Lab recap: NYC CI Lab, Wed., 2015/04/22, at 100 Grand Dance, New York, NY [rough]

This is a recap and summary of conclusions from our fourth session of the April 2015 dance lab at 100 Grand Dance, “Risk-Taking and All the Fun Stuff,” which I am facilitating this month.

What we did

We continued exercises from last week of exploring the “tipping point” when a over-dancer starts to slide off of an under-dancer. We then practiced rolling up an under-dancer’s lower back to the under-dancer’s shoulder (“rolling up the back”).


  • weight-shifting from foot to foot, gradually
  • walking on new foot
  • extending leg to carry you off balance
    • and experimenting with ways of slowing your fall down
  • expand to extending arms, head
  • aikido rolls
    • doing them slow and controlled, reversing
    • floor puzzles


Rolling up the back

  • exercise from last time — tipping point
    • A on B in post
      • B stands up very slowly, noting the moment when A starts to slide
      • A and B play with coming back and forth from that point, occasionally going beyond and letting A fall off
    • B tips A towards A’s feet, towards A’s hands
  • rolling up half-turn
  • rolling up the back to shoulder, with spotters


Rolling up the back

  • learnings (A = over-dancer, B = under-dancer)
    • rolling straight up a flat back is difficult
      • can be easier when B tilts A slightly, often towards A’s head
      • seems to get the momentum going
    • for M., whose weight is high, some adjustments
      • placing M. as A in normal pelvis place, so tipping him towards his head
      • but B pushing down on A’s leg, to get something to push against
    • J. as B
      • As B, did something like put her arms out after the half-turn, hooked A’s upper limbs, and rolled down and back to roll A up
    • no-mans land
      • as B, after A completes the half-turn, very difficult to feel A’s location
      • bit of a no-man’s land
    • S.
      • as A, bends legs towards center to compensate for tipping towards legs
      • as A, seems fairly natural to start to slip a little down the back of B once the half-turn up is finished

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