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Ali so dodatni koronski kilogrami težava?

Pa smo spet tu - v lockdownu. In nazaj so tudi vse težave, ki nas v tem obdobju spremljajo. Ta napis je nastal, ker sem v zadnjem času naletela na številne trditve, da nas dodatni kilogrami, pridobljeni v času "zaprtja" javnega življenja, ne rabijo skrbeti. In čeprav razumem sporočilo, da moramo biti v tem obdobju še posebej prijazni do sebe, se ne strinjam, da to pomeni, da se moramo zapustiti. Včasih je prijaznost do sebe prav to, da se potrudimo skrbeti za svoje telo. Vse več študij kaže, da je velik del prebivalcev po vsem svetu v času spomladanskega lockdowna pridobival težo.  Študija iz ZDA  je denimo ugotovila, da se je okoli 22 odstotkov odraslih v času covida-19 - po domače rečeno - zredilo za od 2,5 do 5 kilogramov. "Karantenskih 15" je izraz, ki se je v angleško govorečih deželah že dodobra prijel, ko je govora o karantenskem pridobivanju mase - gre sicer za 15 funtov (pound), kar je okoli 7 kilogramov. V Sloveniji so odmevne meritve  Fakultete za šport U

Magna Gopal Spin Technique 1 review

Coronavirus pandemics gave us all a bit more time to try out different things that are available out there online. I personally tried a ton (!!!) of things and it might be valuable to some of you to hear my personal review if you are looking for good programes or trying to decide if you should go for something specific.

So the first thing I'm reviewing is Magna Gopal's Mpowered Spin Technique 1 (for Men and Women). You can find the course here. You can choose between "on1" and "on2" version - however I believe this will only matter at the very end. Anyway, I got the "on2" version.

Also available is the course with live coaching, which I didn't try, so I cannot comment on that.


The regular price of the course when I was buying it was 149 US dollars, but it was reduced to 50 US dollars (plus tax) to support dancers due to coronavirus. I paid for the course myself.

I decided to try out this course because as a teacher I am always looking for ways to serve my students better. Learning spin technique is, in my experience, one of the most challenging things for adult dancers. Therefore, if I can get some new information and insights, that is very valuable.

Magna is famous as being a very skilled teacher with lots of knowledge and great teaching approach. As a dancer she is known to be an amazing follower, fast, playful, always balanced, musical and also a great spinner. So I figured she would be a really good source to learn more about spins from.

What does the course look like?

The course is based on the Teachable platform, so the looks of it might be familiar to you already. It is divided into several parts: introduction, opening exercises, 4 weeks of spin exercises and conclusion. You cannot access the whole content of the course at the beginning, but as you progress you gain access to more and more each week. In the end, you have the access to the whole course.

So the idea is to get a certain amount of content with accompanying exercises every week. A student should go through the content and then drill and practice the whole week before moving on. The fact that you cannot access the content of the next week in advance is pretty helpful in actually sticking with it. So that's a clever little thing that saves you from yourself.

At the beginning, in the end and at the end of each week there is a form that you can use to send feedback and track your progress. I was too lazy to actually do that. :/ Sorry, Magna.

My experience

Starting this course I was not new to the topic of spins. I did numerous classes with a lot of worlds top teachers and I did spin on the dancefloor quite a lot these past few years. :D One could even argue I wasn't bad at it.

So I cannot really know how the course would work on someone with less control over their body. For me it had some very interesting details that can actually help transform someone's spins, but they require a lot of body awareness.

I will not go too much into the content - you should probably buy the course for that. ;) But I must say that the basic exercises of articulating the feet, transferring weight and practicing the position of one's body in actual spin were very informative and helpful. A lot of people just try to do the spins not realizing if and how their abs are engaged, what is the proper position of their arms etc. Magna's course will for sure help you with that!

You want your body to be comfortable but always moving as one single unit.  That single unit should be intact from the prep, to the spin, to the exit out of the spin.  The more conscious you are of your body (posture, alignment, balance, arms, feet, legs, etc), the easier it will be for you to find that centered solid unit. - Magna's blog

As the course progresses you go through quarter, half, three quarter and full spins. Magna adds information about how to use your foot as a brake, how to spot etc. And of course there are drills that you should do as much as possible. I must say I would hope for more drills on spotting, I think that concept is very difficult to master for most students so practicing that more could be beneficial. But maybe, because this is spins technique 1 and it reaches single turns max, Magna decided to not focus more on spotting. Too bad, though.

Now Magna does have a very jazz ballet-y kind of smooth style and I feel like she is not as focused on hip and upper body movement in partnerwork as she is on weight transfer and balances (I might be very wrong, I cannot see inside her head but this is how I see her dancing). Her unique approach is noticeable in the way she teaches spins to beginners.

So there are some concepts like pushing off from one foot or braking with a foot that you don't see much in typical "mambo" scene today. But let's keep in mind that in salsa there is no right or wrong! So I absolutely support the idea of trying and mastering many different approaches to make sure you can really find and develop what is best for your body and your way of dancing. Also, her technique seems to be working very well for Magna who is absolutely a world class salsa star!

Now my favorite part of this class is - the ways she speaks. The videos in the class seem to be made at two very different points in time, one part seems to be pretty new and the other one looks like from years ago (probably from her DVD?). And you can just really see how Magna developed as a speaker (she also offers public speaking engagements) and as a teacher. Her choice of words is beautiful, her speaking is calming and clear and she really finds great ways to bring the message to her student. I could just listen to her forever. 

Also, video quality is amazing (picture and audio) and you can use the course on all of your devices. I never once had any issue with accessing the course.


To sum it up

PRO:
great content and clear instructions
timed progression with plenty of practice time
simple yet effective exercises to do on your own
produced at a very high standard (video, audio, access)
possible communication with the teacher

CON:
I still wish there were more spotting exercises involved
price (if you have to pay full) is pretty high
no direct feedback or corrections (as is the case with most online classes)

Final verdict

For the price I paid I got a loooot out of this course, so thumbs up! Magna offers a lot of quality content, but also practical exercises to put this content into your movement. If you practice, you will progress with this course! So especially if you are from one of the countries with higher salaries ;) I absolutely recommend this class. If you are from developing country, maybe just make sure you follow Magna on social media and grab the next opportunity to get a course with a discount! ;)


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