When it comes to looking good on the dance floor, you can’t beat good posture. If you don’t have it, it’s one of the first thing your partner and the judges will notice.
Yes, there’s a lot of good that can come from staying poised – and today, we’re looking at how to master it. Most dancers know how important good posture is, but there’s a lot of benefits from standing tall you might not have thought about. For instance:
- How would you describe someone with great posture? Confident? Assured? You’re not the only one – that’s the message you convey to your acquaintances and friends when you hold yourself high. You might even find they defer to you more frequently then before!
- Even better, the above tip works in reverse: by holding yourself like a more confident person, you short-circuit your brain into making you feel that confident! Doubly useful when asking your boss of a raise, or making a boardroom presentation…
- Rest your head on your chest and try breathing deeply. Then lift your chin so it’s level with the ground and try again. Easier? The more easily we can draw breath, the more we can provide fuel to our muscles – and that means more energy during those gruelling competitions and late night socials.
- Bad back? Weak knees? Pronated ankles? All these things are symptoms of poor posture, and in most cases, all can be alleviated once that posture is corrected. This reduces the chance of more serious injury later on.
Now that you joined the Gospel of Good Posture, how do we work on improving what we have?
- Imagine you’ve just won the Nobel Peace Prize. How would you walk on the way to the podium? Your chest puffs up, your head raises, you move with balance and confidence – in short, with excellent posture.
- Imagine your body as representing blocks of weight – head, torso, hips, and legs. Now check in with your body to make sure they stack over each step you make. Are your knees over your second and third toes, are your hips flat towards your partner, and is your ear over the centre of your shoulder?
- Place your back flat against a wall, including the back of your head, tucking the pelvis forward to maximize back contact. Then shift your weight to the balls of your feet. This is a good way to confirm you’ve stacked those blocks of weight properly
- Focus on making complete weight changes while you dance. Try moving through your basics very slowly, and lifting up the free leg after each step to make sure you can stay balanced. Then, gradually speed up to the music.
- Take extra time for any turning movements, and make sure you turn from the stomach. Powering a turn from too high or too low throws you off balance, which will definitely ruin your posture! This lowers your centre of gravity and keeps you more grounded when you move.
- Imagine you have a hundred helium balloons tied to your hair, pulling you up. This keeps your upper body long and stretched (don’t elevate your arms though!)
- Finally, pay attention to your body, and if something hurts, consider seeing a kinesiologist, or a sports massage therapist. You’ve only got one body – treat it well, and it will keep you dancing all your life.