Ballroom Technique – Take Notice of …
Ballroom & Latin American Poise
In the book “The Ballroom Technique” of Imperial Soсiety of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), based on Alex Moore’s “Revised Technique” (last edition in 1994) we can find a description of Ballroom Poise.
The book says:
Stand in a natural upright position with knees slightly flexed, body inclined forward from the ankles, braced at the waist with shoulders relaxed at normal level, and with no tension in the chest, body weight forward over the balls of feet with the feet flat.
The poise as Lady will be the same as described for Man, except that she would be poised slightly backwards from the waist. This backward poise must not be exaggerated.“
Let’s take a look at another internationally reknown book “Technique of Ballroom Dancing” by Guy Howard (last edition in 2011, used by IDTA):
Stand in an upright position, body braced at the waist, with the weight held forward towards the balls of the feet, shoulders relaxed and head erect. The knees should be held very slightly flexed.
Stand in an upright position, body braced at the waist, upper part of body and head poised slightly back and a little to the left. Weight held over the balls of the feet with knees held very slightly flexed.“
As we can see from the abovementioned the first and foremost thing in a dancer’s poise is an upright position! What does it mean?
Naturally our spine has got two major arches: in a neck and in a lower back. So to achieve the required upright position we should literarely get rid of these two arches (as much as possible).
The only way to create this effect is to pull the abdomen in and up and stretch the spinal column in two opposite directions at once (up and down)!
As for the poise in Latin American dances, the principle remains the same!
The book of ISTD “Latin American” (Sixth Edition) says:
Stand with feet apart, facing partner about 15cms (6 inches) apart, with the head erect, the body naturally upright and the shoulders down.“
No matter what type of action you create in the body, an upright position of the body should be maintained at all times & the rotation (especially in the hips) should happen around the vertical line of the spinal column.
Otherwise we see a lot of pot-bellies, arched lower backs & sticking out (prominent) bums etc… flopping over the dance floor!
The right poise: