| January 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

Hello Everyone,

As we continue to dip our toes in; put our waders on, or what the heck, jump right into the deep end of the 2010 competitive season, it occurs to me postural control is as much a part of a movement program as is our performers ability to perform a tour jete.

[for anyone unlucky enough to have experienced my Top Ten Don’t List;
Let’s recall Number 1 please:
Never, never, never attempt an ensemble tour jete….
Remember, I say this with love]

Ahem… [adjusts pearls]

As I was saying, postural control.  It can be a tough one.  Performers who can jazz run across the floor whilst balancing a dictionary on their head suddenly become slouchy, encapsulated shadows of former self upon:

a)    taking on a layered responsibility
b)    moving to the back of the floor.

[Really? Is it just me, or do all students think while heading backstage, they are suddenly invisible? ]

It goes back to the immortal words of Moms the world over, “Stand up Straight.”  [Hi Mom!]  However, in today’s world, posture [along with elocution and penmanship, ha] have gone by the wayside in day to day education.  Heck, I don’t stand up straight unless I’m taking class and I know better!

[Penmanship however, I rock!]

At the end of the day, it’s muscle memory.  And there is no miracle fix.  Yes, you need core work, and elongating stretches. [Which, incidentally, will benefit all facets of your program and if you aren’t doing them already, shame on you.]

But.  It is also constant diligence and reminding on the part of you as an instructor. And I mean constant.  It’s pestering, repeating, haranguing and occasionally stopping the run and starting again. It’s reminding, it’s walking the basics block and physically rotating shoulder blades back, tapping on rib cages to remind the muscles to engage, holding onto a hip line and physically showing the performer how to elongate the lower vertebrae and well, for lack of a better term…


And it takes a long time.  There is no instant gratification here.  Breath factors in, but holding breath negates the progress.  Standing up TOO tall restricts the use of flow, and taking the upper body off center becomes rigid and the excellence suffers.

Gosh, as usual, I am super helpful, now aren’t I? [no need to answer, thankyouverymuch]

Do I have a point to all of this rambling?  You bet.  I’m here to remind you that in addition to the equipment and dance skills you are teching, you need to be watching posture too.

All. The. Time.

Your program will thank you.

Hugs and Kisses,

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Category: Instruction, Movement

About the Author (Author Profile)

Cheryl Myers (aka “The (self-proclaimed) Movement Chick”) is a movement instructor, adjudicator and would-be rockette, living in the Fingerlakes area of New York State. Primary affiliations include the New York Federation of Contest Judges, and the Atlantic Indoor Association. She has most recently worked with Trumansburg High School, and is continually blessed by the opportunity to consult and adjudicate for circuits around the country. In addition to her pageantry career, Ms. Myers works in the accounting and insurance fields, and yes, is great fun at parties, thankyouverymuch. Her primary job, and that which she is most proud of, is raising her two beautiful children, a future dancer and drummer.

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