• SkunkWorks Dance

Dance is not one size fits all.

#WednesdayWisdomSW No person is the same, so why should training be?

Often when growing up in dance classes, I would hear teacher's say blanket statements such as "find your hips square" or "place your knees over your toes." While these physical cues are generally what you want to be doing as a dancer, they do not take into consideration the limitless variants of the human body.

While concepts such as find your hips to the front ("being square") or making sure you are not over pushing back your feet to give the illusion of turnout (not aligning your feet with your knees) are mostly on the right track anatomically, to abide by them as if they were law can be quite damaging to a dancers body.

As you can find out from current dance anatomy classes, every body is quite unique. For example, some artist's have a bone structure where their feet are actually more "turned out" than their natural turnout. In this case, forcing them into the same line could be extremely hurtful to the way their body is built.

Well known dance techniques can be a great guideline for class, but as I just mentioned, it is important to treat them as such. The more one knows about current human anatomy, and how it relates to dance the more you understand that each body presents it's own needs. I personally believe as a dance instructor it is imperative that we recognize these structural differences and train to the individual not just what the "rule book" just says.

- Jana Bennett, SkunkWorks Dance Founder and Director

Do you think that traditional dance techniques should be viewed more like guidelines than rules? Why? We want to hear from you!

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