Biomechanics is a field in which engineering principles are applied to biological systems such as that of humans. The aim is to understand structure and function of a specific system. In dancing, biomechanics is extremely important in studying simple and complex dance movements and understanding how muscles and joints function during the whole experience.
One area where biomechanics can help improve is balance and stability. When starting out, a novice dancer will have trouble executing moves that require a lot of balancing. Biomechanics solves this problem by studying the relationship between the body structure and gravity. By making certain changes, such as placing body alignment, a dancer can greatly improve turn stability.
Another important area where biomechanics proves indispensable is injury prevention. For instance, researchers have studied the alignment and angles of various segments of the body during dancing to prevent lower back pain. The segments most studied are the pelvis, lumbar and hips.
2. Physiological Fitness
Some forms of dancing are high intensity while others are much lower, but require more strength and endurance. What is the physiological fitness demanded from a regular dancer?
In studying the correlation between physical fitness and dance technique, researchers have found several things. One, increasing body strength has a positive effect on dancing. Exercises that boost lower body strength have been observed to be more beneficial; and reduced muscular strength has been seen to increase the risk of injury and lower dance technique
A high level of cardiovascular fitness, body endurance and muscle flexibility are regarded as aspects crucial to becoming a professional dancer.
Anything that demands a lot physically from the body, is also expected to demand much nutritionally. This is exactly the case with dancing. Without the right nutritional components, the body cannot meet the tough demands of dancing.
Especially important is a nutrition that meets the energy requirements. The caloric intake of dancers determines how well they are able to handle these requirements. If it is too low, muscle tissue is lost which in turn negatively affects dancing and increases chances of injury. If it is too high, it can cause too much body fat, also increasing the risk of injury.
Other important nutrients include potassium for muscle function, fat for muscle fuel, proteins for muscle repair and various other nutrients for healthy general body function. The professional advice or care of a professional nutritionist is a good way to find out the correct meal plan for you. Adequate fluid intake is necessary to replace the high amount of water lost through sweating.
A dancer’s state of mind is important to achieving the right physical movements and emotional expression. Years of studying the psychology involved in dancing, has helped dance scientists come up with recommendations on how to;
• Create emotion through dancing.
• Stay motivated.
• Communicate with other dancers and flow together.
• Use visualization to gain confidence and improve dancing.
• Understand and deal with the emotional challenges experienced by dancers.
Today, ambitious dancers understand the crucial role psychology plays in the art. They use therapists in dance classes to help them sync the mental and physical aspects of dancing.
We are still in the early stages of dance science. As researchers continue to uncover more facts, the future holds so much promise for dancers. But with what we have learned so far, any beginner dancer can still make a lot of positive progress. This information will also help make dance classes much more effective and safer.