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Friday, September 7, 2012

How to achieve the perfect line with Dr. Blessyl

I've been recently watching a lot of So You Think You Can Dance  and there are many technical dancers this season. To own a strong technical foundation coupled with the ability to authentically express and move with purpose is what every dancer should strive for.  Without one or the other, it is difficult to seamlessly get your message across to an audience and your visual pictures fall flat.

A good friend of mine who has helped me with some of my own injuries and has pro-actively offered me tips on improving my technique is Blessyl Buan, B. Kin (Hons), DC, Dip, Ac, Pilates.  She practices chiropractic, medial acupuncture and rehabilitative Pilates, and is a pro at getting to the root of any problem.  Her passion to educate and prevent injuries for the performing artist can be seen right when she starts talking to you about it and her eyes immediately light up (and your thinking are you really that excited to help me with getting my kick higher?!) And she is. Really.

She has offered to share some tips on how dancers can improve their flexibility at any level whether your a hip hop dancer trying to learn jazz or ballet technique or even if your already a pro competitive dancer.

Achieving the perfect line: Demystifying flexibility and good "centre" 

Dancers traditionally focus on flexibility to show off the most impressive line.  Yet, flexibility alone will  not achieve impeccable technique.  If a dancer has a poor "centre", the achieved flexibility will not be showcased on stage or at an audition.  A kick is really the product of achieved flexility and the stability of the spine and pelvis to generate power in the gesturing leg.  This is why some dancers may have excellent flexibility during a warm up but when they perform, they don't have the same joint range.

Here are some tips to develop power and strength to your dance technique:

1. Follow a core conditioning program outside of the studio.  Pilates, C-I Training and The Franklin Method are examples of core training that translates to dance

2. Visualize and understand the intention of the movement in order to develop effective core stability

3. Be aware of your breath and tension in your body.  Shallow breathing prevents the diaphragm from dropping downwards during inhalation and puts tension on the deep hip flexors, resulting in reduced flexibility in the hip joint

It's a hard habit to break, but once you make the shift, your legs will be "killer" on stage.

Dr. Blessyl will deliver a lecture on "Achieving the Perfect Line" at the 5th annual Healthy Dancer Canada conference, Sunday September 16, 2012 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver.

Check out more of Dr. Blessyl on her facebook and twitter.


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