How to Improve Your Posture

Improving Your Posture, Both On and Off the Dance Floor

Ballet dancer standing at barre
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Proper posture and body alignment are essential to all dancers. Professional ballroom dancers know that good posture is one of the most important aspects of partner dancing. Having good posture makes ballet dancers appear more elegant and confident. Good posture also improves overall balance and body control. Not only does good posture make you look more confident and alert, slouching or slumping can actually be bad for your body.

How to Stand Taller

Following are a few tips for improving your posture, both on and off the dance floor.

  • Stand with your body weight forward, mostly on the balls of your feet
  • Distribute your body weight evenly between your feet
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Try not to lock your knees
  • Stand tall, with shoulders square and relaxed
  • Keep your head in line with your spine, eyes straight ahead
  • Hold your chin parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your neck long and stretched upward

Why Is Good Posture Important?

Improving your posture will improve your appearance both on and off the dance floor. Dance of all genres can help to improve your posture. Even if you're not a dancer, improving your posture can have positive effects on your body, as well as your social life. But good posture is also important for your health and overall well-being.

Having good posture means your bones are properly aligned. When your bones are in good alignment, your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as they are supposed to. Having good body alignment means that your vital organs are positioned correctly and are functioning the way they should be. Having good posture also helps to encourage normal functioning of the nervous system.

If you lack good posture, your overall health and well-being may be compromised. Over time, your body will start to suffer. Long term effects of poor posture and improper body alignment can affect important body systems including digestion, elimination, and breathing, and body parts such as bones, muscles, joints and ligaments. If you suffer from poor posture, you may often be tired and fatigued or unable to work or move properly.

Good Posture = A Healthy Mind

Good posture helps us thrive in our daily lives. Having good posture affects your frame of mind, but your frame of mind can also affect your posture. When you are healthy and happy, your posture tends to be upright and open, ready to face the challenges of your daily life. However, when you are sad and depressed or in pain, you probably sit or stand slumped over, not even realizing it.

Try this...the next time you feel depressed or anxious about something, try changing your posture. Try to force yourself to stand up straighter and take deep breaths. Good posture actually makes it easier to breathe more fully and completely.