Dance alignment refers to the posture and position of the body while dancing or preparing to dance. Different dance traditions vary in regards to aesthetics, but sound alignment of the body while dancing is essential for every form of dance.
Proper Alignment For Aesthetics
Healthy alignment is key for the execution of choreography. If a ballerina has poor alignment while turning, she will not turn as fast and may fall off balance.
Healthy Alignment for a Healthy Body
Injuries can result from dancing without the awareness of appropriate body alignment. According to Daniel Nagrin, in his book "How to Dance Forever," dancing without proper alignment can lead to a shortened dance career or pain and limited mobility as you age.
The Eye of the Teacher
Classes of almost every style of dance are available on DVD, but these should be used as a supplement to formal class. A qualified dance teacher will help you understand proper dance alignment, which will help you get the most from your independent study.
Many somatic therapies, such as yoga, Pilates and Gyrotonic, can help improve dance alignment.
Proper Alignment at All Stages of Study
According to Eric Franklin, creator of the Franklin Method, correct body alignment improves the posture, muscle tone and length of performing career of dancers.