Week 4: Irene Dowd: ‘Orbits’

This week we will explore the hip sockets by learning Irene Dowd’s ‘Orbits’. We will also look at other exercises and ways of moving the external rotators of the hip in relation to the bony structure of the pelvis. Additionally, we will address the adjacent muscles and how their mechanics affect the overall function of the hips.

Here is a picture and breakdown of the external rotators of the hip:

Although we are not learning ‘Resonance’, I thought it would still be of interest to post this video:


3 thoughts on “Week 4: Irene Dowd: ‘Orbits’

  1. This process of learning orbits is something that I have never been exposed to or even heard of before, but I can already sense how this will be useful in all movement I do, whether it be in Ballet, Modern, or African. It is extremely difficult for me to be able to completely experience the circular pattern of the hip and legs, but when I do focus on that connection and sense it for even a second, I feel more of a sense of balance and being grounded. I am trying to apply this sense of more freedom in my hips and also inhibit my bad habits while we are doing the phrase and use that focus to expand out from not only the hip, but to the trunk, arms, and legs. I hope to continue to improve in the understanding and application of orbits exercises!

  2. This process has also been very difficult for me, but I can feel myself gradually gaining more access to my rotators and gaining the strength to use them correctly. It is most definitely going to be a longer process to understand these concepts than just a week but I feel it’s incredibly important that I need to continue working on this. It’s just difficult to make sure I’m actually getting it considering its not something that can be seen like doing a perfect triple pirrouette. It’s more subtle than that, it’s the connectivity of the whole body. I like to fight with myself on making sure I do things correctly, but working with this sequence I am able to make sure my connectivity is more aligned than anything, then executing the movement will come.

  3. I was in absolute shock after doing the hip isolation and strengthening exercises. I always thought that I was particularly muscular, though it seems my deep rotators are being neglected. I felt that for this kind of movement, I needed not only intense strengthening and awareness exercises, but also intense stretching exercises afterwards. I noticed from the video that much of Irene Dowd’s movement is very intentional. I also saw the effectiveness of how the dancers would physically move and support their bodies throughout each movement with their hands and arms.

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