18 Oct Dancing Helps Correct Posture, and Prevent Future Health Issues
STUDIES SHOW THAT UP TO 40 % OF CHILDREN HAVE POOR POSTURE
It is not very shocking that almost half the children in North America have bad posture. Texting, playing video games and other forms of technology have sparked a posture that has everyone leaning forward, or to the side, and with their heads aimed downward. The “slouch position” has become prominent and now it typically goes unnoticed.
Bad posture can potentially lead to other issues in later stages of life. Fortunately we have found studies that not only teach ways to correct posture but that also show that dancing is extremely helpful in this endeavor.
While dancing, posture is of high importance as slouched shoulders can ruin lines and restrict the body from fully performing a move or sequence. Research states that many dancers have been able to correct their posture with continued practice and specific exercises.
How to Improve Posture with Dancing
Dancers learn visually, which is why instructors often dance along with them while teaching them. Because dancers learn visually, they are more likely to mimic the exact body position that their instructor is demonstrating. Showing students proper posture while teaching is important, as they will mimic what they are shown.
Stretching is beneficial as it helps one become more aware of their body. For dancers, shoulder and chest stretches have proven effective for those who slouch forward. Core exercises are also useful as they strengthen the abdominal muscles, and the back. These forms of exercise are learned and typically executed not only at the beginning of a class but throughout various dance moves.
It is important to teach dancers that they must pay attention to their posture outside of dance class as well. Habits are difficult to break and often, it requires one to actively change their brain and place goals in their conscious.
Dance instructors monitor posture but so can dancers themselves. The benefit of practicing within a dance studio is that dancers view themselves from the full wall mirrors in front of them. This helps dancers study exactly how their bodies are performing. The mirror, alongside visual comparisons to instructors and other students, will push a dancer to correct their positioning to be more uniform with everyone else; this includes adjusting their posture.
Dancers can change bad posture by forcing themselves to sustain proper positions and strength in their daily activities. Sitting up straight while eating meals with their backs pressed against a chair is a good example of this. While texting or watching television, sitting upright while watching screens will also be advantageous.
Dancers should stretch regularly. Outside of dance class, performing stretches that they have learned is a positive step to change. Breaking a habit with active, regulated effort will not only make it easier to stop, but the results are more likely to be long lasting. It is important to correct unhealthy patterns and habits while we have the knowledge, strength and tools to do so.