How to do the bad one dance
How to Dance At A Basic "Good Enough" Level
- Chris MacLeod, MSW
It's hard to avoid dancing entirely in social situations, especially when you're younger. Arguably, everyone should at least become passable at it. It's not as hard to pick up the basics as you may think, and it's smoother sailing once you can join some friends who want to dance and hold your own.
You don't have to reach a particularly high standard
You just need to be good enough that you can get on the dance floor, blend in with everyone else, not look like an idiot, and not feel overly uncomfortable while you're there. (Lots of people are at least somewhat awkward about dancing. That's why they have to down a few drinks and wait for the dance floor to get busy before they step out on it.)
You don't have to look like someone out of a music video. You've just got to be decent enough to get by. Being better than the minimum never hurts of course, but just knowing the basics will put you way ahead of all the non-dancers out there.
If you're straight, try not to worry too much about what the opposite sex thinks. They don't have ultra-picky standards
Straight people don't purely dance to impress the opposite sex, but it is often something they think about.
Generalization time. Women and men have different ideas of what a good dancer is. Guys often see dancing as a skill to show off. Being better than other dudes on the dance floor is important to them. Their typical image of a "good dancer" is a gymnastic break dancer doing a bunch of flips, or a guy doing a fancy, fluid Popping & Locking routine. A woman's concept of a good dancer is a closer to a passably moving guy who looks comfortable, confident, and like he's having fun.
When a woman wants to dance with you, all she really wants is that...
- You are there with her
- You are dancing with her
- You are not dancing horribly
- You are not being too forward and creepy
This totally sounds like a simplistic stereotype, but most of the time when you're dancing with a guy he's not making a detailed critique of your style. He's probably just thinking, "Yay! I'm dancing with a woman!" Or if he's watching you dance from farther away, he's likely thinking, "She seems like someone I might want to talk to. I wonder if she'd shoot me down though..." Even if he seems like the most genuinely suave, confident guy ever, he's probably still thinking like that on some level. He's probably fifty times more worried about how his dancing looks to you than the other way around. Even he's an amazing dancer and you're not, he likely isn't holding it against you.
(That was from my observations as a straight guy. I'm not gay so I won't try to write from their perspective, but I can't imagine their standards for dance partners are radically different.)
Try not to worry too much about what strangers think
Easier said than done, but don't use up too much mental energy fretting about how random bystanders are judging you. Occasionally people will snicker and point to people who are dancing because they're really just too nervous to do it themselves. Random dudes sucking on their beer aren't your audience. Also, like the point above mentioned, your average dancer is more preoccupied with how they look than anything.
If there's one thing to keep in mind it's to be toned-down and low key
Don't be a spaz and try to pull off some fancy moves unless you 100% know you'll look good doing them. It's better to reel yourself in. Over reaching and flailing around is worse than blending in and being a bit boring and unoriginal. Don't feel you have to pull off tons of new moves every second and put on a show for everyone either. It's okay to dance in a simple, repetitive way and just enjoy your friends' company.
Acquire a basic, reliable dancing 'core'
You know when you're watching a movie or TV show and there's a scene set in a dance club, how the extras in the background will often to be dancing in a kind of simple, nondescript way? That's the 'core' I'm talking about. If you know how to do that, then in a lot of situations that's actually all you need. However, if you want, you can later choose to build off your base and make your style more fancy.
To get that core stand in front of a mirror with some not-too-fast music on, or just read along and imagine you're doing the following:
- To dance you've got to move your body in time to the beat of the music. The most basic newbie mistake you can make is to move out of sync with the beat. Don't know the beat I'm referring to? Put on a song and listen for the underlying, repeating thump-thump-thump pattern. Every style of music has a different speed. It doesn't take much practice to learn how to hear it.
- Okay, you're just standing there in front of the mirror with some song playing. Now try moving your arms back and forth to the beat slightly, while keeping your legs ramrod straight. You'll notice that looks totally off. So the next most basic thing you've got to do is bounce up and down on your knees. So keep everything else still, and just move your knees up and down to the music.
- That still looks weird, since you're just going up and down like a piston. So rotate your torso a bit in time with your knee movements, a little like you're skiing. Keep your torso fairly loose and relaxed.
- That's looking better, but your arms are still stiffly hanging at your side. So try relaxing them a bit and let them swing up and down with your knee bends and torso rotations.
Once you're standing in one spot, bouncing on your knees, turning your torso a bit, and moving your arms somewhat, that's about the absolute bare minimum you can do to be considered dancing. Like I said, sometimes that's all you need. If you didn't know how to dance at all, and stopped right here, that's a lot better than nothing.
However, while still staying in the realm of dancing in a super generic 'core' way, you can do little things to spice up the bare minimum:
- Don't just limply swing your arms, get your shoulders into it.
- Take steps side to side, or back and forth.
- Mix up your arm movements.
- Nod your head.
- Do little pivots or twists on one foot, or both feet.
- Don't just slightly rotate your torso, move it back and forth, or from one side to the other.
- Pick up one foot ever so slightly, then the other, to kind of march in place. Don't overdo the movement and look like a robot, just move your feet a tad.
- Mix up the possible arm, torso, and leg variations. Find a combination that looks good and do it for a while, then switch to another one. Don't change things up to the point where you're doing something new every half a second. That looks too scattered.
At this point you're hardly going to win a dance competition, but you're at the level of those movie extras, and 75% of the people you'll see out at a bar. At this point you really could develop no further in your dancing ability and be able to get by on a dance floor for the rest of your life.
The thing with this basic core is that it's pretty adaptable to the standard kinds of music you'll come across. If you're dancing to Hip Hop, just make all your movements a little more Hip Hop-ish. If you're dancing to retro 80's Pop, just make all your moves a little more cheesy and energetic.
Add some more fancy moves and sequences onto your core if you want to
If you dance in a basic way you'll get by, but you won't stand out a ton. If you want to look a little slicker you can start adding in some canned movements, or sequences of moves. There's more of a Risk/Reward thing going on at this stage. You've got to work at it more as well. Dancing generically is safer and easier. If you try to pull off some awesome routine and bungle the execution you'll look clueless or goofy. You need to practice to make sure you look good. Some places to learn new moves are:
- By watching strangers dancing at a club and stealing ideas from them.
- By watching your friends dance.
- By watching movies or music videos.
- Through online video tutorials.
- Through dancing-oriented video games.
- By experimenting and trying to come up with some moves of your own.
- By taking an actual class.
The best way to learn is to just practice
If you get into the habit of dancing around at home in the spare moments you're listening to music it won't be long before you start to get the hang of things. After that the more time you put in, the more you'll refine your style.
Get in front of a mirror, put some good music on, and start dancing to it in the basic way I mentioned above. Remember, if your instinct is to jump around a lot or be a bit spazzy, consciously tone yourself down. Try to get comfortable with the typical, boring way of dancing first. A lot of the time on actual dance floors you won't have that much room anyway, so if you only practice moves that requires a lot of space you'll be put in an awkward spot when you end up somewhere more packed.
