Recent studies have show that up to 40% of children have poor posture – a lot of this is linked to too much slumping in front of screens and a general disposition to slouching. Heavy school bags also play a part.
Dance requires proper posture – not just to see the graceful lines, but also to move easier, and breathe better.
So on this Technique Tuesday – here are 5 ways that both we at class and you at home can help improve your dancer’s posture.
1. Demonstrate and show videos or pictures
Most classes see a move or combination demonstrated and the children aim to copy this, this is part of their learning. Posture is the same. Our teachers try to demonstrate good posture in classes – and especially when teaching moves.
“Most dancers learn visually, so they’ll try to mimic proper body position, but often they don’t understand the roots of where it’s coming from,” Chelsie Hightower, a performer on “Dancing with The Stars,” explained to Dance Spirit.
For this reason, it’s often helpful to show your children pictures or videos of proper posture when standing or sitting – see below.
Stretching is a great way to not only maintain good posture and ensure that the muscles front and back are working equally, but can be used to correct poor posture
- Chest and shoulder stretch: If they slump forward (that head dropped looking at the phone pose) this activity is often helpful for dancers who slump forward. Have them lie on their backs with their arms stretched outward and elbows bent into a bench-press position. They just need to squeeze their shoulder blades together without arching their backs and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 4 times.
- Butt bridge: Another area that can cause bad posture is the hips being tight in one area and not strong enough in another. This is a great one to help. Get them to lie on their backs with their knees bent and feet on the floor. Have them squeeze their butts and push their hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat four times.
3. Core Exercises
I’m not suggesting 3 year olds start on the sit ups. Dance itself will help with this and we do incorporate these in class in fun ways. We have plank challenges, we do V sits – using pilates, yoga and even some boxing excerises along side the ballet, jazz and acro work. The core is the full surrounded mid section – not just the ‘abs’. If this is something older dancers want to work on drop me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) or catch me in class.
4. Fun with props
We can do this from teeny tiny to teens and older. Props can be a great way to check on the posture – bean bags or books on the head while we move will show if they slouch or drop their chin, or walk with an emphasis on one side. It can even be a fun game to play at home.
5. Practice Makes Permanent
Posture needs to be in their minds the whole way through – class, through practice, at home. Its not about constantly walking around like you’re attached to a stick! But remembering to hold yourself upright and tall with all the elements described above.
I always say practice may not make perfect but it will make permanent – it means it will become easier to sit, stand or dance with good posture if you work on it regularly than it will to slouch!
We are so excited to welcome you to our Dance Academy website! And would love for you to get in touch with us to find out more about joining us in September.
We will offer a wide range of classes working towards a minimum of 2 performances per year and yearly examinations with the IDTA. Both of these are optional and your child can still enjoy our classes without taking exams or being part of our show.
However, we believe in helping children gain confidence, and students become confident performers so we’d love all our students to take part.
Our 2017-18 plans
September we will love to welcome our new enrollments and for the first part of the term we will work on getting our basic technique right. After our half term workshops we will start preparation for our Christmas Showcase – 2 shows on 16th December 2017
We will spend our Spring term really working on our dance skills and (should children wish) preparing for examinations. This means we will also host a medal presentation and announce our scholarship award winners
After our Easter Dance Camps, we will be heading towards our Summer Showcase – this term is about creativity and choreography so there will be a focus on learning new combinations, improvisation, working as a solo, duet, and team to create some fun pieces for our Summer show
Summer we will host a minimum of 2 dance camps and several workshops
Helping dancers be the best
Regular attendance is key, as is practicing at home to improve and develop as a dancer. As mentioned on our site we expect (after your trial) that payments are made on the 1st of each month for that months classes – we have worked out the cost over a year (September to July) and divided it so it is an easy amount to budget each month.
As shows and examinations are optional extras – fees for these will be set out at the start of each term.
We also will have a dress code for classes – each class will have its own requirements and will be provided to you on enrollment or you can see them on our website. We have a uniform order service for you to buy their leotards, shoes, etc. Appropriate wear is important for safety and to allow them to dance the best they can – without restriction.
React Dancers work hard and have fun
We can’t wait to help your child be the best dancer they can be and to enjoy their sessions with us each week. We hope you encourage them to practice at home, for our younger ones to come to the lesson prepared and our older ones to support them in getting ready for class.
We are always here to talk, answer questions, support and guide you as a parent of one of our dancers. Class time is busy but you can call, email or text at any time and we will get back as soon as we can if we aren’t available there an then
A bright future
We look forward to your support as we build up our dance academy, as we welcome more children, as we see them develop. We are exciting to offer more and can’t wait for you to see how much they will have learned at Christmas