Ribbon dancing is a style of dance done while holding a long, thick satin ribbon on a stick. It has many gymnastic elements, and can be fun for participants of all ages. To ribbon dance, all you need is some music and a ribbon, which you move to the beat of the song. Though it is based on ancient Chinese choreography, people from all over the world do ribbon dancing now in many styles.
In competition, ribbon dancing is a rhythmic gymnastics event. There are standards for the stick material and length and width of the ribbon. As with any gymnastic event, there is a list of required movements that must be made at some point during your routine. They include circles, spirals and snakes, flicks, and throws.
One part of ribbon dancing that is especially difficult for newcomers to the sport is keeping the ribbon from getting twisted around their bodies or knotted in itself when performing circles or spirals.
When making your own, be aware of your own height in relation to the ribbon. If you are 5 feet tall, using a 15 foot ribbon would be incredibly difficult. Try starting with a ribbon the length of your arm span. Now you can start ribbon dancing!
The easiest move to begin with is the wave. To make a wave in your ribbon all you have to do is make a wave in your arm! (Think of the ribbon as an extension of yourself.) Begin with your hand straight out in front of you or to your side. Flicking your wrist and moving your whole arm up and down in a wave, watch your ribbon begin to follow the same path. Moving your arm further up and down or faster will affect the speed and size of your ribbons waves. When you are comfortable with this, try moving on to other ribbon dances by bringing your arm overhead, waving it side to side, or walking, dancing or running while waving your ribbon.
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