Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

Dear Katie: Help! I'm So One-Sided!

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a lefty turner, and am more flexible on my left side than my right. My one-sidedness is especially noticeable because most people in my classes are stronger on the right side. How can I even myself out?

Camryn


Dear Camryn,

Here's the good news: Being a "lefty" automatically makes you a standout! You're the one person doing triples when everybody else is struggling to pull off a double. Here's the bad news: Anybody who's one-sided (which is pretty much everybody) has to work twice as hard on their bad side. Your natural muscle memory is to turn to the left—and it's always more fun to do what you're good at—but you need to force yourself to get used to turning the opposite way.

In class, while another group is going across the floor, stand in the back of the room and do the combination just to the right side. After class, take some time to practice your pirouettes to the right, too. Simply increasing the number of times you work your right side will help reprogram your body and brain, making pirouettes in that direction feel more natural. It's the same with flexibility: When you stretch your right side, hold the position twice as long as you would on the left.

That said, don't give up on your good side. Just do everything twice as many times to the bad side. It'll take time and hard work, but you can even yourself out.


For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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