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Dear Katie: How Do I Stop Overusing My Hip Flexors?

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,

My teacher always tells me to "lift from underneath" during grands battements, but I don't really understand what she means. I'm overusing my hip flexors instead, and they've started popping. Help!

Ella


Dear Ella,

The first thing I'd suggest is shifting your focus to your supporting hip. Often, we get fixated on the working leg, and that frequently results in gripping. Instead, think about staying over the supporting side and drawing on its strength. That will help free up your working leg.

Another trick you can use is the classic "go down to go up." We tend to grip our hip flexors because we're envisioning ourselves lifting our legs, rather than pushing off from the floor. So, as you battement, think about the leg first moving down into the floor before it lifts. Not only will that give you much more power, but it'll also naturally engage the correct muscles in the working leg.


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

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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