Jumping – completely different in dancing to most other things – generally for dance it is part of the performance, for style reasons, to add something to a routine or to showcase something.
This means it requires a bit more thought that just leaving the floor from two feet.
Firstly, you must protect your knees! DO NOT land with straight legs. Bend before you jump and land with bent or soft knees through your feet – not with flat feet!
This way not only protects you but also gives you more power to push off from the floor. Think of it like a spring – if you squeeze a spring together a little it will bounce a little, a bigger squeeze and the bounce is bigger!
Secondly, hold your tummy in – DO NOT hold your breath – lift up so you have a strong ‘centre’ this helps you jump higher and keep your balance. It is especially important for when you start adding in arm and leg movements.
Thirdly – think up, think about getting high as possible, and lift into it – you’ll never jump high if your head is down or you don’t use your arms as you should.
Fourthly, control – jumping requires lots of energy, but also control so it looks nice, clean, and strong. Practice doing several jumps in one go – and see if you stay in the same spot – if you move around you need to practice your control – don’t go too fast if your jump is not right.
Basic Jumps and leaps to practice – which will help you get better and be able to learn all the hard ones!
- Tuck jump – on the spot – both knees up to chest together, arms in and around knees
- Star jump – on the sport – create a star shape with legs and arms extended
- Jumping turns – around on the spot – using jumps to turn a full turn, small and controlled
- Split leap – a leap travelling forward, leaving on one foot and landing on the other – in the air the legs should look like you are in forward splits