I would like to take a moment to turn your focus on the importance of teaching your students the correct positioning of their feet during each workout and how it impacts the alignment of the entire body. Proper feet placement is so crucial to teach your class, and if the feet are properly placed, the rest of the leg will follow suit and be in perfect alignment. If you can teach your students how to stand on their feet properly, you won’t need to worry about teaching them how to correctly position their knees! As we know from teaching Essentrics, the less body parts to cue—the easier it is to teach.
The foot is made up of the toes and the padding under the foot. You want to stand on the full padding of the foot—the big toe side as well as the baby toe side; bring to your client’s attention these two points and imagine a triangle. The top of the triangle will be the padding of the foot under the calcaneus (heel). The weight of the body should be evenly dispersed throughout the triangle of the foot. If a student stands with inversion or eversion (putting too much weight on the outside or inside of triangle) they will cause torsion to the knee.
Clients commonly invert their feet and sink inside the arches of their foot; try to watch out for this. Stand in front of a mirror in a plié position and invert your feet (you will see the arches under your feet disappear)—this is what you should be looking for. Arches are commonly used in architecture for a strong support (imagine the shape of a bridge.) Your feet carry the load of your entire body and so maintaining an arch support under both feet is crucial to support the rest of the body. Focus on standing on the entire flat of the foot (feel the entire edges of the feet pressing into the floor.) Cue your students to lift their arches—which will unlock the ligaments of the foot and ankle. This will create a positive chain reaction throughout the entire body.
If you begin by positioning the foot correctly, the knee will always be in a clean alignment with your foot. Inform your students that once they master aligning their feet correctly, they won’t have to worry about the alignment of their knees. Students may find their ankles & calves becoming exhausted faster; this is because they are strengthening muscles that have not been used effectively in the correct alignment. It will feel easier for them to balance with their poor alignment because that is what the body has become accustomed to. Explain to your clients that finding their true potential and receiving the strengthening and rebalancing benefits of an Essentrics workout begins with the correct placement of their feet. This is something they should be thinking about all the time. When they are going up the stairs, running, or playing sports, put this idea of foot alignment into practice until it becomes second nature!
Here are a few examples of diversity in playlists from Instructors all over the World. Featuring different languages and genres—get inspired to try something new in your classes!
Eva Leerdam – Sokola Essentrics – Netherlands
Comme-ci Comme ça – Zaz – Warm Up
4-4-44 – Youssou N’Dour – Warm Up
Circles – Greta Svabo Bech – Trademark
Scarborough Fair – Nolwenn Leroy – Trademark
J’ai besoin de la lune – Manu Chao – Arms
El Mismo Sol – Alvaro Solier – Pliés
Carnaval des Animaux “Aquarium” – Camille Saint Saens – Calf Sequence
Oh Love – Ane Brun – Floor Stretch
Jeanne Wright L4 – New Zealand
Que Sera – Justice Crew – Warm Up
Tangaroa Whakamautai – Maisey Rika – Shoulder Blasts
Buzzcut – Lorde – Side to Side Lunges
Maude Desjardins L2 – Montreal
Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele – Standing Alphabets
Love Yourself – Justin Bieber – Floor Stretch
Lighthouse – Patrick Watson – Floor Stretch
Touch – Omarion – Arms
When your client walks into your class, they have probably not been physically active or have been relatively dormant for much of the day. Their body temperature is neutral and their muscles are cold and tight, maybe even slightly contracted. We can easily see how their body and muscles will react to being immediately stressed. It is important to take the time to prepare your clients bodies properly so that they can benefit from the strengthening, stretching and rebalancing exercises that follow.
It’s the warm-up that will literally increase your body temperature. It is also the first opportunity you have to allow the body to relax and release tension. While training the body to initially relax and progressively prepare itself for the upcoming exercises—one will see a huge difference in their client’s ability to reach their true potential in each movement that follows.
It is easy to neglect how important a proper warm-up is for you and your clients. Not only does it set the tone for your class, but it also embodies many very crucial components. Here is why!
