Achieving Optimal Posture Without Damaging Your Body

Why does it hurt when I dance?

Do you love dancing, but hate the fact that you have to see the chiropractor after every competition? Are you unable to get your head in the position your teacher wants it or if you do manage to, you just can’t maintain it? Do you ever wonder why this is happening to you, why is this so hard, and what can you do to fix it? 

Optimal posture

As we all know, posture is extremely important in dancing, not only for aesthetics, but also for our health. If we do not have optimal posture, our body compensates in various ways which often manifests itself as pain.  Optimal posture is the state that our bodies are in when all of our bones are lined up properly, allowing us to have perfect balance and also giving us the ability to release all tension and stress from our muscles and joints. Optimal posture gives us the ability to move freely and naturally.

Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology

Maria Hansen, like many dancers, has suffered injuries.  By the time she retired, she couldn’t get out of bed without assistance.  Her neck couldn’t support her head.  In healing her own body, she found correcting some muscle imbalances with a personal trainer extremely helpful.  He was a graduate of the CHEK Institute in California. CHEK (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) practitioners focus first and foremost, on postural correction and then implement a functional training program geared toward the sport that you do. She decided to study at the institute and learn more about the function of the body from a different perspective.

On this episode of Dance Teacher Academy, Maria discusses how you can create the correct dance posture and look without being in pain.

Maria Hansen is a 7 Time United States Ballroom Finalist and has been a representative for the United States in the World Ballroom Championships. She was also the United States Vice Ballroom Champion and a Former North American Showdance Champion. Maria is the co-organizer of Vegas Open Dance Challenge. In addition to coaching, Maria is a Check Practitioner.

When To Say Enough Is Enough – An Interview with Maria Hansen

The only thing standing between you and winning is yourself.

Many of us can relate to Maria’s experience as a new dancer. When you are a new dancer, you are completely open to learning and often see the teachers or dance partners around you as superior in every way. You want to learn everything correctly from the very beginning. You take everything to heart. If you are not careful, however, you may be manipulated by a short tempered, demanding, and degrading dance partner. It can be especially confusing if they are not always so unpredictable. You will feel like you are starting to get the hang of it until they snap at you again. This adds to your self doubt in which you listen even harder the next time.

Passion is always authentic.

Humility and open mindedness is certainly important in a new student, but tolerating disrespect is not. A person’s skill level and experience should never be an indication of the respect and patience that person deserves. Decide that being berated is beneath you. You deserve patience, to be able to make mistakes freely, and praise. With an encouraging partner, you are more likely to enjoy dancing, and in turn pursue it passionately! Passion is always authentic and can’t be forced or faked.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Then, with this newfound determination and passion, you can focus on the important part of competing: improvement.  Of course, winning always feels good. It makes others envious and validates the long hours you invested into something tangible that others can see and respect. However, you can only win by persistently and ruthlessly improving. The only thing standing between you and winning is yourself. It’s your need to improve, to know and stand up for yourself, and the need to work well with your partner. Not one other person on the dance floor can take that away or give that to you.

Once you build up a sense of confidence from improving yourself and knowing yourself well, you will know when to accept a harsh critique… and when not to!