One way to deliberately practice is to try working on one aspect of dancing at a time, then putting the pieces together. This may not look good in the moment, but it'll let you concentrate on and isolate certain aspects of how you move. So you might keep everything else fairly still, and only try out different arm movements, or ways of moving your torso. Or you could try different ways of stepping back and forth, or moving only one leg at a time.
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Practice different dancing scenarios
Aside from figuring out how to move your body, there are different situations you'll find yourself dancing under:
Dancing on a dance floor where you have a lot of room
This is the easiest as you have all the space you need, and you can do somewhat more showy stuff if you feel like it. Sometimes the ocean of space can feel like too much to work with or make you feel exposed and self-conscious though.
Dancing on a crowded dance floor
Here your movements are really restricted. When you're practicing make sure to keep your feet rooted to the ground and don't swing your arms out too much. Try to make your movements look good anyway.
Dancing close and face to face with someone else
The issue here is knocking knees and not being able to extend your arms too far in front of you. Try dancing really close to a wall to get an idea of what it's like. Or you can try dancing really close to a full length mirror. It's totally goofy looking, but it's still a good way to get used to the feeling of being near someone.
Dancing with a partner
Here I'm referring to partner dancing in an informal, improvised way, not doing a specific dance like the Tango. Of course this is something that you can't practice on your own super effectively. Still, you could put your hands out in front of you like you're holding someone's waist or shoulders and practice moving within that restriction. I don't blame you if you don't want to do this. It's definitely a bit silly. Still, if the idea of dancing with someone makes you uncomfortable, practicing like this can take the edge off.
More practical advice would be to take a salsa, swing, or ballroom dancing class, asking your friends to teach you to dance, or practicing with your partner, if you're seeing someone. If it doesn't make you anxious, you could even try going to a club and trying to dance with someone you meet there.
Non-verbal communication is important as well
Body language plays a role in dancing too. It would look strange if someone was dancing to a 70's funk song with the mannerisms and facial expressions of someone listening to 90's Gangsta Rap. You don't want to be too exaggerated or hammy with your body language, but it is something to subtly bring into the equation. The other basic thing about body language is that sometimes the difference between someone who looks good and so-so on the dance floor is their non-verbals. If someone looks uncomfortable and bored, they may come across as dancing poorly. The same movements with some energy and confidence can look fine.
Dancing is a physical activity
Simple tip here. The better shape you're in, the easier dancing will be. You'll be able to do more, have more energy, and keep at it for longer. Basic things like aerobic fitness, flexibility, and some endurance in your legs and torso help.
Dancing to an unfamiliar style
For the poppy dance music you most typically hear in bars and clubs you can usually get away with dancing in the generic style I outlined earlier. Though if you've ever been to a club that caters to a different scene you'll know other genres of music have their own types of dancing.
If you're in one of these places, it's not the end of the world if you go ahead and dance the usual generic way, and just try to make your movements conform somewhat to that subculture's style. You won't fit in perfectly, but no one is going to run you out of the joint. However, if you're interested in dancing to that type of music more in the future, it's obvious that you'd want to try to learn its more specialized moves.
A semi-warning about dance classes
Without a doubt you'll learn a lot if you a take a class, but sometimes people get a shock when they then go to a club and have to dance spontaneously. They can't just start swing dancing or bust out a 14-step choreographed Hip Hop routine. There are people who have taken years of dance classes, but they're inhibited when it comes to dancing at clubs. They feel lost, put on the spot, and like they're expected to perform.
Dancing badly on purpose
I think there's a good time and a bad time to dance in a poor or silly way as a joke. The bad time to do it is when you're not comfortable or experienced with dancing, and you dance like goofball to avoid having to do it for real. People tend to see through this, and any humor that comes out of it only has a shelf life of a minute or so.
The good time to do it is when you're with some friends, you all know how to dance properly, and you just throw in the occasional campy movement or routine as a way to joke around and have more fun. It comes off well in this situation because everyone realizes you're doing it because you choose to, not because you're trying to hide how ill at ease you feel.
Drinking to loosen yourself up
Lots of people need to get some alcohol in them before they feel confident enough to hit the dance floor. In a perfect world everyone would feel comfortable dancing stone cold sober, but realistically some of us need a little extra help. Within reason I think this is fine.
When alcohol tends to be helpful is when someone knows how to dance half-decently, but are just a smidgen reserved - most people basically. When drinking tends to backfire is when someone doesn't really know how to dance, and never tries unless they're totally hammered. The results can be pretty sloppy. Things can also get embarrassing if someone is just learning how to dance and is inclined to be spazzy. The alcohol tends to bring those tendencies to the surface.
This is a trite thing to say, but despite everything you've just read, you should just enjoy yourself and not over analyze things. Have fun and don't worry about what other people think of you. Blah Blah Blah. The end.
Dance Moves for People Who Hate Dancing | by Mark Starmach
Along with helpful GIFs
Me and pelvic thrust movements just don’t gel.
I mean, I assume that’s what dancing is, right? Maybe not.
Maybe that confusion is part of the reason why I just can’t stand dancing. On that note, if I could dance by just standing, I would.
But no, that doesn’t appease the happy, carefree hip-thrusters among us. They want more. They always want more.
What they don’t realize is that while they’re out “murdering on the dance floor,” as our good lord Sophie Ellis-Bextor intended, it’s the dance floor that murders me. I feel embarrassed and awkward and stupid and unsure of what to do with my face — let alone my gangly limbs. It feels like an acid bath. So like most introverts, when the dancing starts, I’m the guy who wallflowers so hard I’m practically ivy. Camouflaged.
Usually I can grow my tendrils over to the cluster of other introverts clinging to the wall and make small talk, difficult given the demographic, but soon you all bond over your shared hatred for the extroverts’ merrymaking. You quietly discuss the geopolitics of the dance floor. Hey, look at that person. That guy’s the leader. I wonder if those two are a thing?
And then they see you.
Then more aggressively.
Your quote unquote friends pull you into the thrum with their damp, dance-sweaty hands and then you’re in there — the beat in your ears, the heat of body temperature bodies slamming into you from all directions. Do you look into people’s eyes? Do you look at their bodies? Maybe just look at the ceiling. And bob your head weirdly like a convulsing chicken. You can do this. Do the chicken. Do the chicken. Do the chicken. Just a couple minutes of chicken and you can go back to ivy. Chicken. Chicken. Chicken. Chicken…
They say dancing is self-expression. If that’s the case, I’ll happily stick to writing.
Lately though, I’ve felt a change.
I’m not sure if it’s the complete absence of dancing occasions due to Covid-19, resulting in some sort of strange pent-up energy. Or if it’s just me getting older. Most likely, it’s due to me and my partner’s at-home dance parties since getting our new speaker. But it turns out being silly with your body in the privacy of your own abode is actually quite fun. So maybe it’s not a stretch that it can be that in public too.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hate dancing. I still can’t dance for the life of me. But collectively my partner and I have discovered some go-to dance moves that don’t make us feel like absolute idiots on the dance floor. And which we can preemptively bust out to sidestep the situation above.
