Body Awareness in Dance
In dance, there are two very important things: understanding music, and understanding how your body moves in response to music. It is never too late to learn how to be more aware of your body.
Dance Better By Being Aware of Your Body
Surgeons work with their hands; that’s why they take such good care of them. It takes them years to perfect their craft and make sure they move their hands correctly during surgery. As a dancer, your work tool is your own body. This is why it is very important to understand it and become familiar with it; get to know its needs, limitations, and abilities. This will allow you to control it more confidently and naturally. Regardless of how new or not new you might be at dancing, to get moving, you first need to understand what it is that you’re moving.
What is Body Awareness?
Being aware of your own body basically means having a good understanding and feeling of your own body.
body awareness: a dance element that comprises focus on body shapes, body base, body part, locomotor, and non-locomotor movements.
Developing Better Body Awareness
Becoming familiar with all body parts requires a lot of focus. Muscle memory is a side effect of muscle awareness. As you develop more awareness of your body, it will become easier to remember moves and positions. It is common that, as dancers, we go through a class without putting much thought into the individual parts of our body that are being recruited for a specific routine. It is ideal to dedicate time and energy to this self-discovery process.
Concentrate on Individual Parts
Make a list of the fundamental body parts used for dancing – for example, shoulders, wrists, fingers, thighs, toes, core, etc. As you read the list, try to move the specific body part you’re reading. Although this might sound all too easy, it works mainly on your focus (muscle memory, remember?). There are three key things to work on:
This refers to where your face is directed while you dance. Having a good focal point allows for better balance, especially if you’re turning or spinning.
Posture and body language are completely related. How you stand says a lot about you, and that directly translates into the dance, whether you intend to or not.
Dancing is all about creating pictures with your body. Choreography usually requires clean lines. Looking at yourself in the mirror to make sure you’re hitting every line properly is a great body awareness exercise.
Another tool that can help you become more aware of your body is yoga. It can help bring awareness back to unconscious muscles while also strengthening them. Stop by one of our yoga classes and get moving!