Braceo refers to the movements of the arms and today we have an exercise for you that will challenge you in three ways.
The first will be with your arm and hand movement (braceo)
The second, we're going to have you moving through fourth position of the feet. Shifting your weight forward and then back.
And the third is that you are going to move with the compás of soleá which means creating a sustained and continuous movement through the whole exercise.
Let's look at the compás of soleá.
The accents are on counts 3, 6, 8, 10 and 12. The compás looks like...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Now lets break down the movement starting with the feet.
You will step forward (or backwards) into fourth position of the feet on count 1 of the compás.
You can see my fourth position in the image below.
One foot is forward with a plié (bend at the knee) and the other leg extended behind my body. Both legs are turned out at the hip. My weight is shifted forward over the front foot.
When I move from one foot to the next my body goes from one diagonal to another, you'll be able to see this in the video below.
The movement of the arms.
The whole exercise consists of 12 compás, 6 compás moving forward and then 6 compás moving back.
'Por fuera' refers to the arm moving from first position out to second, up to fifth and then down through the front of the body.
'Por dentro' refer to the arm moving from first position up to fifth through the front of the body then out to second position and down to first.
Some things to think about while doing this exercise:
- Keep your upper body lifted, with a long neck and shoulder blades relaxed down your back
- Think about opening wide across the front of your shoulders (the collar bone area).
- Keep your elbows lifted at all times, don't forget about the arm that is on your hip.
- Allow your gaze to follow the movement of your arms
- Your shoulders should be over your hips and facing the same direction at all times
Watch the video below to see the exercise in full.
We hope you like this one.
This seems like and easy exercise but sustaining your technique over a compás like soleá which has a slower tempo is very challenging.
It is also challenging to step forward and back only once per compás and on a beat (count 1) that isn't an accent.
Have any questions about this tutorial or braceo in general? Let us know in the comments below.