Amazing Irish dance posture. You notice it as soon as a dancer steps onto the stage.
In our posture blog series, we started breaking down Irish dance posture by first, outlining the importance of core and hip stability and strength. Once your core is literally and figuratively set, we can move outward to work on your shoulders and keeping your arms by your side. Lastly, we need to focus on keeping your arms straight by using your triceps muscle.
The triceps are a muscle on the top, back of your arm whose principle responsibility is to straighten your arm by extending the elbow joint. For Irish dancers, this muscle is important if you have the tendency to bend your elbow throughout your dances. Both muscle strength and endurance is important in this muscle to ensure that your arms can stay straight, but also stay straight through your entire dance!
Grab a long resistance band and step on one end. Hold the other end behind your head keeping your elbow close to your head. Extend the arm straight, then slowly lower it behind your head.
COMMON ISSUES WITH IRISH DANCE POSTURE
There are several common issues we see when dancers are working on posture that can be addressed in other ways outside of what’s been discussed in the newsletter. Here’s a few you may be struggling with.
Arms moving or hunching on high kicks, clicks or big jumps like leaps
For many dancers, this is most likely a flexibility issue or a power issue. Meaning, you need to develop more of the necessary strength and flexibility to lift your leg high for that click. But because you don’t yet possess that, your body will compensate by bending, twisting or swinging your arms out.
Twisting in treble sequences or when you try to cross over
Although you will receive comments on your posture when this happens, for many dancers, working on their crossover will do the trick. Make sure your body has enough strength in the adductors (inner thighs) and flexibility on the lateral (outside) of your hip to cross over along with ample stability through your core. If you don’t, your body will compensate by twisting through your waist, causing your arms and shoulders to twist.
Posture is great when you start. But then it start to go as you get tired.
If this is the case, it sounds like you’re off to a good start! Now you need to work on muscle endurance so your body can sustain proper posture through your entire dance. Work longer strength sets of all your exercises to match the length of your rounds.
READY FOR GUIDED POSTURE VIDEOS?
If you’ve enjoyed these newsletters and are feeling fired up to start improving your posture, head over to the Target Training Online Institute and get started with the 30 Day Posture Challenge! This 30-Day Challenge includes guided workout videos and a calendar outlining exactly which videos to do every day for 30 days for better posture.
And get your FIRST MONTH FREE!
Not training with us yet on the TT Online Institute? Your first month of training with the "Trainer" level subscription is FREE with the code 1MONTHFREE. Get started at institute.targettrainingdance.com