Hey there folks! It’s time for another edition of Tutsday, the tutorial series brought to you by the Flow Arts Institute.
This week, we have one of our November Instructors of the Month – the solo and partner Contact staff innovator – Morgan Goldberg from Portland, Oregon. In addition to performing for various fire troupes and stage acts, running her own company called Motion Magic, and organizing both the Flowcase and fire show at Pacific Fire Gathering, Morgan also works with Randy Schless on the many projects of The Flow Factory. Morgan and Randy recently performed their latest partner contact staff act at the Flow Show SF, Kinetic Fire, and the Pacific Fire Gathering (of which she is also an organizer). You can see that video below.
This time around, Morgan is going to show us how to do a Matrix Bailout Body Roll, a trick she learned and adapted from Brandon Simpson.
This trick builds upon some of the more fundamental techniques in Contact Staff. If this is all new to you, please join the Contact Staff group on Facebook for some help.
Let’s get to business, shall we? Thankfully, Morgan has graced us with the full trick to start out the tutorial.
Now that we have an idea of what we are trying to accomplish, let’s break this down into manageable pieces.
The first part of this technique is a foot lock, that will help with developing sensitivity and control with the staff.
- Place the center point of the staff on your foot. Obviously you could (and should learn to) use either foot, but in this case, Morgan starts the technique with her right foot. The rest of this is written from that perspective.
- Gently move your foot and leg from one side of your body to the other while stopping the staff at both “lock points”
- The Outer Lock, locks on the outer ankle and inner toe.
- The Inner Lock, locks on the inner ankle and outer toe.
- Once you are comfortable with balancing and moving the staff with your foot, practice throwing the staff into the air with a kick from the Outer Lock.
- Catch the staff in the air with your right hand.
- From here, throw the staff (lightly) into the Inner Lock point on your foot, gently cradling the staff as it moves to the left side of your body.
- Repeat the above steps until you can reliably perform this part of the technique.
For this part, we will be learning a few Leg Rolls.
- Roll the center point of the staff down your right leg to your foot.
- By giving the staff a slight push as it rolls while also rotating your body, it causes the staff to travel in a spiral that ends in the Inner Lock position.
- Once you have that, work on balancing, moving, and throwing the staff with your foot. It should be easy this time because you did this earlier, right?
- Place the staff horizontally under your armpit.
- Give the staff a slight push and rotate, just like before, but this time, let the staff roll all the way down your side, onto your leg, and into the Inner Lock position on your foot.
- Morgan points out that her right foot has to follow the rotation of the staff as it descends.
- Practice this section until you have this smoothly.
- This part starts out with an SNS, which is a Shoulder wrap, then a Neck wrap, followed by another Shoulder wrap.
- Morgan has pointed out that you can make learning this trick a little bit easier by removing the first shoulder wrap.
- After you perform your SNS or Neck, then Shoulder wrap, let the staff roll down your side all the way to your foot. (I hope you are noticing the pattern here)
- Complete the pattern by throwing the staff from your foot into your hand.
In closing, Morgan points out that one of the main issues that people have with this trick is dealing with the rotation of the staff.
She mentions that either adding a half spin at the knee, as the staff descends your leg or doing an extra half spin with your hand, as solutions that she has found to help with this issue.
I hope that this is helpful in figuring out what is going on here.
Thanks to Morgan for giving us such an awesome tutorial!
Thanks to you for reading this. I hope to see you next week!