"Spotting" is essential and something that ALL folklorico dancers should try to master. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, "spotting" is a dance technique used by dancers while executing turns that involves the head and eyes to keep the dancer oriented and aware of direction. Spotting is one of the first things I teach my students, not only because it prevents dizziness, but also because it is very necessary to do when turning with heavy folklorico skirts.
Here is how to practice spotting:
I advise that you begin slowly, but then repeat these steps faster and in both directions until you can turn and spot crisply.
1.) You can either put your hands on your waist or on your shoulders. I have my students put their hands on their shoulders at first, then on their waist, and finally have them use their skirts once they become comfortable spotting without it. Make sure to relax your shoulders and lengthen your neck as much as possible.
2.) Find a focal point located in the direction that you will be turning. You do not have to travel when turning if you are a beginner, but I want to encourage you to do so as soon as you feel comfortable.
3.) Keep your eyes fixed on that focal point as you turn. When your head can no longer turn enough to keep your eyes on that spot, immediately turn your head around to the other shoulder to continue looking at your spot.
4.) Stay sharp!
- If you are dancing with a partner, make sure your focal point while turning is your partner.
- Use a mirror to practice spotting if necessary.
- Practice spotting with all different styles of turns (pique, chaine, carretillas, pivot, etc).