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The Dancer’s Reference Point

October 6, 2015

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206 bones. 700 muscles. A panoply of tendons, ligaments and connective tissues. Your physical body is very well suited for movement and the intense demands of dance. But never forget that, although we share a common anatomy and physiology, there must be a personal reference point from which to initiate any movement at all in order to ultimately enjoy the excellence your body is capable of. This reference point is Neutral Posture.

Neutral Posture refers to the optimal alignment of your bones and muscles resulting in minimal effort against resistance or gravity.

The first and most classic way to determine whether you are in good alignment is to imagine a vertical line along the side of your body connecting the lobe of your ear, middle of the tip of your shoulder, middle of your thorax (side of your ribcage), greater trochanter (hip bone you can feel at the top of your leg), just in front of the middle of your knee and just in front of your lateral malleolus (ankle bone). After adjusting for these alignment cues it is crucial that you can breathe easily and RELAX.

If after 1 minute of standing in this posture you find that your body is tensing or a muscle area is burning you’ll need to analyze and construct a stretch/strength program in order to achieve the proper balance. Getting to know the Dancer’s Reference Point is a decided advantage for those wishing to dance effectively, safely and with full expression.

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