Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Focus on Your Head

So often I see dancers who neglect to use their heads and shoulders when dancing, or use them improperly. It is the difference between a beginner and advanced dancer - advanced dancers really dance with their whole bodies, making it look easy and natural. When just one part of the body is not used correctly, it can throw off the aesthetic and quality of the dancing. I have been working very hard in my classes lately to focus on the head and eyes, starting at the barre, and have seen great results. My dancers are finally dancing more in unison and their dancing has taken on a beautiful, new quality.

Here's an article to help teachers teach proper head and shoulder placement in class - "How to Use Correct Placement in the Head and Neck for Dancers". Another reference is a previous post, here on Dance Nerds Unite - "Improving Port De Bras"

The four main bad habits the author says dancers make with their heads are:

  1. Holding tension in or straining the neck
  2. Focusing the eyes in a different direction than the head
  3. Jutting the chin, or lifting it too far
  4. Throwing the head, rather than controlling movement
Check out the article at the link above for more info!

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