(Or at least avoid the chicken. No one enjoys the chicken.)Section 1: Miming shit
If you’re imagining everyone looking at you as you flail bizarrely in a drunken crowd, chances are you have a pretty active imagination. So use that imagination to your advantage, by miming a random activity that involves your whole body — or, at minimum, your arms — in time with the music.
It can literally be anything — from washing a window to shaking maracas or sawing a bit of wood. If you do it in time with the music, it’ll look like dancing, and better yet, you can alternate the arms you’re doing it with on each beat to really sell the illusion. Here are some of my favorites.
The Shovel —Gravediggers might scoff at your technique, but the only grave you’re digging is for the end of your social ostracism. Pile two fists on top of each other like you’re holding the handle of a long imaginary shovel, then “dig” down diagonally across your body, as though pushing the shovel down into the earth, and stamp your corresponding foot down as you do. Now you’ve got a hunk of earth on your shovel. Fling it over your shoulder, then mirror the dig/fling action on the other side of your body. One, two, one, two — dig, fling, dig, fling. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.The Shovel
The Waiter — If you’re at a wedding, take a cue from the waitstaff around you. Hold your palm up to the ceiling like you’re holding an imaginary cloche. Then walk around the floor in time with the music, bending your knees a little more than usual with each step. Hell, you can even pump your upward-facing palm a bit. Take it to the next level by switching your cloche hand with each beat. Now you’re serving canapés.The Waiter
The Towel Wipe — Is it getting hot in here? No, it’s just the steam from my invisible shower and now I’ve gotta towel myself off. Simply imagine you’re wiping your wet back with a bath towel, moving your hips as you move your hands down to butt-level. Do this one as a flourish when the music gets super fast. Combine with a squat for added effect.The Towel Wipe
Yep, miming works surprisingly well. I mean, in a pinch, you could even just pretend you’re literally hacking someone to death with a baseball bat — put two hands together to clutch the base of your invisible bat, then swing out at various angles and heights imagining you’re clobbering someone in front of you. Just make sure to bob a bit, smile, and time each bat-swing with the music so it doesn’t look like you’re rehearsing a future felony.Definitely not a crime of passion
The secret with these moves is that you won’t feel stupid because you feel like you’ve outsmarted everyone just by miming random activities.
Section 2: Minimal but obvious movement
As mentioned, a tiny head-bop or minuscule body-rocking won’t feng with your dancing friends’ shui. Instead, the more extreme you make your arm movements, the more it looks like you’re getting into it, and the more likely everyone will get off your back when you sit back down. So these next few moves involve maximizing your visual presence on the dance floor, while minimizing the effort (and body coordination) required.
The Cruise Ship Dance — I don’t know how I came up with the name for this. I think it’s to do with how I imagine people would dance if they were in the background of a poorly-rendered 64-bit Tekken match set on a cruise ship. Whatever the reason, this dance is all about maximizing your physical height. Stretch your arms straight above your head and hold one hand with the other. Now move your hips and hands (still up) together to the left, then to the right, then to the left, then to the right. Someone call the captain ‘cause this ship’s outta control!The Cruise Ship Dance
The Metronome —This move really puts the “b” in bpm. It’s essentially a turbocharged body rock. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your arms and fists down straight but out slightly from your body. Then, jerkily and aggressively bend from side to side like you’re a metronome in time with the music, exaggerating your movements by lifting and lowering your fists with each bend. Your vigorous movement in everyone’s peripheral vision will surely catch the approving eye of your fellow dancers. Bust this move out for faster-paced beat-driven songs.The Metronome
The Jellyfish — Channel your inner invertebrate to make as much visual motion as possible. You’ve heard of “The Worm” before, that penis-crushing party-stopper that only the boldest (or least self-aware) dance-monkeys attempt. Well, this is basically The Worm with only your arms and hands. Wobble your arms back and forth, same with your head, almost like you’re swimming. Bob your knees to get real aquatic. No one’s gonna not notice this.The Jellyfish
Or say, like me, you have zero coordination with your body. No worries, limit movement to just your head. Seriously. Look sharply from direction to direction in time with the beat. It’ll look profound and intense. Like a meerkat on coke.
Yes these moves are a little uncomfortable. They require you to use your body and make a bit more of a scene. But think of them as Band-Aids — the sooner you rip ’em off, the sooner you can sit back down and be left alone.Section 3: Just do exercise
There’s a thin line between dancing and plain old run-of-the-mill exercising. So exploit the shit out of that line by doing some exercises straight out of your favorite HIIT routine, in time with the beat of the music.
Aerobic Stretches — Olivia Newton-John hoodwinked us all with this technique in her music video for “Let’s Get Physical.” Now it’s your turn. Hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart and lean, bend to one side, then back to the middle, then bend to the other, all in time with the music. Try it with your arm high over your head for extra brownie points. Olivia would be proud.Aerobic Stretches
Squats — Everyone will think you’re gettin’ low like Flo Rida. Really you’re just working your quads. Go down, then up, then down, then up, in time with each beat (or two beats) of the music. Most people won’t question it because, to the casual glance, it looks like dancing — and a casual glance is the only kinda glance anyone does on the dance floor.Squat Dancing
Walking Lunges — Time to get mobile. Put your hands on your hips then do walking lunges as you snake your way through the discotheque in time with the beat. Great for songs around 115–130 bpm. Just walk, then dip, walk, then dip. Feel the music in your thighs.Walking Lunges
A lot of the time dancing feels pointless. But it doesn’t feel pointless when you’re secretly doing a muscle-toning workout in front of everyone. You, one. Dance floor, zero.Section 4: Team up
This is a quick one, but ultra effective. Presidents had a person who’d walk around with a football-shaped briefcase that contained all the nuclear codes. This is like that, but for dancing — the nuclear option.
Simply take any of the dance moves above, find another person who hates dancing, and do the moves in sync with them.
It’s that easy.OMGHIDLKLJFSJGWIS!!!!@(#$!
Synchronized dancing will make everyone shut up. When it looks planned, everyone loses their shit. Hell, they might even join in. Who’s the leader now?
As the world readies for some post-Covid-19 boogies, I hope these moves help you feel a little more ready. They’ll make you look like you’re trying and look like you’re dancing, which is all that really matters. Because when you actually have some semblance of a plan for social occasions that inevitably involve dancing, you won’t then panic and revert to the weird convulsing chicken.
Instead, you can have your own fun, which in turn (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this) — makes… dancing… fun…
That’s what I think the extroverts really mean when they say dancing is fun. Dancing is a joke. It’s an open forum to do stuff you find fun or funny. Which might be funny to others, too; but if not, no one cares.
So get out there and thrust your pelvises.
Be free, my chickens. Free.
Dive into the depths of the dance. Structure and movement: zoukability — LiveJournalAuthor: Murasheva Nadezhda
The article is a continuation of the first part: "Immersion in the depth of dance. Muscles"
I met the concept of structure only in the last year of my active motor activity, which I think it's pretty weird right now. And at first I didn’t really understand what the meaning was in this concept in relation to the body and dance. It was only by delving deeper into the workings of the body and studying the physiology of movement in instructor courses that I began to understand what structure is and how it relates to our body and movement.
