Freestyle Elements – Racket Twirls, Part 2

In this new series of blogs covering Freestyle Elements we introduce “Racket Twirls”. We will start with a basic rotation and then learn various rotational movements featuring the racket twirl. In this case, the term “twirl” means turning the racket around its longitudinal axis. It is often used to compose various combinations of movements in freestyle.

There are many variations of such movements. For example, racket twirls inside vertical and horizontal coils, twirls inside the top and bottom circle around the body, twirls behind the back, different versions of point twirls etc.

In our first blog in this series, we showed you how to start with a twirl racket facing down and then how to add a 360° body rotation to the twirl. In this blog, we add some more movements to the twirl, to see how a twirl may be integrated in a choreography. Here are three twirl / movement combinations that give you a good start:

1. Forward / Backward

  • When we start the twirl, we stand both feet parallel and about shoulder width apart
  • As we move forward by closing in on out right foot with our left foot, performing a twirl left to right in the process
  • Then our left foot moves out diagonally and our right foot closes in on it – like a “zigzag”, performing a coil right to left in the process
  • The coil helps to gather the momentum for the next twirl and to add a harmoneous twist to our choreography
  • Right foot out, left foot follows / twirl and so on – 4 times in all
  • On the forth time, we reverse direction with our movements – “walking back the same way we came”

2. Reversals / 180° Rotations

  • Just like in our first combination, we start with a twirl / “zigzag” combination
  • Upon closing in on our right foot with the left foot (the “zag”), we spin on the right foot 180°, facing the direction we came from
  • Again, we use the coil as a means to gather momentum and introduce variety
  • We then continue the twirl / “zigzag” combination the other direction
  • Again, we finish the combination with a 180° rotation on our right foot

3. Circles

  • And once more, we start a twirl / “zigzag” combination
  • This time, however, we imagine a circle on the floor, which we are walking along
  • At the end of our combination, we have completed the circle and stand where we started

Some tips:

  • Motions must be soft and energetic at the same time, not overly tense
  • Strength and artistry must be in harmony
  • Clear control of ball and racket is needed – this is ensured by the correct grip of the racket
  • Pay attention to the arm not holding the racket – keep it moving fluently, to add to a harmoneous choreography

To the tune of one of your favorite songs (perhaps even the same you played last time) you now enrich you chorepgraphy, through slight variations 🙂

How the correct rotation of the racket handle can add control to this part of your choreography, we will show you in another blog of this series.

Irina Rusavina
BailongBall Instructor

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