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Dancer demonstrates a floor jade with text: Tips to improve your floor jade by Erica Gabrielle

Tips to Improve Your Floor Jade

Although the Jade Split (a.k.a. Jamilla) has been around so long it’s considered old school, it’s pole-less counterpart has been in the spotlight… and for good reason! It’s a totally photo-worthy, show-stopping way to show off your bendy legs (and fabulous shoes) sans pole. Because it doesn’t require a pole, you can also do it anywhere for some incredible Instagram photos!

Even though it’s on the floor, and many of us polers have been Jade-ing for years, this move can be deceptively tricky. Even the more bendy of us dancers find this move challenging but the good news is, you don’t even have to be Cleo The Hurricane splitty to achieve this. Here are small techniques you can implement to make it a little less frustrating. As a bonus, most of the tips are helpful for your aerial Jade!

  1. Where is Your Supporting Hand? Think of the hand that supports your bum as a tray. (The phrase “ass on a platter” is very accurate!). Many people have their supporting hand too far away from the midline causing them to lose balance. You want to place your hand a further into the body, finger-in-butt-crack close, to create a more stable tray for your hips.
    Additionally, you want to be mindful of the wrist because it will be bearing a lot of weight (especially if you’re bottom-heavy like me!). As you warm up for this move, don’t neglect your wrists so they have the necessary strength and mobility to support you.
  1. Where is Your Elbow? Without the support of a pole, your elbow is creating the triangular base for the aforementioned tray. If your elbow is too far out away from the body, your body will lean that way and throw you off balance. Tuck your elbow in close to your body and in line with your shoulder.
  1. Turn Out the Back Knee. I have to give credit to Australia’s Natty Stephens for changing my whole life with this one. To get a flatter line, turn out your back leg so the knee points behind you and away from the midline then attempt to drop it down lower. You will surprise yourself at how much more range you will get.
  1. Actively Pull Down on the Front Leg. This will not only keep your front leg from bending but will also create a counter pull for your back leg to open up and lower.
  1. Be Careful on Your Entrance and Exit. This move looks beautifully simple but there are a lot of sensitive body parts working for this and you don’t have the pole for added grippy security. As you enter, don’t be afraid to take your time and teeter until you find your balance. Begin with both legs close to your face and slowly raise the front leg as the back leg lowers. Once you’re comfortable and know where your balance points are, you’ll be able to pop in and out of this move without the teeter.

Upon exiting, you could easily tweak your wrist or hurt your elbow by collapsing out. Remember to protect your wrist by exiting as carefully as you’ve entered and try to resist falling forward.

Good luck!

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