The Art of High Kicks in Irish Dance
Irish dancing is well known for its stunning footwork, of taps, jumps and clicks which have captivated audiences all over the world. Naturally leg strength, in particular calf strength is an important factor in Irish dance. Yet, kick height seems to be a factor that some kids may feel is unachievable if they aren’t naturally flexible. This perception often stems from the idea that certain physical attributes, such as flexibility, play a significant role in achieving high kicks. However, it’s important to note that with consistent practice, proper training, and stretching routines, individuals can improve their flexibility and gradually increase their kick height over time.
Here are some ways in which kick height can impact performance
Visual Impact: High kicks draw attention and create a striking visual impact on stage. They add flair and excitement to the routine, making it more memorable for viewers.
Expression of Skill: Achieving impressive kick height demonstrates the dancer’s skill, flexibility, and athleticism. It showcases the dedication and hard work put into mastering the technique.
Competitive Advantage: In competitions, high kicks can set dancers apart from their peers. Judges often look for precision and elevation in movements, and impressive kick height can leave a lasting impression, potentially leading to higher scores.
Dynamic Performance: Incorporating high kicks adds dynamic variation to the choreography, keeping the audience engaged throughout the performance. It adds energy and excitement to the routine, enhancing the overall entertainment value.
Personal Achievement: For dancers, improving kick height can be a personal achievement and a source of motivation. Progress in flexibility and strength training translates to higher kicks, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
Key Areas for Kick Height Improvement
Boosting your kick height isn’t the same for everyone. It requires working on certain parts of your body. Here are the five main areas to concentrate on:
1. Stretch regularly:
The number one way to improve by incorporate stretching exercises into your routine to improve flexibility, especially in your hips, hamstrings, and calves.
2. Strengthen your core:
A strong core provides stability and control, allowing you to lift your legs higher with better balance.
3. Focus on technique:
Pay attention to proper form and technique when executing kicks to maximize height and precision.
4. Practice regularly:
Consistent practice is key to improving your kick height. Dedicate time to drills and exercises specifically targeting kick elevation.
5. Gradually increase height:
Start with kicks at a comfortable height and gradually work your way up as your flexibility and strength improve. Avoid pushing yourself too hard too quickly to prevent injury.