The phenomenon of structure is large and multifaceted, and I did not begin to put everything at once in one huge article. Today I will share with you a general understanding of structure, the most comfortable, functional and safe body structure for dancing and the differences in structure in different workouts. About the secret of an interesting, varied, artistically filled dance.
WHAT IS STRUCTURE?
In the explanatory dictionaries, I found the two most suitable interpretations that apply to the structure of the body:
- "A certain interrelationship, mutual arrangement of components, structure, arrangement of something"
- "A set of internal connections"
That is, the structure of the body is what our body consists of (bones, muscles, nerves, vessels, etc. - their structure, location, functions), and also (which interests me much more) is the relationship of the components of the structure to each other. Today I will give you the basic idea of how it works and how it affects the dance, and next time I will continue on a deeper level.
STATES OF MUSCLE TONE
In the context of this article, I will not analyze the structure of the muscle fiber as its structure, this is not necessary here. I am interested in the structure of different muscle states as a more global phenomenon that can be felt, touched, it can be consciously changed and used both in dance and in life.
So, there are three states available to any of our muscles: relaxation, tension, stretching.
Soft muscle, limp, feels like a piece of jelly. There is no tension in it, and, accordingly, there is no movement.
Unconscious relaxation of the muscle:
1) Normal healthy muscle: worked, got tired, after the completion of its work, it relaxed, since its further work is not required.
2) Weakened muscle (hypotonicity): does not work for some reason. Making it work at first is extremely difficult, all exercises feel very difficult and nasty (typical exercises for training the thoracic spine). Usually it is not felt in any way, as if it, in principle, is not in the body.
Mindful muscle relaxation:
We can adjust the rate of relaxation - in dance or in special slow exercises (Pilates, etc.) We can also consciously relax something that is chronically tense - for some this can be difficult, and this needs to be learned.
Rigid muscle contracted to perform some action. The greater the tension, the shorter and stiffer the muscle becomes. Tension can be dynamic (tightened up, performed an action - relaxed) and static (loads to hold a certain position, move a fixed support, etc.). Figuratively, tension can be compared to a spring compressed before a shot. After the shot, the spring should relax and return to its normal physiological state - relaxed, not compressed and not stretched. If this does not happen, then there is a dysfunction (hypertonicity) that must be dealt with, otherwise it will contribute to the development of more serious problems.
Unconscious muscle tension:
1) Healthy muscle: our nervous system itself controls the tension to perform any action (jump, bend, run, squat) - we do not need to think about the tension of all the necessary muscles in order to move It happened.
2) Muscle in hypertonicity: chronically tense, while not performing any action (lower back, upper trapezium, postural muscles of the spine). Rigid, immobile. At best, we feel its tension, stiffness, sometimes pain, we want to stretch and relax it. At worst, we live with this tension and are not aware of it until it leads to further problems. Here you need to spend extra time on learning to notice your tension, and then this will allow you to continue working on the problem. Chronic tension leads to infringement of nerve endings, to poor blood supply to muscles, connective tissues, internal organs, to the development of osteochondrosis, protrusions and diseases of the joints, to stretching of the tendons. I’ll tell you about the causes of chronic stress another time, I’ll tell you the great Secret ;))))
Conscious muscle tension:
This is when we consciously perform any movement or exercise, tracking the technique and condition of our muscles. A necessary stage in order to develop muscle memory in oneself and then move correctly already unconsciously.
An elongated muscle that is in moderate tone and maintains this condition for some time. Not over-relaxed and not over-stressed. It can be compared to a stretched string or a bowstring. An important condition necessary for the correct execution of many movements, maintaining balance, for the health of the spine, and even just for plastic surgery. You need to learn how to move forward. If a person does not know how to do this, then he will perform all movements through tension, because he cannot do otherwise. Then his body will be rigid, movements angular and sharp. If you are not completely sure that you understand the essence of stretching and do not know for sure whether you can do it, then you do not know how. When you master stretching, there is no doubt what it is and how to do it. This is a real physical sensation that you cannot confuse with something else.
Unconscious stretching : yawned, stretched.
Conscious stretching: intentionally stretching our body in exercises, in dance. Ballet, Pilates, yoga will help you.
For harmonious control of one's body and technical dance it is important to be able to control all three states, switch them, combine several states at the same time.
Structure as a combination of states of muscle tone
In the dance there is a constant alternation of these states. Usually everything is built on traction. This allows you to keep a good balance, makes movements soft, flexible and strong at the same time, protects the joints from compression. By the way, all joint gymnastics and all Pilates are performed in traction.
In Zouk (with proper technique) we clearly see the constant alternation of stretching and relaxation. The same thing happens in contemporary and jazz-modern. In ballet, ballroom and more static styles, there is much less relaxation, and all movements are done on the stretch of the body, arms and legs. In contact improvisation and qigong, on the contrary, there is much more relaxation. But tension in all dances and many bodily practices is present only occasionally when performing some more complex elements and tricks: jumps, lifts, squats. If you are constantly tense in the dance, then you are clearly doing something wrong. Tension is the essence of strength training, not dance.
I think you yourself understand that in dance there will rarely be tension or relaxation in the whole body at once. Tension - in general, still happens - in ballet, etc. But complete relaxation can only be in contact improvisation, when we completely give our weight to the floor or partner. However, the zouk appears to be a very relaxed dance. Why?
In fact, in dance there is a simultaneous combination of states in constant dynamics. In Zouk, the most important thing is to stretch the body and relax the shoulder girdle. This is what allows you to make movements so plastic and flying. Only with a relaxed chest and a relaxed top of the trapezoid will it be possible to make beautiful, soft bones, waves, headworks, and so on. To prevent the body from falling apart and losing balance from this relaxation, the taut structure must be maintained in the center. If your center is something else (jelly or one big strain), then you will not have the physical ability to normally relax the top, and then you will move through tension in the chest, shoulders and neck. Visually, it may even seem flexible and beautiful, but physically you get very tired and feel badly leading / following a partner through your tension. In addition, this tension indicates the absence of a frame.
Spoiler for the next article: if your shoulders rise, then you do not and cannot have a frame. If you are a partner, then you lead with your hands, if you are a partner, then following goes through guessing.
What about the legs? The legs should be soft, this is important for balance, for even distribution of the load throughout the body and for good depreciation - then it does not burden the joints. If the legs are too sluggish, tangled, or, on the contrary, too stiff, then they do not perform this function, and you get an increased load on the spine and knees, as well as a constant overstrain of the muscles of the body.
Now let's get back to understanding structure. What will be the structure of the body in the dance?
The whole pattern of tension and relaxation.
Long spine, soft legs, light top is an example of structure. A tense wooden body is also a structure, just uncomfortable and non-functional. A weak center and raised shoulders are also structure. I perceive the structure as a set of different materials and qualities of these materials, from which the building of our body and our dance is built. One builds with rubber bands and strong flexible bases, the other with cardboard and snot.
FRAME is also a structure. And in different styles of dance, the structure of the frame is different. The position of the hands, the degree of tension, the manner of touching, the tone of the shoulders, and so on - all this matters.
