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When I talk about posture I mean “whole body posture”, rather than referring to the spine and shoulders alone. As a dancer it is vital to be aware of how your posture can be improved and where there are possible imbalances. If you are a dancer who really wants to develop your style, my advice is to firstly work on posture, posture, posture! Proper body alignment is the source of all beautiful movement and is a way to ensure safe dance practice so you can ensure a healthy and happy dance future.
Personally i would prefer watching a dancer with impeccable posture doing a few simple steps, than a technique junky with average posture!
I always remember a long time ago, Rachel Brice saying that, when you have the correct tribal posture, the goddess enters. I love that!!
Our bodies really are the temple of the soul, and so much of our outward appearance, and how we hold ourselves reflect our inner values.
Many years ago I went to a physio, and I mentioned I was a belly dancer, she said to me rather bluntly “well for a dancer you have a very weak core” ouch! It hurt but it was the truth. From there I was given corrective exercises to strengthen my core and to work on balancing out my “one side bias”. A programme was devised which involved “biasing”. This means that your exercise programme can be directed more to one side of the body – not always the side you expect. You will usually be directed more towards flexion (forwards bending) or extension (backwards bending) movements. If this is something that resonates with you I suggest seeing a reputable physio ASAP.
I found an image on the Internet (see below) which presents some of the common imbalances of how we hold ourselves. See which one most closely represents you and make it your mission to investigate ways to balance your body. There are so many modalities out there, google and chat with other dancers, and more importantly try new things out!
In volume one of my DVD series “the art of tribal belly dance” I revise the 10 key points to correct tribal posture. The thing is, once you are able to find that feeling in your body, when you know “hey I’ve finally got it!”, its important to take the next step in ensuring you can maintain it throughout all of your technique! I did a solo belly dance show at a hens night a few weeks back at North Adelaide, and they wanted a longer than usual set time. I came away from that gig really acknowledging that’s its a tough job dancing solo and holding posture for long periods of time (as well as grace, presence and skill!) without feeling fatigued. My body really felt it and it was a wake up call to get more fit so I can maintain posture for long periods of time without technique being jeopardised.
With exercise I am someone who gets bored easily so I like to change things around a bit. I usually combine qi gong, yoga, pilates and meridian exercises. I’m currently doing “the 30 day ab, guns and buns challenge” which has been intense but fun! most of my routine is now done at night on the carpet in my Loungeroom with my kids jumping all over me! I have two boys who love to wrestle, so wrestling is also a great way to strengthen the body while having fun with your kids! It’s also a great way for them to release energy from the day- do what ever works for you!
Feel free to share with your dancing friends 🙂
Acushla xx – See more at: