What Is Posture?

By Amy Pronovost

Posture is the characteristic way of bearing one’s body.  It is the manner in which the body is held upright against gravity while sitting, standing or lying down.

What is ideal posture?

Ideal posture involves a minimal amount of stress and is conducive to maximum efficiency of the body.  It requires the least amount of muscular energy since all opposing muscle groups are in a state of balance.  The natural curves of the spine are preserved and the bones of the lower extremities are in proper alignment for weight bearing.

How does ideal postural alignment relate to dance technique?

Since the efficiency of movement is greatest with proper alignment there is less effort and strain to achieve good technique.  Before each exercise imagine an invisible plumb line running through the center of the body.  The ears should be in line with the shoulders, the shoulders in line with the hips, the hips in line with the knees and the knees in line with the ankles.  The weight of the body should be in the center of the foot.  As movement begins imagine the plumb line staying in the center of the body.  The image of the plumb line is particularly important while turning and jumping as proper alignment is essential for shock absorption.


Next Topic- Common postural deviations


References: Muscles, Testing and Function 4th Edition 1993 written by Florence Kendall