Ballet Correct Posture
Correct posture is essential to the study of classical ballet. This applies not only to classical steps, but also to have a basic knowledge of posture & anatomical awareness.
Incorrect stance leads to technical weakness
If you failure to achieve the right posture this will result in technical weakness, which in turn could lead to injury? Incorrect posture will prevent the dancer from attaining technical control and freedom of movement.
Weight & balance
For example the weight of the body should be correctly centered over the feet. Meaning the shoulders should be in line with the hipbones. The lower part of the back should be straight, but be careful not to tuck under in the hips. An even weight on the supporting foot or feet is advisable. Try to use the core muscles of the trunk. The dancer should hold the ribs as flat as possible without distorting the body alignment. But, I must say do not tense the body too much. Give a little room for slight movement. This will make it easier for the dancer to control the lower back and stabilize the torso directly on the top of the supporting leg or legs.
How to correct your stance
A few tips on how to create the right sensations: It’s my professional opinion that one should imagine that the body is sectioned off into three parts. Section A, the trunk, meaning the hips, torso, & chest. Section B, the lower extremities, meaning the legs, from the hips down. Section C, upper extremities, meaning the shoulders, arms & head. When breaking up the above sections try to make the different sections active or none-active. For example try to work the torso by engaging the stomach and back muscles and make the arms free. Or keeping the torso engaged and releasing the legs from the hips downwards. Don’t put the whole body at 100% intensity. I’m a great believer in isolation when executing a ballet step. If you follow these clips you will see me explain this in more detail.
Creating the right sensation
- (1) Shoulders down, by lifting them rotate them back, drop them like a cape over your shoulders.
- (2) Flatten the chest by keeping the ribs flat but not squeezed together. Work with breathing from your stomach.
- (3) Open the top of the back by pulling open the two scalpers. You can achieve this by using the Trapezius muscles. This is a large triangular shaped muscle that runs from the centre of your back up to the neck, running across your shoulder blade. Working the trapezius will help to sculpt the back of your shoulders
- (4) Lift up out of the hips with your lower middle, try to lengthen the front and back. The major muscles for this would be your abdominal muscles. As I had demonstrated with the cooking spoon or a straight object will help you get the right position.
- (5) Try to feel the top of the legs opening out wards when you are in any of the five ballet positions. In the video clip on correct stance & others, I talk about the right muscles one should engage for holding turn-out correctly. Through constant practice, this posture eventually becomes automatic for the dancer. It is important to have the correct position because it is very difficult to re-correct bad habits.
In the series of video I will give a step by step program on correct posture for the back, how to turn-out and how to stance in the five positions of classical ballet.