I have come across many dancers over the years. Everyone has their unique sets of challenges to overcome. The biggest and most common challenge in India I have come across till date is the posture of dancers, specially girls. I have taught a lot of female dancers over the years and I have seen this more and more strikingly.
There is an innate societal problem when it comes to India. When the girls turn 13 or 14 years of age, there are visible changes that occur in the body. Your chest starts developing, your hip bones start growing wider and your body starts gaining shape. The girls are extremely conscious and uncomfortable about these changes. Which is exactly when we start developing a bad posture. Most of the times, the changes in our body are not well received. It gets unwanted attention from guys, we suddenly start receiving a bunch of instructions from elders on how to sit, how to stand, what not to wear, etc. There is a lot of body shaming, teasing and a whole list of do’s and don’ts for girls in this country. As a result, we don’t have a good image of our body, rather we resent it.
Girls hunch their backs and droop their shoulders subconsciously to hide the visible changes. This is the biggest hazard in a dancer’s posture. Without a good posture, we’re going to be sluggish and put limitations on our movements.
We need a good posture to be able to move swiftly. Without which; apart from the aesthetic appeal as a dancer, quick weight transfer, swift movement and fast body reflexes is hard to achieve. Most importantly, a good posture will give you a lot of confidence as a dancer as well as a person.
A good posture is something we have to actively work on, especially in our society where we’re so conscious with our bodies. Because there is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing which is unnatural and nothing which others haven’t gone through. We have to take efforts to get out of bad habits of bad postures. It is our own body, it is a part of us and everything regarding our body is very natural and beautiful! We have to not just be comfortable with our body, but love it and nurture it.
Don’t be afraid to stand straight, with your shoulders back and your head help high. We can use our body the way we want, touch our body without feeling ashamed, move our body without hesitation; let it reach its maximum potential and use it to our advantage to become an excellent dancer.
Make a promise to yourselves to make a change in your posture. Take it up as a challenge because once you overcome it, you can kick ass at being a dancer! Don’t worry about how you are going to look. If you are confident about your body, whatever you do is going to be beautiful, no matter what!
Founder / Principal Instructor
Latin Dreamers Dance Project