Two systems directly affected by the warm-up
Take the time to guide your clients and allow their bodies to adjust accordingly to the upcoming exercises. Share this knowledge with them. We allow any other mechanical machine to warm-up before putting them to work; we must keep the same thing in mind when it comes to our bodies.
Congratulations to all of our most recent Certified Teachers!
Level 1: Karine Perrin – L1, Arielle M Giordana – L1, Karine Perrin – L1, Arielle M Giordana – L1, Tammy Bergeson – L1, Paulette Fara-Schembri – L1, Corine Desfosses – L1, Kristine Campbell
Level 2: Guylaine Surprenant – L2, Olivia Gurthrie – L2, Elise Love – L2, Desiree Dies – L2, Lisa Sawczuk – L2
Level 3: Dyan Decastro – L3, Marie Eve Gosemick – L3
My name is Sabine Parent; I live in Goes, a small town in the province Zeeland, in the southwest part of the Netherlands.
Before I taught Essentrics, I practiced several kinds of sports, such as running, yoga, and fitness-related group workouts (Les Mills).
In the spring of 2014, I read an article about Essentrics in Vogue magazine. What triggered my interest with Essentrics was that you train your body the same way as one would with ballet. In my youth, I practiced ballet starting at the age of 4 and continued dancing until I was 17. From the ages of 12 to 17, I danced at a semi-professional level, with 10 hours of training each week. After I stopped ballet, I did not reduce my training hours, which resulted in several physical problems in my knees and back.
In the summer of 2014, I read 2 more articles in different magazines about Essentrics and decided to take an introductory lesson. In my part of the Netherlands, that was not possible, so I went to Amsterdam for an introduction workshop in August of 2014 with Danielle de Wildt. This was such an inspirational and motivating experience and afterwards my body felt great; I then decided to enroll in the Essentrics Teacher Training program. I hoped that in the future, I would be able to introduce Essentrics in my hometown of Zeeland. In January 2015, I got my Level 1 instructor certificate and in the same month I gave my first introductory class. Nowadays, beside my full-time job at the court in Middelburg, I give 4 classes a week: 2 in my hometown Goes and 2 in Middelburg. My colleagues very frequently attend the classes in Middelburg. They enjoy Essentrics as a way to relief the tension after a hard day’s work. They are so enthusiastic that they even want me to start with an early morning session. I am happy to say that at this moment they are looking into this as a future possibility.
Men and women young and old, people with physical complaints and people who want to improve their sport performance, attend my classes. I enjoy teaching all of them. It leaves me with an enormous amount of energy when I see that after following my class and instructions—people change their posture and silhouette. Even better and motivating, is to hear that after participating in my Essentrics classes, they are able to move with less pain. Participants of my classes have told me that knee and hip problems, back pain and arthritis are all improving. What more can you ask for when you see people leaving after your Essentrics classes totally “recharged” and full energy? In November 2015, I got my Level 2 certificate and at the present I am very busy studying for Level 3.
When I accomplish that, I want to concentrate on training athletics and people who need rehabilitation. I am in contact with the trainers of a rugby team and a semi-professional soccer team (both here in Zeeland.) I have also talked to a chiropractor and physical therapist that both are willing to think about an association. In the future, I would love to expand my lessons, the class-locations and my target group. The ultimate goal is to work full-time as an Essentrics Instructor. Goes, Zeeland is very near the city of Antwerp, Belgium; in the future, I could also offer Essentrics lessons there. I have many exciting ideas for the future so for now my goal is to get Essentrics well known in this part of the Netherlands. I took the first steps in that direction and gave a workshop for 90 teachers of a comprehensive school (Photo). I have been asked to give an Essentrics warm-up class for a Ladies Run, for 1100 participants on April 3rd. I can hardly wait!
By Hazel Fish MSc BSc(Hons) CertEd(PCET). “Warm-Up.” – Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. N.p., 2002. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
Greenfield, Ben. Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life. N.p.: Victory Belt, 2014. Print.