Roll-over Bridge: also known as a Rolling Tinsica, is a beautiful Acro Dance trick that can be performed in multiple ways, such as:
- Taking off from the knees and landing back onto the knees.
- Taking off from the knees and landing onto the feet.
- Taking off from the feet and landing back onto the feet.
At the ADTA, we teach the “knees to knees” version first, not because it is the easiest (it’s not!), but because it sets students up for future success when they attempt the rest of the Roll-over Bridge variations.
Put simply, the “knee to knee” variation forces students to find, and travel through, a strong bridge position with legs horizontal to the floor. When they are comfortable moving through this position and performing this version of Roll-over Bridge, they will be able to perform the other variations (“knees to feet” and “feet to feet”) without having it turn into a cartwheel!
So, what do you do when you are trying to teach the “knee to knee” version of Roll-over Bridge to your students and they just aren’t getting it? We have a few suggestions that will help your students succeed at this trick!
- Use progressive drills:
In order to achieve a “knee to knee” Roll-over Bridge, we recommend using the following drills (in this order) to get there!
- Straight into a Bridge: Have the student start in a high kneeling position facing a mirror. Wind up the upper body, and horizontally twist through into a bridge (body is perpendicular to the mirror). Once in bridge, spot the student to perform a horizontal, double leg kick. Next, the student picks up the outside arm, and finishes the horizontal twist landing on the knees, one knee at a time, facing the mirror.
- Jumping into the Bridge: Perform the same as above, but initiate with a jump into the bridge. Have the student stop in the bridge, and spot the double leg jump. Continue through to landing.
- Darting the leg out into the bridge: Perform the same as above, but initiate with a straight leg darting out into the bridge. The student still lands in a bridge, stops, and performs a double leg jump with or without a spot. Continue through to the landing position.
- Work on a strong double-leg jump:
- Having a strong double-leg jump in bridge, (with straight legs that are horizontal to the floor), is necessary in order to achieve a beautiful Roll-over Bridge. Students need to build up the strength to attain this double-leg jump. We recommend incorporating it into the bridge portion of your warm-up, spotting your students where necessary.
- Ensure students have adequate shoulder flexibility:
- If students have tight shoulders, it will be very hard for them to complete a Roll-over Bridge because they will not be able to balance the weight of their body over their wrists. When the weight isn’t over the wrists, students will fall onto their backs instead of gracefully transitioning through the bridge position and landing back onto their knees. If you have students with tight shoulders, make sure you spend a little time each class on shoulder stretches, and encourage them to stretch their shoulders at home as well.
As with any trick, simply getting your students to practice Roll-over Bridge again and again will not necessarily result in success. Instead, we encourage you to analyze the trick, find the problem, and utilize creative drills to help your students overcome the difficulties they are having. Work smart, and your students will be able to achieve this beautiful, sought-after AcroDance skill!