Grounding and overestimation of the center are also nuances of the structure. In some dances we gravitate more towards the floor (west coast, contempo, improvisation), in some we rush upwards more (ballet, lambazook). Zouk, in my opinion, is universal and allows you to play with the height of the center, which, in turn, will affect the manner of movements and the nature of the interaction of partners. The height of the center will depend on the height of the frame, on the degree of relaxation, on the structure of the bodies of both partners, and on each specific movement and point of contact. Even from shoes. Like it or not, heeled shoes raise the center higher.
Structure and interaction of partners
Rigid body poorly transmits movement and impulses. A tense partner will feel badly leading. A tense partner will lead the partner at the “volume level” available to him, conditionally, yell in her ear. Even if it is a very soft, sensitive partner. He cannot be quieter, simply because then he himself will not hear his words. He does not realize that "quieter" exists, and that this is actually the norm, and not a whim of a partner ("how picky you are"). For him, the norm is to yell in the ear. That's where the problem is.
An over-relaxed, shapeless structure also distorts the interaction, the movement loses control and manageability. In this state, it is easy to get injured, sprained by negligence and inattention.
Only the state of soft tone on the stretch makes the dance sensitive, pleasant and well controlled.
If we imagine the interaction of partners as a pair structure, then it is also heterogeneous. In an interesting dance, this structure will change: it will become softer or denser, tighter or more airy from movement to movement, depending on what is happening in the dance, on the music and the feelings of the partners. Contrabalances and supports require more stretch and tone. Fingertip contact requires a subtle air pull (in the tooth), which can then go into counterbalance or support. Bodyworks can be very soft and gentle or active and rhythmic. A good dancer is not subject to the same structure (because he doesn't know how to do it differently), he manages his own structure as an artist. This makes the dances exciting, expressive and different from each other, perfectly keeps the attention of the dancers in sensitive contact with each other.
An example of playing with structure in a dance. If you want a deeper understanding of what I'm writing about here, find moments in the video where relaxation, grounding, stretching up and to the side, interaction with the partner's weight, changing dynamics are used. Think about where Anderson and Brenda use their core muscles to move, and where they relax and give their body to gravity and momentum.
Structure and internal state
The structure of your body, the nature of movement and the internal state are closely interconnected and mutually influence each other. Your mood and mental characteristics affect the structure of your body both at the moment and in general (psychosomatics), which in turn affects how you dance and how you want to move. From the dance and movement of a person, you can tell a lot about him and his model of interaction with the world. And, on the other hand, work on the manner of movement, relaxation and stretching exercises will affect your mental state and mood, can even lift layers of old traumas and memories and serve as light therapy for the experience, and this will change the way you feel, how you move and what decisions you make. This is the basis of body-oriented and dance-movement psychotherapy.
This concludes today. To begin with, I wanted to convey a general idea of \u200b\u200bthe structure and its influence on movement. Think about what structure you usually dance with, do you know how to manage it? What works and what doesn't and why, in your opinion? Have you noticed how your structure changes with your mood?
Next time I will share the knowledge about the structural relationships in our body, which I received only in instructor courses. This will already give an understanding of the causes of tension in your body and a practical key to how to make your movement easier. It will be clear why it is pointless to ask someone to just drop their shoulders and why practicing the frame only on dance moves leads to almost nothing. I promise you won't have to wait long for the next article ;)
Zoukability in VK: https://vk.com/zoukability
Regular classes in Moscow, body development, Pilates. stretching: https://vk.com/club168175218
Individual lessons and questions: https://vk.com/dancingflow
Dive into the depth of dance. Muscles: zoukability — LiveJournalAuthor: Murasheva Nadezhda
Friends, I am starting a block of articles about the "underwater" part of the dance. We will explore the topic in more depth, how to learn to move beautifully and plastically and hear your partner. If you don't go to some third-party classes and master classes outside of social dances, then these topics are almost not covered in the lessons. In good classes, the correct work of the muscles is sorted out, but this still does not add up to a comprehensive picture.
In one of my previous articles, I likened dance to a big iceberg, the main part of which is hidden under water and opens up to us as we deepen into the knowledge of dance, movement, our body. When a non-dancing person looks at the dance from the side, he sees the tip of the iceberg - its external manifestation. A beginner dancer continues to see only this top for a long time (and sometimes it ends with this), because the dance for him still remains a set of movements - an external form. Even if these are movements from an advanced lesson. Beautiful, cool, complex, spectacular. "I want that too." Growing dancers begin to master all these complex movements, go into narcissism and show off through figures. When I look at dancers at parties it's 90% of the time I see exactly this - chasing the outer form. Sometimes tops dance like that. Dancers think in figures. But this is only the surface ABOVE the water! All the most interesting is deeper.
And what is there, in the depths, "under water"?
- The world of connection with a partner. What does it depend on? From connecting with yourself. How to feel a partner if you don't feel your own body?..
- Control of your body: muscle tone, ability to relax, control of your body structure, general feeling and awareness of your body.
- Feeling and awareness of oneself as a whole. After all, our body and consciousness are interconnected, and the state of one is reflected in the state of the other. By acting on one, we have an effect on the other, and vice versa. Both in a positive and negative way. What a person has inside is how he moves.
So, today we will begin to consider the level closest to the surface of the iceberg - muscle control . It is also the easiest to understand and use. When you better understand what muscles are performing movements, what to follow, your movements will become clearer, cleaner, more conscious. The movements that you learned by visually copying after the teacher will become clear from the inside: what works, why it works and what you need to make it even better.
Why is this level closest to the surface? Because muscle ownership determines how your movements will look (but not only from this), because your balance, rotations, cambrai and much more depend on muscle tone.
And it is the simplest because it is much easier to pump up muscles than to learn isolation, relaxation and finer sensations. Muscle training is just a physical activity, albeit hard sometimes. Any dancer can pump up the press, which, however, will not teach him plasticity and connection with a partner.
Muscles not only help us perform movements correctly and beautifully, but also protect us from injuries, which is why it is so important to develop our physical form.
One of my favorite themes is that if you just go to the gym and pump something there, it doesn't help you dance properly at all. In addition to having a pumped up muscle, you must learn how to use it in dance movements, keep it in good shape on the machine, without flying out of your attention from the dance and connection, otherwise your work in the gym is useless. This is a characteristic feature of the dance. In the gym, we learn to tense our muscles strongly and relax 10-50 times. We leave the room and forget about them.
In dancing, you need to constantly keep in good shape and control many different muscles at once. This is a lot less tension than in the gym, but getting used to this state of constant soft tone can be very difficult. The dancer must have good control over his entire body in dynamics and statics, must be able to control tension and relaxation (stability and plasticity), feel his individual muscles (isolation), must have acquired the skill of holding passive attention at several points at once (back, abs, feet as minimum), which should not distract from the dance itself, connection, music and the surrounding space.
Note: The article does not take into account physical limitations due to injuries, hernia, protrusions, etc.
Upper, lower and oblique muscles of the abdomen.
