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Safe Dance Practice – Year 11 Dance

Essay Topic: ,

Safe dance practice is the guidelines and principles put in place to reduce risk of injury and help prolong a dancer’s career. We need an understanding of body placement, kinaesthetic awareness and coordination to perform to our full potential if wanting it to be successful. Dance as an art form is trying to communicate an idea or concept intent to an audience.

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The movement will partially communicate that, but it is how you express the movement that will tell a story. Our core performance choreographed by Miss McKellar to ‘A Woman’s Work’ expresses movements that relate to the lyrics of the song.

These movements use various dance techniques and body skills to portray the concept intent. These dance techniques include body awareness, technique, body articulation, axial movement, locomotor movement, turns, falls, balance and kinaesthetic awareness. All these dance techniques enhance my performance of the dance by reaching out to the viewer so they understand the meaning of the dance. In our core performance, body awareness is the need to develop a full connectivity between the different parts of the body to be able to move with the utmost efficiency while taking risks and maximizing every moment.

In the dance, we use body awareness all throughout the dance. An example of this technique is shown when on the floor, while my left knee is bent in a flexion movement our right leg is extending away from our body in a turned out manner. My torso is contracting over my extended leg while our arms are scooping the negative space around the shape. While in this shape, we need to be aware that our arms are not behind our body as this may cause us to lose balance and stability. In this shape, I try to keep a turned out position and weight placement correct.

If not on balance I could disrupt the line of placement and fall over, causing the line of movement to be distorted. Body awareness refers to safe dance practice by referring to how I am aware of how my body and how it is aligned to perform safe dance movements. Another example of dance technique is body alignment. Body alignment is the stacking of bones to create alignment used for safe dance practice. It is the placement of bones in such a way that increases physiological effectiveness and health. An example of body alignment in our core performance is our starting position.

Our starting position is where our knees are bent and on the ground, and our torso is hinging back. In this position I try to keep my cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae and lumber vertebrae all in line to keep a flat back. If arched, it could end in possible injury to the lumber vertebrae. Body alignment refers to safe dance practice as it plays a major role in dance technique and enhances our concept intent in our major core performance. A locomotor movement is movement that travels from place to place, usually identified by weight transference on the feet.

A turn is a move or a cause to move in a circular direction wholly or partly around an axis or point. Elevation is the action of fact of elevating or being elevated. It is the increase in the amount or level of someone or something. An example of a locomotor movement that involves the movement to turn and use elevation is the turning attitude leap in the second chorus of our core performance. When preparing for this jump I needed to make sure that my knee and foot weren’t misaligned as that could have ended in a possible twist of the ankle.

Another misalignment that could happen is when preparing, I needed to ensure that my feet were aligned and not in an eversion. Whilst on the way down from the attitude leap, it was essential that I articulate my foot to land properly and safely. If I hadn’t landed safely it could have resulted in a knee or ankle injury. During this jump I could have used more elevation to reach my potential in jumping higher and getting my legs into a better attitude leap. When turning in the attitude leap, I need to spot quicker as I was disorientated when I started to move on to the next movement in the phrase.

This shows safe dance practice as I go through the steps that are essential to execute the movement safely and properly. Balance is an even distribution of weight enabling me to remain upright and steady. Control is the ability to employ dance techniques to meet the needs of the core performance. An example of balance and control is after getting up off the floor from rolling, I go into an attitude pivot around myself. This movement requires a lot of control and stability as; if not on balance I could fall and injure myself by rolling in my knee or being completely off balance and falling over.

During this movement I needed to ensure that I stabilised my supporting leg and used counterbalance of my bent attitude leg and diagonal arms to guarantee the safeness and on balance of the movement. Balance and Control are shown in the core performance and are connected to safe dance practice as they show variation from strong and rough to soft and controlled. A fall in dance is an action moving downward, typically slowly and controlled, from a higher level to a lower level. It is an act of falling or collapsing, all the while controlled and making it seem and look easy.

An example of a fall in our core performance is when we hinge back and gracefully fall onto the ground. This movement occurs multiple times as it symbolises being weighed down. This movement takes place by my legs are in a flexion position at the knees and hinging my torso back in a straight line with my cervical, thoracic and lumber spine which creates a straight line from my knees to my head. I then bend my right knee even further and roll through my toes and land on my tibialis anterior and peroneus longus. This movement could cause an injury if I misalign my leg and land on my knee.

This movement shows the techniques used to sustain a fall and is applied to safe dance practice by using numerous muscles to control the landing of a fall. Body articulation is the ability of the dancer to isolate and combine individual body parts to communicate a desired intent. Body articulation is another body skill. Body articulation refers to safe dance practice as I am performing and executing the movement safely. Axial movement is any movement that is anchored to one spot by a body part using only the available space in any direction without losing the initial body contact.

Axial movement can also be called a non-locomotor sequence or movement as it does not travel from one location to another. In my core performance this body skill can be a movement at the start. Just after I get up off the floor and arrange my legs to an open parallel position on rise with my arms reaching to the diagonals above our head. In this position my arms and legs are reaching to the four corners of my shape. In this shape, if not on balance, I can fall or stumble. In my dance I found that I was a little off balance and I needed to fix it before I fell over.

I used my arms and legs as counterbalance and reached up and out of the position so I wasn’t sitting in the shape. I found when I thought this that it helped more than I original thought. Axial movement relates to safe dance practice by using several muscles to prevent any unwanted stumbles and misalignments. During the course of the dance there were many other important dance techniques that were used to portray the concept intent. Strength, endurance, coordination and anatomical structure are more techniques used to enhance my core performance.

All these dance techniques relate to safe dance practice as they all correct basic technique faults to move more safely and efficiently in my core performance. hOne important dance technique that is used to improve yourself and your dance includes strength. Strength corrects technique and rehabilitates any injuries that could have happened during the course of a time period. Strength also improves your performance by strengthening your muscles. In order for me to use this strength in my dance I need to work up to it. Various exercises are used to build up strength and over time it will increase your durability and overall strength.

Endurance is another technique that is used throughout the dance. Endurance is the capacity of something to last or withstand wear and tear. It is the fact or power of enduring a difficult process without giving up or giving away. Developing endurance is important in my core performance for the reason in that it tries to avoid muscle exhaustion and the potential risk of an injury. Muscle exhaustion can be circumvented by performing repeated movements such as rising, bends, and repeating sequences for gradual improvement over a period of time.

Coordination is the process or state of coordinating or being coordinated. It is having a sense of direction and to have control over many movements. In the core performance coordination is needed greatly as there were many different and rapid direction changes and quick steps and movements. Without a sense of coordination I would have been completely disorientated and possibly fallen due to me being confused and mixed-up with the directions. Flexibility refers to the range of motion possible at a given joint determined by the lengthening and elongation of muscles and fibres.

Flexibility was required to do the core performance properly as there were many moments in the dance that required the flexibility of one self to properly execute the movement. Safe dance practice enhances my core performance dance by adding to the choreography dance techniques in order to personalise the dance. Safe dance practice is the guidelines and principles put in place to reduce risk of injury and help prolong a dancer’s career. Dance as an artform is how you try to communicate an idea or concept intent across to an audience.