Technique can determine the success of a dancer’s career and aid in landing a lead role. Jacqui Haas, former professional ballet dancer and athletic trainer for the Cincinnati Ballet, says dancers can gain an edge over the competition by understanding basic anatomy and receiving proficient technique training. In Dance Anatomy (Human Kinetics, 2010), Haas explains how to improve technique by understanding how muscles are used in executing dance movements and combinations.
“The barre work is not just a series of pliés and tendus but an organization of your body,” Haas explains. “You need to understand the actions of the muscle groups that create the various combinations of dance positions. For example, the muscles that create extension of a joint must contract throughout the whole range. If you are not sure which muscles create the extension, how can you possibly execute that combination effectively?”
Dance Anatomy offers over 200 four-color anatomical illustrations that highlight major muscles in action. The illustrations feature step-by-step instructions that convey the perfect posture and form for 82 exercises. Haas also highlights proper muscular awareness, appropriate alignment, breathing tips, and keys to remaining injury free.
“The exercises in Dance Anatomy put practical thought into dance work without compromising the beauty of the art form,” Haas says. “You can use the book as a tool for understanding corrections and the mechanics of body movements.”
For more information see Dance Anatomy.