Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Im hoping that everyone will share the tips and visualizations they use when talking about the posture. One of my Level Two girls, who is quite a strong dancer otherwise, just cant get the chest lift. She is in a backbend instead, and while her chest is lifted, shes leaning back. Ive explained to her the difference, and shown it on my own body for her, and with hers, but I dont think its clicking. Ive also asked her to stretch up taller to the ceiling, and recently, to think about bringing her chest to the front edge of the room where the ceiling meets the wall (when I watch her from the side, this is the angle that I want her to move in). br/br/I know that when I started out, sometimes I just needed to hear a concept expressed a certain way, which might be the 10th way Id heard it, before it really clicked - so what visualizations or cues do you use for the posture, particularly the chest lift?
Originally posted by Icy (icyjazzy) aka Bumble Bee Butt on tribe.net.I use the ballroom dance posture as the example at times and that seems to click as an image....reminding the ladies of the ladies posture in most of the ball room dances have to be tipped up slightly because usually their partner is taller than them. If that helps?
Originally posted by Sandi on tribe.net.Well, my guess is that since she is leaning back, shes using her abs to do it. Her abs should not be part of the chest lift at all. The contraction is in the mid back - mid trapezius and serratus posterior. I know that is not a visualization, but maybe if she takes the abdominal contraction out of it, it might taper down the backward lean. Hard to say without actually seeing her.
Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.Yes, and I think a good chest lift exercise to get use to the muscle contraction is to expand the diaphram as you breath in and contracting said mid-back muscles... as you keep the chest lifted slowly breath out, and then slowly lower the chest. Repeat.
Originally posted by Jaki on tribe.net.a couple things that may help....br/br/* as Carrie said, the chest lift is similar to taking a deep breathbr/br/* visualize a string tied to the top of your sternum and someone pulling it UP, rather than backbr/br/* if you (and she) are comfortable, put your hands on her shoulders/back to stop the movement backwards. Whenever Ive had a student who just didnt get a concept with visual, it always helped to do a physical demonstration on their body.
Originally posted by Tash on tribe.net.I had a teacher tell me to stand against a wall and do chest lifts, while not removing anything else from the wall but my uper back. So far its helped me, maybe it would help your student?
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Thanks everyone! These are all really helpful. Its one of those things where I can see the problem, and know what needs to happen, but explaining it to her in a way that clicks hasnt happened yet. Im glad to have more descriptions to add to my arsenal.br/br/Interestingly enough - this morning she sent me an email saying she is signing up for 2 classes/wk for the next session because her massage therapist told her she needs to dance more. Apparently she is seeing compression in her back, around her thoracic spine - as soon as I read that, I though "thats the problem." That description totally clicks with the way I see her holding herself. Her massage therapist things dance will help, and wants her to get to yoga, too - and I agree! Looking forward to seeing her progress over the next while.br/br/Thanks again!
Originally posted by MissTrixsta on tribe.net.Hi Jennifer,br/br/Unfortunately I cant remember where I heard this visualisation, but its always stuck in my mind:br/Imagine you are sitting upright on a sofa (no slouching!). Place your arms on the back of that sofa - this should lift your chest. As you lower your arms keep the chest lift and ta da... there you are!!! br/br/Hope that helps!
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Ooooh, love it. 🙂 Thanks!
Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Just because Im curious, is anyone else getting a live advert playing each time they open this thread? For some dishwasher product?
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.YES AND I CANT GET IT TO STOP. That is some pretty evil advertising. Thats what the mute button is for on the keyboard, I guess.
Originally posted by katie on tribe.net.Hi Jennifer,br/br/Your latest post (about the massage therapists recommendation) is on the right track. I was going to write with my own experience as a Rolfer, yoga practitioner and ATS dancer. I encounter this situation often with clients and students. br/br/While the search for better imagery is essential, for some people a visualization alone isnt sufficient because theres a real structural limitation that prevents them from embodying the image. Because they have limited range of motion in the thoracic spine, the instruction to assume dance posture automatically is taken into the lumbar spine (where they are more flexible than in the mid-back), which leads to leaning back. Lengthening the front of the torso and lifting the chest seems only to happen by robbing the back of length. So I really recommend whatever yoga or stretching can help open the back ribs and dorsal hinge. Long, deep, slow, breath-full forward bends, for example, where the sternum leads the action and the head and neck are not working hard. Seated and standing twisting poses that bring mobility to the mid-thoracic and teach us to become aware of, and isolate, movement at different levels in the spine. Appropriate back-bending poses such as cobra, upward dog, and bolstered supine poses to open the chest. Etc. (And of course, a plug for my own profession -- bodywork that releases the fascial holding helps tremendously too.)br/br/As far as imagery, it really helps to remind your student that the sides and back (the whole corset) must lift and support the frame as much as the front, since people with her structure just find it too easy to lift the only the front and compromise the back. So make sure she feels what thats like. I take hold of peoples back from behind; with broad palms and a strongly lifting /supporting grasp beneath their lower ribs, make them walk around with me holding them there, so that they cant collapse or lean back. They usually feel strange at first, like theyre leaning forward, but then are surprised to learn that this is actually "upright." And, on a more subtle level, any energetic exercises that can bring awareness into the back body can help. "Breathing into your kidneys so that they puff out like little balloons" or "bringing breath into the back of the lungs so that the back ribs lift and open like venetian blinds" are instructions I often give clients. These of course are Rolfing clients who are generally on the table or seated, but I believe once you grasp the body-memory you can take these images into dance. br/br/An EXCELLENT resource which I use a lot in my work is the book "Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery" by Eric Franklin. He is a dancer and its written for dancers to enhance our visualizing power and awareness. Fascinating and wonderful and very helpful.br/a href=http://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Alignment-Through-Imagery-Franklin/dp/0873224752 title=www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Al.../0873224752www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Al.../0873224752/abr/br/Good luck! It is a slow process of re-training neurology and musculature and habit but it will happen.br/
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Wow, Katie, thank you so much. I will look into the book for sure, and read through everything else youve said more carefully so I can help her out. I totally understand the thing about leaning forward - I was recently told by a body worker that I am *always* in dance posture, and I need to remind myself to let go of the chest lift when I am outside of class/the stage. 😉 Of course, to me, that feels like leaning forward, but I can see in a mirror, and I understand, that its not, so it is starting to feel more normal to me. I think being able to relate on that note will help me be able to help her.
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