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Mastering The Beloved Tilt Kick

Happy Friday, FTT Family! Welcome back to another From The Top blog post. Today we are sharing some tips on how to master the highly coveted tilt kick! The tilt kick is a move that we all know and love. I mean, this a move that held its own Instagram hashtag once upon a time (shout out to #tilttuesday)! The tilt kick is a dance staple that has transcended time and space, and as a new generation comes up in the dance industry, inquiring minds still want to know: How do you achieve a really good tilt kick and how do you do it correctly? Well we wouldn’t be “From The Top” if we didn’t help ya out! So come along with us as we talk about preparation, technique and execution tactics to help you master that oh-so beloved tilt kick. Let’s go!

  1. How To Prepare Your Body

With every dance stunt, we always have to take it from the very beginning, which is the preparation for said stunt. In this case, strengthening and flexibility in a few key areas will be how we crack this code. In a tilt kick the primary areas that you’ll be working are your hip flexors and hamstrings. By paying extra attention to these areas in your warm-up, not only will you gain the flexibility to achieve a very high tilt kick, but also strong stability in your supporting hip/leg. Below are a list of stretches that you can do at home to increase your flexibility in your hips and hamstrings, as well as a couple of key strengthening exercises that will help strengthen the hip flexor for a nice, strong supporting leg. Hold each stretch for 10-20 sec. And be sure to do each exercise for 2 reps of 10. 

  1. Splits (stretch)
  2. Lunges (stretch)
  3. Frog (stretch)
  4. Butterfly (stretch)
  5. Jazz split (stretch)
  6. Sumo Squat (exercise)
  7. Middle Split (stretch)
  8. Straight Leg Raises (exercise)

2. Use Your Turn Out

Next, let’s move onto execution with what may be the most important tip, which is to use that turn out. When you really look at a tilt kick, it’s a standing straddle stretch. That may sound funny, but it’s the truth anyhow. The best way to achieve your highest and most elongated tilt kick is to execute it from a nice, turned out, first position. This is what is going to really open your hips and allow you to achieve the desired position. Having your feet turned in however, will result in a tilt kick with your tooshi pointed toward the audience (yikes!) Which leads us to our next tip….

3. Tuck Your Bum

Now this is a tip that is pretty self explanatory. I think this is one of the most common mistakes that I see personally in tilt kicks, which is having your bum sticking out while you execute the kick. By making this mistake, you have a higher risk of terribly losing your balance, forcing your body to execute the kick into the completely wrong direction and just overall make the move look far less attractive. How do we fix this, you may ask? Simple! Tuck dat booty in when you kick. That’s it. That’s the tip. 

4. Engage Your Core 

Our next tip is one that harkens back to most other techniques of dance moves and that is to always engage your core. This will naturally help with your balance as well and help you get your working leg as high as it possibly can in your tilt kick, all while keeping the correct form. 

5. Hit Your Angles

The most notable thing about the tilt kick is the angle in which you are hitting while executing the move. I mean, it’s even in the title of the move! You are quite literally in a tilted position! While your lower body may be doing most of the work, it’s your upper body that is what’s going to get you that money shot! As you kick your working leg, be sure to your relax your mid-section, being extra careful not to scrunch your upper body up towards the working leg. Let your torso stay centered toward the front (keeping that core engaged), while your arms are placed at a diagonal position. This will help create the illusion of the “tilt” in “tilt kick”!

6. Use The Floor

And finally, our last tip for achieving those beautiful tilt kicks is to use the floor. A tilt kick is just like any other battement and therefore sets in place the same technique fundamentals. When you kick your working leg up into your tilt kick, be sure to really gain the momentum for your kick by using the floor. Really brush that foot against the floor as you go up into your tilt kick as this is one of the factors that will get your leg as high as it possibly can go. 

And voila! There you have it! We hope that this post was able to help you as you work to achieve those beautiful tilt kicks. As always, we are so glad to have had you here with us on this lovely Friday. We wish you a wonderful weekend and until our next blog post, remember…

Keep dancing!

Lexi

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