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Tips For Bettering Your Difficult Side

Hey there FTT Family and welcome back to another blog post! Today we are talking about our difficult sides and how to better them. No matter if you’re a righty or a lefty, every dancer has one side of their body that seems to be our best friend. Our turns are consistent on this side, our leaps are powerful and flexibility is a breeze. But then there’s the other side who just seems to scream “hit me with your best shot” every time it’s time to put it in motion. This side is most commonly known as a dancer’s “difficult side” because it poses us with more, well, difficulty then its counterpart. So, in today’s blog post we will be discussing some ways that you can show your difficult side some love and head on the road to bettering this side to see progress. Let’s get right into it!

  1. It’s a common struggle

As we mentioned in the introduction, whether you’re a righty or a lefty, every dancer has one side of their being that likes them more than another. As a righty myself, my left side to this day gives me the blues sometimes and every time I find myself getting a little peeved by it, I always keep in mind that there is no dance struggle that is new under the sun. So tip number one, though simple, is to keep in mind that we all have our stubborn side. Embrace it and let’s get on the road to bettering it, shall we?

  1. Practice your difficult side as much as your good side

Let’s just be real, the process of practicing your difficult side is not necessarily fun. If its turns, you’re falling out of them. If its leaps, you may not be gaining enough power in them. If its kicks, they may not be as high. But on your good side? Piece of cake! That comparison alone is enough to make you (unintentionally) show favoritism in practicing one side more than the other. However, what may happen is that your good side may become that much better because you’re practicing it more, while your difficult side stays stagnant at the level where it’s been and ultimately this contrast will show in the long run. However, practice makes progress! So as much as it may be daunting to practice your difficult side with just as much diligence as your easier side, that is the only way you will be able to gain an equal amount of skill in them both. So though it may take a little extra brain power to remember which side you’re turning to (guilty of this, btw), practice those turns anyway. Even though you may not be catching as much air in that leap, give it your all regardless. What is difficult now, will become easier tomorrow with the right amount of love and attention.

  1. If it’s flexibility your after, don’t slack on the stretching

Yes, we’re about to talk about the dreaded difficult side when it comes to stretching. As I mentioned before, I’m a righty. Stretching on my right side is easy like Sunday morning. But my left side has a mind of its own. It’s like flipping a coin, heads it’s gonna be nice to me today or tails it’s gonna be stubborn. And sweet Lord, don’t let it be cold outside. I’m a wreck! However, as much of a fight that it may try to pick with me, I don’t give up on it and actually show it a bit of tough love. Now am I telling you to push your body past its limits? By all means, no! However, I am saying that it is of the best benefit to hold every stretch just as long on your difficult side as on your easy side because that’s the only way you will gain equal flexibility. As much as this side may try to take you through it, talk to yourself and remind yourself that you can do this. Take a few deep breaths and hold that split, straddle, heel stretch or whatever it may be. You see, our difficult side can sometimes behave like a stubborn child. It doesn’t want to go any further, even though you know it can and safely at that. But it has its own mind and wants to defy what you both know it is capable of. That’s where tough love comes in. No matter what kind of stubbornness it shows, meet it halfway and gently push it to do what you know it can. It’s for the greater good of your technique in the long run.

  1. Study it

“Keep your good side close, and your difficult side closer.” – Michael Corleone.

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how that quote goes but I’m going somewhere with this, I promise! Now let’s take a moment to really think about all of this. Difficult sides are not per say difficult for no reason. There has to be some detail in the midst of all this that is throwing you off or causing the difficulty. This is why our next tip is to study your stubborn side and pin down what it is about this side that is making you have such a fight. For example, if your pirouettes on your right side are better than those on your left, take the time to figure out why this is. Maybe your ankle strength is a tad weaker on this side, hindering you from a higher releve to turn on. Maybe you are turning inside instead of outside, causing your balance to become slightly off. To every obstacle we face, there’s always a solution to fix it, we just have to simply find the problem. So, take some time to do some studying on your difficult side. It’s a magnificent way to crack the code and head on the road of improvement. 

  1. Be patient with it

And last but certainly not least, even though your difficult side can test your patience, remember to be patient with it. Just like every other goal we achieve along our journey, progress is made in time and never overnight. I mean, when you really think about it, your good side didn’t even become your good side without time and practice. This same principle applies to your difficult side as well. As long as you put in the hard work and persist with diligence, you’ll make the progress that you crave and before you know it, what was once difficult will be a piece of cake.

Well everyone, that will do it for another blog post! As always, we hope today’s entry was another building block to help you along on the path of your dance journey. We hope you have a beautiful weekend filled with love, light and until our next blog post, remember…

Keep dancing!

Lexi

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