Monday, October 5, 2015

The Zen of the Free Hip

Over the past couple of months I've been manipulating my free hip as a way to gain better control of my edges and turns. This post and the next are the results of some explorations I've been doing.

I can see some eyerolls out there via my psychic powers. "Oh, she's going to be talking about closed and open hips, how droll." You would be wrong. I've heard the terms, and I've had coaches tell me to hold my leg in a certain way and say "That's open." or "That's closed". Those coaches may know what they mean but I can break down the free hip position into SIX positions. Open and closed don't cut it for me.

So here's a picture of a dancer in what is (probably) an 'open' hip position:

Not to me. To me this is a hip in the back position, with externally rotated leg. Next up:

(Tenley Albright?)
This is probably considered to be a free hip in the 'closed' position. To me this is a free hip in the forward position with the leg with neutral (or possibly external) rotation.

So here's how I've broken it down:

Hip position--Forward back neutral

Leg rotation--External neutral internal
How does this work for me?

FO3--Free hip in the back position, externally rotated.

FO edge--Free hip in the back position, neutral  to external rotation

BO edge--Free hip in forward position, neutral rotation

FI3--Free hip in forward position, external rotation

Mohawk--Going in: Free hip in back position, neutral to externally rotated leg. As I bring the free foot forward to the arch of the I bring the free hip to the neutral position, step down and switch, bringing the new free hip into the back position with external rotation.

This is nothing you could explain to a child. But as notation it certainly is more reliable and descriptive than 'open' and 'closed'.

For me this has proved to be a life saver. Because I have one hip that is naturally back and the other neutral, I've had to struggle with 'sidedness'. By understanding what's going on in a detailed way in my free hip, I've seen a lot of improvement as I'm able to make adjustments based on my knowledge of my own body.

1 comment:

  1. my posture is all over the place and limbs just seem to do their own thing, sticking out at strange angles haha! I've been having some trouble with my back edges in particular so I'll try to keep your observations in mind when I'm on the ice.