weight over their shoulders and not rock into their feet).
Allow them to kick independently but stopping their legs in the middle to make sure they have a nice split and square hips. Once again using your hands and vocal cues to correct technique.
Dancer: Amelie Coe