Table top – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Techniques Glossary

I. What is Table Top in Dance Techniques?

Table top is a popular dance move that involves lifting one leg straight up in the air while balancing on the other leg. This move is commonly seen in various dance styles such as ballet, contemporary, and jazz. The name “table top” comes from the visual image of a table top with one leg lifted up, creating a horizontal line.

Table top requires a combination of strength, flexibility, and balance to execute properly. It is often used as a transitional movement or as a dynamic element in choreography to add visual interest and excitement to a dance routine.

II. How to Perform a Table Top

To perform a table top, start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto one leg while lifting the other leg straight up in the air. Keep your lifted leg straight and engage your core to maintain balance. Your standing leg should be slightly bent to help stabilize your position.

As you lift your leg, focus on keeping your hips square and your shoulders aligned with your hips. Avoid leaning to one side or arching your back excessively. Point your toes and lengthen through your lifted leg to create a clean line.

To enhance the visual effect of the table top, you can extend your arms out to the sides or overhead. This will create a sense of expansion and elegance in your movement. Remember to breathe deeply and stay focused throughout the duration of the table top.

III. Common Variations of Table Top

There are several variations of the table top that can add complexity and creativity to your dance routine. One common variation is the tilted table top, where you angle your lifted leg slightly to the side instead of keeping it directly in front of you. This variation requires additional hip strength and control to maintain balance.

Another variation is the rotating table top, where you slowly rotate your lifted leg in a circular motion while keeping your hips square. This variation challenges your coordination and control while adding a dynamic element to the movement.

You can also experiment with different arm positions and transitions into and out of the table top to create unique variations that suit your personal style and choreography.

IV. Tips for Improving Table Top Technique

To improve your table top technique, focus on strengthening your core, legs, and hip flexors through targeted exercises such as planks, leg lifts, and hip abduction exercises. Building strength in these areas will help you maintain stability and control while performing the table top.

Work on your flexibility by incorporating regular stretching routines into your dance practice. Focus on stretching your hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps to improve your range of motion and extension in the table top position.

Practice balancing exercises such as standing on one leg or using a balance board to improve your stability and control. Developing a strong sense of proprioception will help you find your center of gravity and maintain proper alignment in the table top.

Seek feedback from your dance instructor or peers to receive constructive criticism and guidance on how to refine your table top technique. Pay attention to details such as alignment, extension, and fluidity in your movement to enhance the quality of your performance.

V. Benefits of Incorporating Table Top into Dance Routines

Incorporating table top into your dance routines offers a range of benefits for dancers of all levels. This challenging movement helps improve strength, flexibility, and balance, which are essential components of a well-rounded dance technique.

Table top also enhances body awareness and control, as it requires precise alignment and coordination to execute properly. By practicing table top regularly, dancers can develop a greater sense of proprioception and spatial awareness in their movement.

Furthermore, table top adds visual interest and dynamic energy to choreography, making it a versatile and impactful element in dance routines. Whether used as a transitional movement or a focal point in a performance, table top can captivate audiences and showcase a dancer’s skill and artistry.

Overall, incorporating table top into your dance practice can elevate your technique, challenge your physical abilities, and enhance the artistic expression of your performance. Embrace the challenge of mastering this iconic dance move and enjoy the benefits it brings to your dancing journey.