Are you an ‘armchair dancer’? It’s easy to learn how to improve posture, but do you actually work it into your routine? Like any changes we make in life, it often takes our brain some convincing – and even a little trickery – to build a new habit. The following is a list of possible places and ways you can improve posture without taking up too much mental space. Finally, we wrap up with some tips every upstanding dancer needs to improve posture, and everything connected with it.

When to check your posture

  1. Getting up each morning.
  2. Every time you go through a doorway.
  3. While walking to a destination.
  4. Every time you step onto a dance floor.
  5. Before you start practicing each dance technique
  6. At the social, every time a new song begins.
  7. In a group class, each time you connect with a new partner.
  8. When you reach each corner of a progressive dance (e.g. waltz).
  9. Every time you think of or see a unique colour or object of your choosing.
  10. At the end of a lunch break.

Some Final Tips

  1. Practice yoga – Yoga is ever a good cross-training option for dancers, not least because it strengthens the postural muscles.
  2. Practice good sitting posture – Most of us spend our time sitting in front of a computer, so use an ergonomically sound chair, or at least a small pillow to support the lower back. You can improve posture just by keeping your back in contact with the back of the chair. And elevate your computer if possible, so you can see it without slouching forward.
  3. Take standing breaks – as every dancer knows, the body was meant to move! Improve posture by taking hourly breaks to walk around and stretch a bit.
  4. Lift from the knees – The knees and stomach muscles are designed to carry more then your back (they literally carry your back!) That means bend from the knees and maintain a neutral spine when lifting anything heavy.
  5. Lift close to the chest – It’s easier to carry a backpack then a sandbag. That’s because the backpack melds to your back and gets better support then the sandbag, which tends to distribute weight away from supporting limbs. Lift close to your body, and you can use your muscles more effectively to get the job done.
  6. Sleep straight – What better than a method to improve posture while sleeping? To support a neutral spine, use a body pillow under your knees (if sleeping on back), or between your legs (if sleeping on your side).