Correct body alignment is a basic fundamental in dance. One of the first lessons you will learn in any style of dance is how to hold and align your body properly. Body alignment is important for your physical health and strength as well as balance and agility in dance. It is a concept that you will continually work on and improve.
Good balance is one of the most immediate effects of proper body alignment. In dance, you must learn to balance in many unnatural positions. To learn how to balance on the ball of one foot, you must align your body neatly over that foot. Balance is often taught by having dancers imagine stacking their body parts up directly over the point of balance. One body part slightly out of alignment will throw you completely off balance and cause you to fall out of position.
Agility is an effect of good balance, which is an effect of proper body alignment. Therefore, aligning the body properly will allow you to do multiple turns, leaps, jumps, and many other physically challenging moves. It will allow you to move quickly in and out of different positions as well as in a slow and controlled way.
In order to be a strong dance partner, you must first be able to hold your own body in the proper position. Whether you are doing ballroom dance,which demands a firm and stable upper carriage, or contemporary dance with lifts, you need to be aware of holding and using your own weight in the partnership. Some turns and lifts will require you to counter balance with your partner, while others will require a firm frame that allows you to communicate physically with your partner in terms of leading and following.
A dancer's body experiences more wear and tear than the average person's body does. With that comes a responsibility to take extra care of your body, both on and off the dance floor. Holding your body in proper alignment and using good posture is as important walking down the street as it is doing a pirouette. This will help keep unwanted stress off of your joints and muscles. The stress that is caused by moving out of alignment can cause muscle fatigue and injury.
Using proper body alignment will improve your dancing from the inside out, and also from the outside in. You will appear more confident and graceful in your dancing, and you will feel that way as well. With a move as simple as walking across the stage, proper alignment will allow you to have a strong and commanding presence.