Trained in everything from Ballet to Aerial Trapeze, the versatile Liz Marcobello has danced with Kelly Clarkson, and performed at Luna Park, Sydney Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival.
This January, Liz will be teaching a 4-week short course in Jazz Technique. In this interview, she discusses the mind-body connection that is essential to dance, and tells us what to expect from her course.
What is your favourite Jazz step?
I’ve heard many different terms for this step, but my favourite step is a turning jeté (others will call it a back attitude leap or a Calypso jump.) It’s timeless, requires muscle power, makes a statement, and feels like freedom once you’ve mastered it.
Why is Jazz technique so important?
Jazz technique is essential to be a better, safer dancer, whether you just dabble in dance for fun and fitness, or want to advance to the next level. Good Jazz technique doesn’t have to be about being as flexible as a contortionist or learning the crazy stunts you see in dance competitions. It’s about creating and maintaining a relationship with your body and your muscles. When you have good Jazz or Ballet technique, half the battle is won when trying to learn other dance styles because you already have mind-to-muscle connection.
Learning Jazz technique requires focus and there is no way you can think about the problems of the day when you are working on technique. The best analogy I can come up with is that trying to do a Jazz class without training or knowledge of Jazz technique is like trying to make soup without stock!
What will your course focus on?
My course will focus on introducing students to the basis of good Jazz technique with thorough warm-ups, core strengthening exercises and active stretching. Then we’ll get into the nitty gritty of mastering a Jazz turn (including the secrets to getting a double turn in the future), kicks and jumps. We’ll challenge the body (and the mind) by putting all those skills into a Jazz technique combination which will change each week.
Most importantly, I will focus on giving my students the tools they need for a healthy and safe approach to dance so that they can continue to dance till they’re 100 years old! What better way to start 2018 off than to hone in on your craft?
Jazz Technique with Liz Marcobello runs on Sundays from 7 – 28 Jan.