Photo Credit: Yoga Club
Dancing is not just about the physicality of it but also the form. You want to look good on the dance floor with your snatched outfit and gorgeous Latin dance shoes. But here’s the thing, looking good on the dance floor isn’t just about executing a particular dance move properly or wearing a fabulous outfit while at it - although let’s be honest, you’re likely to perform better when you’re loving your look!
Looking good on the dance floor is all about the posture too! That’s why professional dancers spent their early years developing and refining their posture. And even if you don’t dance to compete or do it for work, it’s still vital to get the form right when you dance to minimize your risk of injury.
Why Proper Posture Matters in Social Dance
There’s more to proper posture than giving you a fabulous silhouette during a performance. Here are reasons why good posture matters in dance:
The reason why dancers start their training by perfecting their posture is that the proper form gives the impression of gracefulness and confidence. When you look good on the outside, you’ll feel good on the inside. Studies suggest that having good posture among dancers improves mood and overall outlook on life.
Proper posture engages the right muscle groups. Weak muscles can’t provide ample support when you dance, which increases your risk of injury. If you are engaging the right muscle groups, the body is balanced with every step. Also, because the right muscles are engaged, you don’t feel persistent muscle pains after dancing.
Proper posture boosts endurance, which improves your performance. When you’re slouching, the muscles and the lungs cannot work correctly, and this will reflect on your performance. You’ll feel winded quickly, and you’re less stable on your feet because your body is not perfectly balanced. You’ll also suffer from a potbelly, headaches, and neck pain due to improper posture.
A good connection with a dance partner will elevate performance, and having the proper form will improve how well you dance with your partner. Through social dancing, you’ll develop good posture along the way!
Finally and most importantly, good posture promotes better mental health. When you look confident on the outside, you feel confident on the inside. Simply standing up straight and extending your spine as you dance are enough to make you feel more alert and less anxious in social situations, like social dancing. As you explore every movement, you become more aware of what your body could do. You’ll start feeling more confident and happy as the dance progresses.
How to Improve Your Posture in Dance
Practice: There is no shortcut to achieving and maintaining the proper form. Holding your head high, extending your spine, and keeping the shoulders back take effort and mindfulness. This is something that you have to do consciously if you are just starting out. This has to be practiced early in your training until it has become so ingrained into your performance that it becomes a part of how you present yourself - both in performance and in your everyday life.
Mimic the Proper Form: Like any of us, we are more likely to put action into practice if presented with a visual cue. This is why dance instructors are always dancing along with their students - the students would naturally mimic the dance instructor’s dance form. Most dancers learn all the dance steps visually and proper body positioning is no different. By watching how other dancers dance, learn the proper form and apply it while practicing.
Regular stretching: Regular stretching does more than strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility. It also helps you achieve the proper form by correcting the muscles that are engaged as you move. Repeated stretching helps correct misalignment. For example, chest and shoulder stretching helps prevent slouching. On the other hand, stretching the glutes strengthen the core and avoid the misalignment of the hips. Core exercises strengthen the midsection and enhance power, allowing you to perform complicated dance moves with ease.
Workout Tips for Proper Dance Posture
Watch that posture! By maintaining the proper form, you’ll achieve a greater impact on the dance floor. Don’t forget to wear your Yami dance shoes so you can dance for hours without forefoot pain!