how to cartwheel (from ‘the art of stage dancing’)

“Perhaps Acrobatic Dancing is the most difficult of all the types to master—that is, it most certainly requires a degree of strength that the other dances do not demand; sufficient strength in the arms to support the weight of the body in the hand-stand and the cartwheel, flexibility of the muscles in order to do the ‘limbers’ and back-bends. All of the acrobatic tricks—hand-stands, cartwheels, splits, roll-overs, back-bends, front-overs, inside-outs, nip-ups, ‘butterflies’, flip-flops, Boranis, somersaults, etc., are very difficult and require special adaptability and inexhaustible patience, but almost any normal human being between the ages of four and thirty can learn even the advanced tumbling tricks in time, but only by keen application and persistent practice.

The cartwheel is the hand stand done sidewise. Instead of kicking up, as in the hand stand, put one hand down and then the other, going sidewise, kicking your feet up. Keep your head back, so as to retain your sense of direction.”

The Art of Stage Dancing: The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession, Ned Wayburn, 1925.


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