Here’s something that can improve your “spinning” facet within the “B-boying” universe. Please find below a routine you can use to gain more body awareness to assist you in your improvement process to be able to swivel or spin more efficiently and “authoritatively”. This routine consists of several different movements, or “movement sequences”. After a certain movement sequence, you may find that you are inspired to further explore the movement on your own and to see where it naturally leads you, one movement seeming to naturally take you in to another movement that you feel drawn to do. Thus, you may have a small desire to go a little tangent to the lesson and explore and play with some of your own related movements that the lesson has sparked in you. That is fine. Allow yourself to be creative. Allow yourself to spiral off into your own movement and awareness discoveries. You can always come back to the structure of the routine whenever you wish. That structure being …
Start out by sitting on your pelvis (your buttocks) on the floor. You’re sitting on the ground with your knees bent, feet slightly lifted in the air, and you try to generate momentum for spinning around like a top. Be creative. Explore and play with how many different ways you can spin around on the floor. If you’ve been continually spinning around in one direction, now begin to spin around in the other direction. Also be creative in how you can spin around in this direction. Notice in which direction it is easier for you to spin. To the right or to the left? If you’re not sure about this, just let it go. We’ll get back to this question in a moment.
Spinning, if you will, is, relatively, a rotation around a vertical axis. Now let’s have some fun exploring and playing around with some variations. Doing the same action of spinning with different variations, rather, with different bodily movement patterns, will ultimately bring more body awareness.
Which side do you spin more easily toward? If you’re not sure what I mean, ask yourself, which side would you say that you spin more smoothly, more efficiently? To the right or to the left? Or, ask yourself, which side does it feel more comfortable to spin toward? If you had to spontaneously choose which side you would be more comfortable to spin toward, which side would it be? On which side can you spin farther?
Personally for me, I am aware that I spin more efficiently going to the left (as opposed to the right). Thus, spinning toward my left is “my good side”. Determine if this is true for yourself, or if you prefer to spin to the right.
In Functional Movement Education Therapy, we first work with the” good side”. That is, we work on improving, even more so, the “good side”. Then, afterward, if we are still interested in doing so, we work the “bad side”. Incidentally, it should be noted that by only working the “good side”, the “bad side” will also see improvement. In fact, sometimes, “the bad side” will improve more so if you continue working with improving the “good side”, as opposed to attempting to directly work the “bad side”.
The below routine is formatted around those individuals, like me, who turn better going toward the left. Therefore, for those of you who turn more efficiently going to the right, please substitute the words “right” for “left”, as well as substitute “left” for “right”.
Do the following movements, below in bold, slowly and well within your comfort range. This isn’t meant to be a workout or exercise regimen, in the traditional sense, anyway. Instead, this is about Learning. It’s about sensory-motor learning, giving your Self (your body) the opportunity or experience to build new bodily movement patterns.
Again, don't feel regimented by the following routine or lesson. Feel free to do the following movement sequences not in their listed order, rather, to do them out of order. Even feel free to mix and match various movement sequences. Be creative. Let your curiosity guide you, provided that it is always comfortable for you, that you always remain within your comfort range.:
Spin to your left as you initiate the movement with your left leg. That is, think of kicking your left leg outward toward the left as it leads the rest of your Self (body) to also spin to the left.
Initiate the movement of spinning to your left with your right leg. That is, your right leg lightly kicks to the “inside”, rather, it kicks to the left to initiate the movement of spinning to the left.
Initiate the movement of spinning to your left with your left arm. That is, think of “backhanding” with your left arm as it leads the spin. For some of you, this may be the first time that you have ever thrown a left-handed backhand while sitting on your buttocks. Thus, do this slowly.
Initiate the movement of spinning to your left with your right arm.
Spin to the left as you swing both of your arms to the left.
Spin to the left as you swing both of your arms to the right.
Spin to the left as you turn your head to the right.
Spin toward the left as you allow your eyes to look to the right.
Lie on your back. Bend your knees to bring them somewhere comfortably near your chest. While lightly hugging your knees, roll back and forth. Thus, you’re rolling side to side, that is, to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right …
Roll your head to the right, while you roll everything else, that is, your knees and arms, to the left.
Roll your head to the left, while you roll everything else to the right.
Again, while lightly hugging your knees, roll your entire self back and forth, or side to side.
Again, bring yourself up to sitting.
Hug yourself, around your chest, and spin to the left.
Crisscross your legs. Rather, have one leg over the other, and spin to the left.
Crisscross your legs the other way, and spin to the left. Rest a bit.
Spin again as you would naturally. Does the spin feel smoother, easier, more comfortable, than at the beginning of the lesson? … Are you possibly traveling even farther?”
Interesting. Isn’t it? At this point you may wish to take a break.
I observe that the spins I make by spinning around on carpeted floors are much smaller than the larger spins I am able to achieve by spinning around on stainless steel or linoleum surfaces, such as on tables or kitchen floors, they being more “spinning friendly”. Wearing regular "street clothes" pants is more conducive to spinning on the floor than wearing sweat pants.
If you’re still interested in doing more, then, again, sit with your pelvis (buttocks) resting on the floor. Begin to spin. However, this time intentionally interfere with the spin, even bringing it to a standstill at any given point in its flow.
Related to this, go ahead and allow yourself to perform the spinning badly. That is, invent as many ways as you can to mess up the movement! As one of my brilliant, highly-skilled trainers, Ruthy Alon, eloquently beams, “Be creative. Do it badly.” Now rest a bit.
Spin again as you would naturally. Does the spin feel even smoother, … perhaps even farther than before?”
Beautiful! The camera loves you, baby! You own it! “Hey dog! MC Hammer’s on the phone, inquiring about dance lessons from you! …” “Yo’ top of da food chain!”
Can you possibly see how you can transfer this lesson that you’ve been doing mostly in sitting, as well as a little bit in lying, into the vertical position? That is, if you wish, translate the movement sequences for this lesson into the standing position as you begin to spin around on your toes.
Incidentally, playing and exploring in the sitting position only, as you have been previously doing for most of this lesson, will also automatically translate into giving you more body awareness for moving in the standing position for doing this spinning kind of lesson, as well as for other kinds of movements. Newly cultivated bodily awareness stays with you to spread out into other facets of your life.
Can you translate the movement sequences given within this routine toward the "headspin", "windmill", "backspin" or other breaker moves? I know you can.
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
Functional Movement-Education Therapist
Practitioner of the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
"Health Is All that Matters!"
"If you’re in pain, or your body aches, I give you the sensory motor experience to be able to move freely, effortlessly, pleasantly, without strain or discomfort. Say 'Hello' to relaxing, and 'Goodbye' to stiffness and pain!"
To see my popular YouTube video of me demonstrating the wonderful "'2-Minute Movement-Education Miracle' to Free Up Your Stiff Neck", Click Here