Between work life, home life, and a social life, it can be easy to lose touch with my own thoughts and my own self. However, one thing I focus on regularly is my body...how I’m standing or walking, what is my body doing right now, how I am progressing through my workouts, is my spine aligned correctly, which muscles are engaging, where is my weight distribution, and so on. We have to remember to take the time, get in touch with ourselves, and notice these things, not just in the car or at the grocery store, but in our dancing as well.
One of the interesting things we realize after taking a few dance lessons is what our natural physical tendencies are. For me, my shoulders enjoy the occasional forward droop and my legs don’t straighten all the way. Others might realize they walk on the outsides of their feet, or drag their steps. Dancing is a great way to work on any type of postural issues you may or may not be aware of. You will also find yourself learning to engage certain muscles you normally wouldn’t.
Dancing forces us to get in touch with our bodies through posture and movement. Developing good postural habits will not only improve your body’s health, but it will also say, “I’m confident and proud!”
We all need to allow time in our lives to get in touch with ourselves. This new awareness and mindset can set us up for not only superb balance in all our dancing, but changing weight more effectively & owning each step with power and purpose. We can find ourselves moving in ways we never thought possible, separating the hips from the torso. Say WHAAAAT?! You heard me right. Separating the hips and torso is a thing you can do! We can even begin to dance ourselves more efficiently while attached to our partner. Character and style begins to develop not just through facial expressions, but through improved body movement as well.
If you are finding it difficult to pay attention to your body try to focus on just one area at a time instead of your entire body. Perhaps for the next few weeks you will think about keeping your eyes off the floor, taking those pesky heel leads, or keeping your head in the right position. And who knows… perhaps focusing on one area will improve another without you even noticing! It’s like getting a buy one-get one FREE deal in disguise.
If you are unsure what to focus on first, ask all your teachers. They may have different thoughts and ideas, but they are all important. You will think about and continuously work on several different postural factors over the course of your dancing. All you have to do to get started is to get in touch with one of them.