Photo Credit: North Shore Dance Society
What's the golden rule of salsa dancing? That's right, maintain your body posture, keep the body alignment perfect throughout a performance. The position of every part of your body - chest, shoulders, hips, legs - matter to achieve smooth, graceful, and attractive body movements and isolation in salsa socials or stage performances.
If you’re new to salsa dancing or you’re unsure if you’re dancing correctly, here are some signs to watch out for:
- You keep pulling or pushing your dance partner
- You’re misreading your dance partner’s cues
- You are slow to respond to your dance partner’s cues
- You are hunching over
- You can’t seem to maintain your frame during the performance
When you are in sync with your dance partner, you never have to pull or push to get to the correct position. Both you and your dance partner could read each other so well that you and your dance partner would respond with the right dance move. If you are misreading the cues or are slow to respond, it will show on your performance. If you’re catching yourself hunching over or unable to maintain your frame during a routine, you need more training.
The Benefits of Proper Salsa Posture
Posture matters in dance, more so when dancing the salsa because it can elevate your performance and give you that fantastic stage presence.
Executing complex dance moves becomes easier too, when your body alignment is impeccable. You'll become a better salsa dancer AND a salsa leader when you know how to get the body posture right.
Proper posture is not just about aesthetics; it’s not just about looking good on the dance floor. When the right part of the body is engaged during a performance, it minimizes the risk of injuries, like improper landing leading to a sprained ankle or hurting your back from hunching over.
Maintaining proper salsa posture helps:
- Read and react to lead cues
- Become more responsive to your dance partner
- Execute efficient dance moves
- Perform smooth, fluid movements
- Improve balance, timing, and coordination with your dance partner
- Engage the right body parts for better form
- Improved stage presence
- Lower the risk of injuries
- Lower the risk of muscle strains
- Execute complicated footwork and arm work with ease
- Stay synchronized with your dance partner
Salsa Posture Dance Tips
Your posture affects your performance because it is the foundation of your frame. Think of your frame as an extension of the body’s posture. While dancing the salsa, you have to keep the arms, shoulders, and elbows in tact to achieve gracefulness and fluidity. Here are ways to achieve and maintain the proper posture while dancing:
Extend the spine, keep the head straight, and the shoulders square. The shoulders should be slightly back and down towards the hips. Do not hunch over, do not shrug.
Imagine you’re a puppet with strings pulling from the top of your head towards the ceiling. The spine should be neutral, do not tilt the pelvis or arch the lower back. Engage the lower abs slightly and squeeze the glutes.
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