Lil Buck is a mover and a shaker, the self-titled “ambassador” of Jookin – an intricate footwork dance style. Jookin evolved from Gangsta Walking, popularized on the streets of Memphis TN, about 30 years ago. Lil Buck learned to dance with his sister in his living room, moved onto classical ballet, and then onto street performing in LA. These days, his freestyle footwork impresses onlookers beyond the street.
On stage at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Lil Buck took four beautifully exaggerated steps in slow motion. He was improvising to a string quartet. The well-heeled audience had probably come for Yo-Yo Ma but they gasped when Lil Buck accomplished a signature move, gliding smoothly across the floor as if levitating. He moved so that the notes seemed to vibrate up his body, his sneakers squeaking as he pirouetted.
“I think he’s a genius,” Mr. Ma said after the show. A video of their duet to Camille Saint-Saëns’s “The Swan” went viral in 2011; they have since performed it around the world — “one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Mr. Ma said.
Born in South Dakota, dance luminary David Hallberg is both the principal dancer in Russia’s Bolshoi and a member of the American Ballet Company.
Hallberg’s elegant physique and presence effect nobility. The New York Times intones: “His physical majesty fluently evokes the class distinctions of the European societies for whom ballet was developed, as do the courteous graciousness of his stage manners and the unforced distinction with which he carries his head. And in one particular respect — the dolphin arches of his feet — he’s phenomenal.
He comes into his own when jumping; the air is his home domain. He not only soars, but he also cuts a radiantly proportionate shape, tipped by the arcs of those stretched feet.”
One way to learn how to balance and walk in your high heels is to take a “Stiletto Workout Class”. No guff. In three-inch heels, you tighten your tummy, do kicks and squats, lift weights and perform ballet moves. Nicole Demaris started these classes after observing women wobble all over New York City streets.
As the New York Times writer Hilary Howard’s husband balked, “You’re going to a stiletto class? That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.” But off to this workout class she went, right after she bought her first pair of very high heels! She claims she wasn’t sure what stilettos were, wondering if they were “those spindly things worn by fancy women who disappear rapidly into taxis?”
A stiletto workout? After her first and last class, Hilary said, “It can be done”. Check out studios around New York City. (ndgfit.com)
Tabatha Southey (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
“When I was growing up, my mother used to say to me, both of us wearing our sensible Mary Janes, that her mother told her, ‘There’s nothing less appealing to a man than a woman in high heels. No man would ever want to be with a woman with pretty feet and a pained expression on her face.’
From a fairly early age, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, granny, I think we’re going to move in very different circles.’
At any rate, I grew up to wear high heels fairly frequently and whatever else it pleases me to wear. The only way in which what I choose to wear is problematic for me is if it invokes any patronizing assumptions that I require liberation from my footwear. And yes, I’ve thanked my mother for the 13 years of ballet that enable me to walk fairly well wearing the very shoes that bewilder her.”
Football and ballet?
There are more similarities to the footwork than you would think. Both activities use the same muscle groups and require similar skills. They even share some of the same injuries.
What can football players gain by practicing ballet?
- Flexibility – to avoid tackles and make catches
- Speed and Agility – to recover speed after changing direction or spinning to avoid a tackle
- Strength – to increase muscle without bulk, especially important for kickers and other offensive players
- Balance – to land on their feet after leaping for a catch and to stay on their feet during a tackle
- Mental Focus – to follow complex plays, track the position of the ball in the air and make decisions on the fly.
- Endurance – to strengthen their heart and circulatory systems enabling intense muscular work with less tiring.
For a testimony on a 320-pounder who straps on the slippers, check out: