Having addressed the Cervical and Thoracic spines in previous installments, we now turn our attention to the lower three sections of the vertebral column. Learn about the lumbar spine, intervertebral discs, the sacrum, coccyx, and get a quick and dirty list of the 3 big take-away points about ‘the stemb of aplomb,’ the spine.
While the image of a rubber band is useful in demonstrating the elastic nature of muscles in the stretch reflex, it’s not always as simple as the stretch/recoil and stretch-farther/less-recoil that we gain from thinking of muscles simply as rubber bands.
Since dance is the art of motion, in order to become a proficient dancer one must understand how the body moves from the inside; how the muscles and bones work to leap, turn, kick, stretch and fold. A pretty sophisticated idea for a young dancer. Since learning is a layered experience, introducing the concepts of anatomy now will allow them to build upon this foundation in the future.
Too much tension in the musculature around the hip joint is often responsible for limiting the degree of turnout. Therefore, releasing that tension is key if you’d like to improve outward (and inward) rotation. Tight inward rotators inhibit outward rotation and visa versa. Dancers have varying methods which they use to accomplish release in the hips. Some use passive and lengthening stretches and others utilize props like balls to facilitate an opening within the joint.