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  1. #1
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    Default Sword balancing and bruises

    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/tips/etc for a problem with bruising on hands when dancing with a sword?

    I am learning a choreography and one part I have to balance the sword on the top of my one hand. I keep getting bruises afterward and trying to practice with the bruises just makes it worse. That and it is painful to do and it is distracting from my learning.

    I tried wrapping my hand just for practice but the material I have tried makes the sword slip off.

    Help?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  2. #2
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    OUCH!!!!

    I personally would change the choreography. This move has already injured you, and has already made your injury worse when you kept doing. Your body is desperately trying to tell you something - PLEASE listen to it, before permanent damage happens!

    I've never before heard of anyone balancing a sword on the TOP of the hand - usually it's done on the palm. I've performed sword for many, many years, and not once has it even occurred to me to place the sword on the top of my hand. It's NOT a common thing in belly dance that everybody does. I see no reason to force your body to endure a painful move that isn't even part of the belly dance lexicon.

  3. #3
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    Wish I could change it but it is not my choreography to change. One of the ladies in the troupe created it and I have to learn the part for it.

    I didn't think that balancing it on top of the hand was common cause I can't seem to find any info about it or video of people doing it. I checked out your site and the info there about learning to balance it as well cause there is a lot of moves that are very fast, based on ATS movements, that the sword is just bouncing all over the place on me. maybe it is just because I haven't mastered the balancing issue yet and am doing something wrong.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    I'd find another material to wrap my hand with, that won't allow the sword to slip but would still protect my hand. Then I'd practice with it on most of the time, but still practice with it off once in a while to make sure I could do the choreography with the "naked" hand.

    While bruising isn't something to encourage, I have to say it's sometimes part of the deal. My knees bruise very easily when I do anything while kneeling, but I still do it anyway. If it's a choreography and I have to keep practicing, I use a mat or knee pads during a few of the practices just so I don't make the bruising worse, but I don't use these things for a performance.

    Sometimes if I practice cane for too long I start getting blisters so I put on band-aids. My feet blister very easily so I wear foot undeez to class. I'm not going to stop dancing because of a topical boo-boo. A real injury, on the other hand...

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    I'm just realizing now that you are balancing the sword on the top of your hand. That does seem like a bad idea. It wouldn't be so bad to change it to the palm of your hand... talk to the choreographer.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheart View Post
    Wish I could change it but it is not my choreography to change. One of the ladies in the troupe created it and I have to learn the part for it.
    Back when I was in a troupe, there were certain choreographies I refused to learn. I found tactful ways of telling the choreographer that I was going to sit that one out - maybe it was "too advanced" for me, or maybe "an old back injury" acted up when I did a certain move, or whatever.

    One of the lessons I learned from troupe membership is that life is too short to spend time learning/rehearsing/performing troupe choreographies that I have some sort of a problem with.

    Are any of the other troupe members having a problem with this choreography?
    Last edited by shiradotnet; 03-07-2012 at 02:24 PM.

  7. #7
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    I'm not a sword master, so these musings may be irrelevant.

    Can you move the sword to a slightly more padded area that will still appear to be on the back of the hand? I'm thinking of the wrist or the area between the knuckles and the first joint of the fingers.

    Hopefully you'll come to a resolution soon!

  8. #8
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    It is possible that I could try that. I'll have to see if I have the strength there to hold the sword up.

    I'll also ask about changing it if possible if I can't work anything else out.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  9. #9
    Member mahsati_janan's Avatar
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    It may be regional. I have seen balancing on the back of the hand quite a bit, as well as dropping from the head to the back of the hand. It is definitely not a move that I would recommend for everyone, but I haven't seen bruises from it unless it was being dropped head to hand.

    Do you have a very heavy sword? If so, you may want to consider a lighter/smaller sword. As part of a troupe number years ago, we all did the drop from head to back of hand, but we used Saroyan swords which are much lighter than a lot of the more popular ones now. Otherwise, can you talk with the instructor and see if she can offer any alternate movements you can do? She may be willing to change the choreography or have some special hints/tricks.

    I don't really have any good hints for it, but please just be very careful. Your hands are very important, so baby them as needed. If the move simply doesn't work for your hand, then don't push it. Stay safe.

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