Let’s talk body placement. Or, the buzz word your teacher LOVES to use: alignment.
Have you ever watched a technician in action? You many notice every movement contains a smooth transition from one position to the next. They are constantly pushing their weight from one foot to the other, artistically moving their body through the space – it’s completely calculated yet organic.
The more you know your body and how it works, the more you can continue to strive for perfection. While nobody is perfect and everyone has a different instrument that keeps them in motion, we all fundamentally have the same structure from our head and shoulders to knees and toes. That being said, knowing how these parts work together and understanding body placement and alignment will do wonders for your dancing body.
Many of us at rest, standing in a neutral position, have imbalances and alignment issues simply from the demands of everyday life. Do you carry a bag on one shoulder vs the other? Do you sit into one hip when you’re waiting in line? These habits can easily be corrected once recognized and addressed through a proper strength and flexibility routine. Understanding these imbalances and incorporating the right routine may also have incredible benefits on the dance floor – from finding your center to achieve more pirouettes, to higher jumps and extensions.
When you are working from a more healthful place on the dance floor, you are also employing tactics that can aid in injury prevention. Advanced dance steps such as large jumps and quick choreography can be detrimental to a dancer if they don’t have knowledge of alignment cues such as knees over toes, focusing on driving through the hips vs sheering forces on the knee and core support.
If you are struggling with body placement and alignment in your personal dance practice, here are some tips we recommend:
- Ask for help from a teacher. If you continuously receive corrections about the same alignment cues, set up a one on one session with your teacher or instructor to address them in a more personal setting.
- Incorporate a strength routine. Strengthening areas of weakness will help balance out your body and keep things in check. This is the best way to prevent injury! Talk to a certified personal trainer or your healthcare professional.
- Practice makes perfect. There is some degree of work that needs to happen outside the studio. Take the time each day and you will start to see the benefits!