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Posture Talk

The best way to start 2007 is to hold yourself up high! Walk with confidence; it says a great deal about you. How to do this? Good posture.

Most of us walk with slumped shoulders, belly sticking out, chin tilted down, and buttocks pushing outward. Just thinking about it, makes my body hurt! Now mind you, I donít practice good posture everyday, but when I do, my body feels great.

Exercise is a great way to improve posture. For instance, when jogging, keeping your torso lifted, means less stress on your legs. Speed and breathing is improved, simply because of posture.

To get a feel of what correct posture is, stand against the wall. Feet are hip width apart, and knees slightly bent. Pretend that there is a string being pulled from top of your head, like a puppet. Feel that lengthening of the spine. Make sure your back is not arched. That creates strain and possible injury. If there is a gap between the wall and your lower back, then you are not doing it right. Tilt the pelvis forward to close the gap.

As for the shoulders, keep them lifted. How lifted? Bend your elbows, so that your arms come inward. Hands should be palms facing down, as if you are pushing something towards the ground. The elbows should be lifted to create a ninety degree angle, that is the side of your torso and your folded arm. Extend the arms outward, gently drop the arms to your sides. That is how your shoulders should be.

Walk away from the wall and walk around for awhile. Squeezing the buttocks helps maintain your confident walk. Because you are in correct posture, no body part should be out of alignment, nor should there be any stress on your back and legs.

As dancers, it is important to focus on posture to prevent injury and to display grace in your performance. A dancer who appears to have poor posture hurts herself, and hides her beauty. On the other hand, a dancer who stands tall, reveals elegance.

When you dance, donít forget about posture. If you find yourself so concentrated on that figure eight, you probably forgot about everything else (including your smile). Have a friend or family member watch you to check if you get too relaxed.

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