From an anatomical point of view, the abdominal muscles give stability to our spine (in fact, this is somewhere around 50% of success). - Balance, rotation, stability, yes, yes
Using the press greatly reduces the load on the back when bending and tilting, helps to build the axis on rotations. And therefore, a non-working press creates an overload of the lower back and other parts of the spine, which is fraught with muscle and nerve clamps, displacement of the spinal discs, hernia and chronic back pain, especially among zuckers. And with a broken press, you will be chatting on all rotations.
The oblique muscles of the abdomen give us plasticity, beautiful tilts to the sides, light soft work of the body in a circle and, of course, additional stability in difficult positions of the body.
If we talk about the souk, we actively use the press in all movements with body inclinations (cambrai, headworks, bones, etc.), on rotations, on counterbalances. Wherever we need stability, a strong body, a straight back (in particular, the lower back). The press is collected on all supports and "falls" on a plank-type partner so that the body does not fall through. Sometimes, for even greater stability and inclusion of the press, you need to twist the pelvis forward even more (a la Michael Jackson) to fix the body even more strongly. I use it on cambra preps, bone necks, long spins. But you need to understand that the press does not tense up in the dance with an impenetrable shield as before the opponent's blow (then the dance would be too hard and exhausting). The work of the press is rather similar to what happens in Pilates: the navel is pulled up to the spine and remains there in a passive tone always. If necessary, the lower or upper press is additionally strengthened.
Interestingly, a number of common movements in zouk require isolated possession of the upper and lower abs. So, for example, when working with the chest (headworks, etc.), we weaken the upper press, but firmly hold the lower one - for stability, balance, so as not to fall apart.
Alas, even with trained abs, many dancers do not use them. They make movements with a relaxed stomach, which is why they fall apart, lose structure in the body. Using the abdominal muscles should be a habit. Spent, automatic. However, like all other muscles, which will be discussed further. In order not to think every time about all the muscles that need to be included.
You can often see dancers in a position of constant arching in the lower back even just standing still. This is an indicator that they do not use the press at all;) In the position of the lumbar deflection, it is possible to draw in the stomach a little, but it is impossible to fully use the press. Which is logical, because when in one place there is contraction, tension (in the lower back), then on the other side there is stretching and relaxation.
Another common mistake is the constant deflection under the shoulder blades, which is what they say "remove the ribs" in ballet lessons. This is a deflection above the waist, which means that in this case the upper press does not turn on and, as a rule, the back muscles in the thoracic region and sometimes between the shoulder blades are strongly clamped. It is very difficult to get rid of this habit. Usually combined with a lumbar deflection. Ribs stick out in front, buttocks in the back, and somewhere in the middle in a bend, a poor, clamped spine.
Basicly everyone knows how to pump the upper and lower press. There are a lot of options. I will only add that, firstly, you should not put your hands on your neck and try to lift yourself with a jerk of your arms or head - this is technically incorrect and dangerous, hypertension is created in the neck, and in fact you lift yourself with your neck, not with a press. It is better to keep your hands on your chest or on your stomach. If the press is weak, then it will be more difficult, yes. But now you do not deceive yourself. And secondly, if you swing the lower press by raising your legs, then there should be no deflection in the lower back. If the lower back sags, it means that you do not have enough strength and abs and back, and instead of the lower press, you again overload your back. Press your back completely to the floor and bend your knees - this will be better. And yet, given the peculiarities of the dance work of the muscles, it is better to do all exercises slowly. No need to chase the number of movements. Let them be only 10, but each stretched into 10 accounts, for example.
Oblique abdominal muscles are trained with various twists and side bends. Twisting should be smooth, on the muscles, not jerky. Turns are carried out from the waist, the hips should not turn anywhere - this is important and a common mistake. So that the hips do not exactly spin, you can do twists while sitting on the priest (and at the same time keep a straight back). Still tilts to the sides - both fast (strength training) and slow (stretching, endurance). On tilts to the side, both of your shoulders should look into the mirror, and not at the floor - otherwise you train other muscles, and the obliques remain undeveloped. The chin on the side slopes also looks into the mirror, and not at the floor.
I would like to draw attention to the following points in the photo:
See how straight she holds her neck. The head does not move forward and does not throw back. That's right, that's the way it should be.
This position can be made easier by bending your knees and rounding your back a little (the press still works, it will be easier). But the option in the photo with a straight back is more complicated and better because the back muscles will also work this way. And the legs extended at the knees are heavier, more difficult to hold them.
There are quite a lot of gluteal muscles, and they will work differently depending on the movements. Therefore, the expression "swing ass" is somewhat abstract. But if you dance only social dances, then you should be primarily interested in the gluteus maximus muscle and the ability, if necessary, to keep (!) It in suspense during dance movements.
The effect of using the gluteal muscle is about the same as that of the press - stabilization of the core. Here it is only necessary to understand that the press directly stabilizes our top (spine), and the buttocks stabilize the pelvis, that is, the bottom (legs, hips, lower back). A retracted buttock limits the mobility and rotation of the hip joint, and the position of the hip joint affects the position of the lower back as well - everything is interconnected. By pulling your butt in, you limit the stride length available to you, this helps to fight drifts in the dance, especially on turns and spins.
What do you need to remember? The fact that if you pumped up a big beautiful ass in the gym, and in the dance she is always relaxed, then there is zero sense in her! Amen.
To dance, you just need to be able to pull it in strongly, "squeeze a coin" between the buttocks. Well, to maintain this position for a while - it's easier here than with the press.
Regular squats won't do very well here, they just increase the volume of the buttocks and thighs. Much better are leg raises while lying on your stomach, and even better are real bodily tasks in dance: ballet exercises in which you always need to keep your butt. For example, ballet plies with toned buttocks, tandu and all other happiness. The bar is still very good, if done correctly, retract and twist the pelvis forward.
But this is the wrong plank! There should not be such a bend in the lower back, the pelvis needs to be scrolled forward more.
Correct bar . Compare body lines.
LONG BACK MUSCLES
In fact, this is a whole group of closely spaced muscles. It doesn't matter to us now. If you put your thumbs on your spine and step back a little, you will feel such powerful thick seals from the lower back and along the entire spine, passing into the muscles of the neck. It's them.
Muscles are potentially very strong and useful, and therefore sad if they are not working. You have no idea how much you are missing if you don't own them! And often they are non-working and at the same time they are still heavily clogged with incorrect operation of the case in principle. Then they have overstressed painful areas that you do not know how to control, you cannot relax them and strain them at will. Then it's even more difficult, but it's fixable.
The long back muscles pull the spine up and help keep it in a straight, straight position. Just as the abs keep the spine stable on one side, the long back muscles support it on the other side. When the teacher says "we stretch the top of the head up", then the activation of these particular muscles is meant. When you feel and control them, you feel a real physical upward pull. These same muscles keep the spine in good shape and when tilting the body, they also greatly affect your posture and body structure in the dance, the pattern of relaxation and tension, and this affects how absolutely all your movements look and feel.
