One of my favorite exercises of all times is the X Exercise. Not an official name but this is what I have always called it. I learned it during my modern dance days and always incorporated it into my contemporary classes. Once I started tango all I thought about was how I could get everyone on the floor to learn this! Well, I tried it at ASU a few times and after too many oohs and aaahs and ughs about being on a dirty floor I bailed on it. But some of the students really loved it!
How to do the X Exercise?
As the video instructs – you want to start with your body on the floor in an X position and allow the weight of your body to fall into the floor. You want to imagine that you would leave an imprint of your body on the floor if you were able to levitate!
As you let your body relax into this X bring your awareness to your fingertips or your toes and begin to draw that extremity across your body to the other corner extremity. In other words, right fingertips drawing across the body towards the left fingertips, and as your upper body peels off the floor in this beautiful spiral you want the lower half to come along for the ride. Breathing is also a good thing.
Aways return to your X shape after every turn.
Why do I love this one?
Because it helps to integrate your body. If your ribs are sticking out you can’t roll properly, if you are too tight in your hips you will crash on the floor, if you hold your breath you can’t roll, or you find your X shifting in the room!… just to name a few! The big clue is to allow your body to relax into the X position on the floor and as you bring your awareness to your fingertips or toes that will be moving across the body that they really really actively reach to meet their destination corner.
And why is this important?
I find our bodies so disconnected. Teachers tell students to move a shoulder, move a leg, embrace, relax, don’t use your arm, don’t push with your hand…. etc. No wonder we are all in pieces. Our tango seems to have become bodies moving in parts and not as a whole. So in all my classes I am on a quest to bring more integration into our bodies and into our dance.
Any questions? Let me know if you get on the floor – and yes, best to wear pants and not a skirt!