Come on and Kick Your Face!

Do you know any dancers who can kick so high they can almost kick their own faces? Are you a dancer who can do that? Tell us about it here!

Theatre lingo can sometimes be a bit obscure and even misleading. Cheating out? Charm song? Peas and carrots?!

And then a phrase comes along that makes perfect sense. “Kick your face,” for example.

The only thing you need to know is that it refers to kicking one’s own face, and it quickly becomes clear that this phrase belongs to the dancers. (It would be ill-advised for your typical stagehand to try this.) Basically, it means having a lower half sufficiently limber to … well, to kick yourself in the face. Or at least have the option of doing so: When done right, the move typically involves the toes cresting a few inches above the top of the head.

You know how Rockettes-type kick lines invariably trigger an ovation by starting with low kicks and suddenly ratcheting up to chest-high level? Well, “kick your face” goes even higher than that, which is part of why choreographers love to use it. And given how daunting dance lingo can be to the outsider – which position is third position, again? – a phrase like “kick your face” leaves very little to the imagination.

~ Eric Grode

This video is a collaboration between TDF and our friends at Chicago the Musical on Broadway.

    Here’s the creative team:

    Writer/director: Mark Blankenship, TDF’s online content editor

    Cinematographer/editor: Nicholas Guldner

    Cristy Candler and Michael Cusumano