An ordinary untrained person does not feel these muscles and does not understand what it means to stretch upwards. "How to stretch, what?". Or maybe these muscles are even pumped up by boats, but it's still not clear how to reach up. This is fine. If you are working on yourself, then it is very important to learn how to master them. The technique of your rotations, centering, a smooth, stable exit from any rotations, without blockages, distortions, even with poor partner guidance, will depend on this, and in general your well-being and health will be better. When female partners fall heavily on their side in slopes and fall in turns - they do not work, there is nothing to build an axis with.
Learning to control the long back muscles is more difficult than mastering the abs or booty. First you need to remove the interference of posture, which prevent these muscles from being included in the work. Namely, you need to tighten your stomach, remove the deflections in the lower back and under the shoulder blades, remove the ribs sticking out forward. If your ribs stick out, then you a priori cannot use your back muscles normally. They are chronically tight and shortened. Stand up to the wall and try to press against the wall with your whole back as much as possible, hold the position without the wall. And strive to press the lower back, even if it doesn’t work out completely.
The strength of the long back muscles is well trained by boats and tilt-ups with a straight back, but this does not teach you to reach up. For training the stretch itself, I have not yet come across anything more effective than ballet exercises in the middle of the hall. When you balance on one foot without the support of the barre, your body finds this stretch on its own, it gives stability. That's exactly what happened to me, and pretty quickly.
I wrote an article about headwork rules. You need to know these rules!
Headworks are not done with the neck muscles. But the muscles of the neck must be in a passive tone so that the cervical vertebrae are safe, so that they are not subjected to sudden traumatic movements, are not clamped or overextended. The exercises are very simple: tilt the head up and down, turn left and right, tilt the ear to the shoulder. Exercises are best done slowly and with effort. It is also very useful to work with an isometric load: press your head through the resistance of your hands. All this at the same time is the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis, strengthens muscles and promotes the health of our cervical discs.
Typical mistakes of the zouk : throwing the head back, throwing the head back on a relaxed neck, headwork through the neck muscles, asymmetrical position of the head relative to the work of the body (the head falls forward or back and outweighs).
But besides this, there is a posture error that few people talk about, and it is inherent in many. This error is chin up. We know to reach up with the top of our head. That's just the muscles of the top of the head physically can not pull us up and have completely different functions. The crown is a purely visual landmark (just not everyone is aware). But we don’t even know where the top of our head is and how it should feel. And so we raise our chin and stretch our foreheads up. In this position, the front muscles of the neck stretch upward, and the back muscles, which should work, are compressed. This is exactly the opposite of what the teacher wants from you. In addition to the physiological harm to your neck, this also prevents you from dancing: the stable position of the head is disturbed, the head begins to outweigh and fills you back. This is especially problematic on spins.
It is better to correct the position of the head at the mirror and through the same exercises, carefully monitoring the position of the head. The simplest and most effective: put your hands on the back of your head. Feel for two bones at the base of the skull with your thumbs and grab them as well. Press your head on your hands and your hands on your head. Holding these bones and maintaining pressure, stretch your head with your hands a couple of centimeters up.
Dancers! The lower back in the dance should be straight! (Well, almost straight, - for the most meticulous) No deflections just like that in every movement. Deflection is not styling! Chronic backbend is a lump of tension that you live with, and hit it even more in all amplitude movements. Then it can turn into a hernia of the lumbar and pinched nerve endings.
As I wrote above, you need to pump the lower press more, and activate the abdominal muscles to align the lower back and hip joint. In addition to this, it is very necessary to learn how to sit on the sitting bones with a flat back. This is generally a mandatory minimum for the normal posture of any non-dancing person. When you can just sit straight, then we go into the fold to the legs, be sure to stretch the lower back. It will be very gross. This is not a leg stretch, no need to dive head first. It is important to start folding towards the legs from the hip, trying to put the stomach and ribs on the legs. At the same time, you can stretch your arms forward, this helps to stretch yourself.
The muscles of the lower back are also trained in different inclinations with a straight back. Also, be sure to keep your lower back pressed to the floor in all pumping exercises when you are lying on your back. Especially when it comes to abdominal exercises. And standing against the wall, we press the lower back into the wall! Out of habit, it will seem that you are hunched over, but in fact, sleeping muscles just turn on, and your back becomes straighter. Try to maintain this position yourself by checking yourself in the mirror.
Depressor of the scapula. If your shoulders often rise, it means that she is not in good shape, and at the same time, the muscles of the neck and trapezium are probably clamped. If this muscle does not work, the female partners do not understand the lead well, and the partners do not know how to frame and twitch their arms a lot. If the serratus anterior muscle is not in good shape, then the shoulder and shoulder blade are not the link between the body and arms. The body moves by itself, and the arms and shoulders move by themselves, without coordination with the body. Connection without anterior dentate is snotty and twitchy (because with hands).
In the dance, you literally need to weld the shoulder blade to the ribs and leave it there forever. Difficult? Possibly)
You can come up with quite a few exercises to strengthen the anterior serratus. Mandatory condition: through "I can not" lower the shoulder blades. You can slowly raise and lower straight arms with a small weight, do rotations in the shoulder joint, you can stretch the elastic in different positions. The slats also pump the front gear well, just do not forget to press the shoulder blades down. All sorts of positions are good with an emphasis on the floor with your hands (I want to relax my shoulder, and then it will climb into my ear).
Muscle that brings the shoulder blades to the center. It affects the spread of the shoulders and the tone of the frame as well.
It is important that the muscle is in good shape, but not overstressed (!). Attempts to dance with the shoulder blades constantly gathered towards the center will kill all the plasticity in the thoracic region, and at the same time you will no longer feel the physical connection with the partner (where it is clamped, energy and subtle sensations do not pass there).
Actively activated by spreading the arms to the sides with an institution far behind the back, you can use weights, you can lie on your stomach. On your stomach, simply spread your straight arms to the sides and tear them off the floor as high as possible. If you wish, you can find many more options on the Internet.
When training the rhomboid muscle, watch the ribs, do not bend in the chest. It can be difficult)
The fact that any dancer needs strong, trained legs is obvious. And it would be strange to single out some individual muscles and say that they are the most necessary for social dances. All the muscles of the legs are somehow involved in performing various movements and maintaining balance. Everything is important here. Legs need to be trained in a complex and varied way. The health of your joints, especially your knees, depends on the condition of your legs (strength and stretching of the muscles). About them a little further.
It usually happens that dancers perform some kind of monotonous set of exercises that does not fully load their legs. This is not good, as you will be left with undeveloped areas, the weakness of which will affect the quality of your movements and may even negatively affect the condition of your joints. For example, the most common leg exercises (lunges, squats, swings, half-toes, etc. - the basic set) usually do not pump the inner thigh muscles in any way. Ballet exercises, on the contrary, perfectly pump the back muscle group and adductor muscles of the thigh, but load the muscles of the front and outer sides a little. Pilates works very complex with the muscles of the legs (and the whole body).
Conclusion: you need to train your legs in a complex way.
