When we see a dancer dancing what over flows is strength, flexibility, stamina, muscle control and lot more. All this is not a day’s job, it takes years of training to develop this finesse in one’s body. A dancer goes through various training to develop these skills in his or her body. Dancer and their movement are not only about grace and complicated and pretty elegant steps, for a dancer it is also important to have control of the steps and their body. I see many dancers and students who come to the class wanting to learn a new step for the day. They pick up the steps really fast, but when it comes to performing the same step, they are shaky and wobble also many a times they fall on their partners dues top lack of control.
Body control is an element every keen dancer should master. Once you attain body control, you can add moves and broaden your choreographic choices. Even if you just want to dazzle your friends on the dance floor of a local club, enhanced body control can make you a better performer. A dancer with good body control looks stronger in their footwork and knowledge of dance.
Watch videos of break dancers to get a good idea of what this body style should look like when executed properly. Developing body control is not an easy task, it requires rehearsals apart from regular dance practice. Once a dancer achieves the control of the body, then its smooth sailing ahead for them. I have listed below a few instructions that helped me get body control for my self, I am sharing the same with you, hoping that all the enthusiastic dance lovers who read my column can gain out of this.
1: Do some preliminary stretches to loosen the body and prepare for dancing. Concentrate on loosening the hip joints and shoulders, the body parts that need the most control during a dance.
2: Find music with a definitive beat, such as hip hop, 80’s retro music or even clear tabla beats. Position the bottom part of your body in one place, while only moving your upper body from side to side. Concentrate on keeping your hips and legs firmly in place while maintaining fluidity in the upper body. This is called isolation of body, which is every important for a dancer.
3: Reverse the control, and move your hips while keeping your upper body in a frozen position. Isolate the muscles in the shoulders and chest to prevent them from moving while trying to achieve maximum fluidity in your lower body.
4: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 while isolating other, various parts of the body and moving others fluidly. Practice in front of a full length mirror, and take note of body parts that seem to be uncomfortable or out of place during the movement. Being aware of how your body moves can help you to control it while you dance.
5: Take classical dance classes that emphasize control over the musculature of the body. Try muscle isolating exercise routines, such as yoga and pilates, to become more attuned to the way your body moves. Also do core strengthening exercise they also help a lot in body control.
I am sure if a dancer follows the above tips rigorously and religiously they will surely benefit from it to gain good and strong body control. Like the famous danseuse Mallika Sarabhai puts it “A dancer is a dancer when they have control over their body movements and every expression”.
Sandip Soparrkar is a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with two National Achievement Award and one National Excellence Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org