Riffs, Routines & Choreographies.

02 March 2018 Hits: 1709 Written by Brian
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Riffs & Routines.
The primary tool and focus within the Soulful Fitness Roller Skate Training system, is the practice and development of riffs and routines. The various drilling exercises have proven to be highly effective, when it comes to upgrading physical strength and cardio stamina.
Before getting into the core of it all, let’s lay out the difference between riffs, routines and choreographies. Generally speaking, riffs and routines are primarily training tools for personal development, where as a choreography is mainly aimed at performing sets and showcases for entertainment purposes.
Riff.
A riff is a very short sequence of movements, to work on a specific technique or build up strength, endurance or reach a comfortable sense of fluidity (flowmotion). Repetition is key, so that means drill it till you kill it.
Routine.
A routine is a combination of two or more riffs or parts of different riffs placed in random order, to emphasize and enhance transitions and flowmotion. A routine can become a part of a complete choreography.
Choreography.
A choreography is a complete set, usually to a particular song or piece of music. Emotions and feelings come into play and are translated into motion, to emphasize the music, the lyrics and/or to connect with fellow performers and/or an audience.
So, riffs and routines are NOT primarily designed for dance choreographies, but should be seen as explicitly short training drills, comparable with forms and katas in martial arts. The results of these training drills are phenomenal and everyone can gain great benefits, regardless level or experience.
Repetition is key (drill it till you kill it!) to mastering techniques and building a state of comfort. Short sequences are excellent tools to strengthen the body, align total body posture and polish transitions.
Proper training makes it able to build a solid foundation on which one can adopt or even create new moves, stances and patterns in a relatively short period of time.
Bilateral Training.
Everyone experiences a stronger –more natural – side and a weaker –less developped- side on which we base our preference to perform various physical tasks.
This `natural side preference` is stimulated and largely manifested by our daily reoccuring habits and routines: brushing teeth with the same hand every day, getting in and out of the car on the same side, sitting and standing up behind the desk on the same side multiple times a day, getting on and off a bike in the same manner, handling devices with always the same side and so on.
Bilateral drilling is an integral part of training all riffs and maximizes potential in every regard. The adaption mode of the brain is kicked into high gear and it literally opens, expands and eventually frees the mind.
A soulful Fitness rule of thumb:
Analyze the strong (easily adapting) side and utilize that info, to train the weaker side 3 times harder than the stronger side.
The First Form ( `An inspirational start or thought`) of the Soulful Fitness system is a 16 count riff (8 on each side), designed as a starting point for beginners, a reminder for advanced trainees and an inspiration for skilled rhythm skaters.
Constructional riffing.
A basic riff is usually a short 3 to 8 count sequence, to drill a certain technique or pattern of movement. Short riffs are easy to memorize, easy to analyze for bilateral application and excellent for focussing on technique and trouble points.
Each riff can be considered as a new neural pathway in the brain. Even when you construct a new riff with techniques that you already know and are able to execute very well, your brain still needs to hardwire a new path.
The interesting part comes, when two or three riffs –or elements of different riffs - are combined or hustled up in no particular order and merged into a new string. Execution follows by varying in pace and speed. There are no rules and there is no such thing as good or wrong. The initial techniques stay intact and kept in proper form. Building new random strings – constructional riffing – comes with a very interesting keyfactor: consequential transitions. The strings as such aren’t necessarily built to last, but the transitions that come out of it are meant to be integrated into overall skill development and a comfortable level of flow motion. Herein lies the difference with constructed routines: they are usually built to last and can be used as a building block for choreographies.
Constructional riffs are short, personal and made up on the spot. They can change within one training session or change overtime. They can be exchanged with other trainees, but always adaptable to personal flow and preference. Again, the constructed riffs as such are not meant to stick (no problem of course if they do), but the transitions that come out will sink in, due to diligent training.
Constructional riffing is the core element of the Soulful Fitness Roller Skate Training system. It is basically practicing forms to eventually become formless.
Once you go you grow.
The reasons to engage into roller skate (training) activities and ultimate goals vary per person:
- Just enjoying a good workout; working the body and mind in a sophisticated, yet playful manner.
- Interaction with like-minded souls, incorporating different elements that bring people together, such as exchanging thoughts and ideas, sharing musical joy and creating positive energy and great memories.
- A stepping stone to choreographical dance and performance, built from scratch and thus eliminating every possible glitch of sloppiness.
And last but certainly not least:
Being able to move freely without any restrictions or precalculated fixed patterns, totally relying on overall skill up to that magical point, where free flow (flowmotion) equals flying or floating.
Whatever the reason, goal or motivation may be, there is always something in it for anyone who opens up their heart and soul to it.
Brian B. Kanhai, Soulful fitness headinstructor, Creative co-director Es Quint Foundation.
Practicing forms to eventually become free and formless.”

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