Do not ignore any "heavy" unusual exercises, because "in dance I don't need it." Use both the non-reversible position of the feet in the exercises (feet parallel) and the reversible position (heels together, toes apart, knee joint over the toes, between the thighs "clamped piece of paper"). Stand on your toes and on your heels. Remember that you need to evenly pump muscles and stretch. Inflated, unstretched legs are stiff, clogged, prone to occasional sprains. Poorly pumped, but well stretched - very weak, prone to joint injuries, dislocations.
The anterior and posterior thigh muscles are usually more or less trained even just in dance, without any additional effort. Although it is better, of course, to attach them and practice more. And if you often do some sports, then most likely they are already well developed in you.
The typical weaknesses of an ill-trained dancer are the muscles of the inner and outer sides of the thigh. And in vain, they perform important functions.
Adductors of the thigh - a bundle of internal muscles that bring the legs to the center. The tension of these muscles allows us to maintain balance very well, literally grow to a point in the floor. They help with balance even in tilted postures when the pelvis is turned back and it can be difficult to keep the tension in the gluteal muscles. And the legs in such positions continue to hold us, if they are strongly reduced to the center (at the same time, it is not at all necessary that the legs should stand close to each other). The adductors are best pumped with ballet and scissor exercises. At the same time, different internal muscles work in the reversible / non-reversible positions.
It's also very ugly when girls have a non-closing hole between their thighs.
About the outer surface of the thigh I would like to say that if you are not going to permanently raise your legs to the sides (it is not necessary in the soush), then their main purpose is to keep the knee joint in a stable position. What's the matter here? If the thigh muscles are weak, then the knee joint can fall inward (X legs), and over time, from this position, you will have big problems with the knee ligaments. If in the neutral position your legs are straight, not an X, then this is good, but not enough.
I just wrote that the adductors of the thigh help us balance. If two legs stand together, and through effort we press them against each other, then everything is fine, there should be no mistakes here. What if your feet are a little wider? This is the most common position for female partners when performing boneques and other things. Bring them together here, don't bring them together, all the same, 8 out of 10 girls' knees will come together to the center. This happens because the external thigh muscles are turned off, and there is also no habit and understanding. In fact, when we stand with our legs parallel, we need to carefully monitor the position of the knee. If we bring the adductors to the center to better hold ourselves, then the outer group of muscles should remain in good shape and “push” the knees a little to the sides. This is necessary so that the knee remains exactly above the foot and does not fall inward.
That's what I'm talking about. Not a very bright example, but my own))) Feet at a distance, knees together.
It is very important, when performing any squat (plié) in any position of the legs, to ensure that the knee is clearly above the foot and does not fall either in or out.
Shank = calf, calf = shank, strengthen shins = pump calves? No, nifiga) This is a very limited perception.
Caviar needed. Calves help to confidently rise to the half-toes and stand on them for a long time, help to run, jump and land. But you won't get far with them.
Other muscles also influence the position of the foot, the names of which the ordinary dancer does not know and has never heard of. The position of your ankle will depend on the state of all the muscles of the lower leg, the balance both on the half-toes and on the full foot. And the health of your knees will also depend on the position of your ankle. If the foot is turned inward or outward, or collapses on the outer or inner rib, and the knee is not above the foot (a typical social worker mistake: toes apart - knees forward), the cruciate ligaments of the knee joint will suffer, then pain will appear. By the way, the weakness of the calf muscles is the reason why the feet of the dancers in motion accidentally come into a clubfoot position.
Therefore, it is necessary to additionally strengthen the stabilizing muscles. located in the lower part of the lower leg and affecting the position and stability of the foot. Stretch and shorten the foot, rotate the feet in a circle, roll the feet on the inner and outer ribs, stand on the toes and on the heels (no one allowed me to stand on the heels in class, and by the way, this is quite difficult and includes the front of the lower leg), through resistance to turning the foot in and out. There are many exercises, they are all simple and just require method and perseverance.
A very effective exercise for the muscles from the foot to the thigh is to stand on one leg for a long time, just on a full foot. 5 minutes or more. At the same time, try not to sag on your hip and not substitute your free leg. It also helps a lot to stand on one leg on a balance circle (a round disk that staggers).
Mandatory rule for standing on half toes : the weight must be over the big and forefinger of the foot and in no case should it fall on the little toes. It also depends on the stabilizing muscles of the lower leg.
The structure of the foot is very similar to that of the palm. She can be just as sensitive and mobile. Some professional dancers achieve this. An ordinary person hardly uses the muscles of the foot. Then the brain begins to perceive the muscles of the foot as one whole, the foot becomes like an iron shovel, rigid and inactive.
Due to the undeveloped feet, the position of the ankle is disturbed, the softness of movements is lost (the knees also suffer from this, yes), other muscles begin to clog, which try to compensate for the weakness of the feet (usually calves, thighs).
Feet are the foundation on which our whole building stands. If something is wrong with the foundation, it will inevitably cause distortions in other parts of the body: in the knees, hips, back, it can even affect the position of the head. And therefore it is important to develop the feet, increase their mobility, strength, plasticity and sensitivity.
Dancers' feet are often very clogged, especially those dancing in heels. Attempts to maintain balance on poorly trained legs lead to the fact that the dancers try to “grab the floor” with their feet - they overstrain the muscles of the foot, squeeze their fingers. From this foot can reduce. This is especially evident in the training exercises of ballet and jazz-modern: we get so used to straining our feet that where they need to be relaxed, we generally forget to do it, and our feet start to feel pain right in the exercises. On the one hand, this comes from the wrong technique of the foot, on the other hand, from the underdeveloped muscles. Developed feet do not reduce. Well, the reasons may also be the lack of some microelements, etc. In social dance, a vivid example of tightness of the feet is when girls constantly dance on half-toes (in any shoes), practically without lowering their heels, and at the same time on bent knees. Looks ugly. This is how I dance here, it is very clearly visible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzpFeYB8nHc
Foot development exercises are far more than calf raises. It is necessary to move the fingers up, down and to the sides in isolation, lift the napkin with the toes of the foot, stretch the outer and inner surfaces. Foot massage is very useful, and for this purpose I really like a massage ball with spikes (it should be elastic, a wooden massage roller will also work). At first, I roll the ball lightly, until I feel a pleasant tickle and tingle from contact with the skin. This relaxes the tissues of the foot and stimulates blood circulation, relieving chronic tension. When the foot relaxes a little, the sensations are dulled, I start pushing the ball through the foot in different places in order to act on a deeper level. So you can find especially painful areas and suppress them longer. After such a foot massage, the balance becomes better and the legs become softer.
Here is an example of how to wake up dormant foot muscles. I made up my own mind based on what I read. I was not given this in any class. Someone will not succeed at all, someone will feel new sensations in a couple of minutes.
That's all for this article. This is a review article. Train, study your body, ask questions.
On VK you can send me your dance video for analysis, I will make a storyboard with errors and detailed comments, where you have technical errors in the sound, and where there are crookedness and obliqueness associated with the work of your body. I'll tell you what to do, how to work. I can record a detailed video answer with exercises for you. I wrote about it here: https://vk.com/wall599099_11435
I wrote this article for a very long time. I got a lot of different classes, I began to conduct thematic seminars about the work of the body in dance.