Both flexibility and strength are needed to perform a dance to its
full potential, and a dancer should always be trying to improve their
own flexibility and strength. Flexibility involves increasing muscular
elasticity so that the range of mobility from a joint will increase.
Individual structural differences like the shape of the bone will
affect the range of motion/flexibility. Strength is the capacity to
exert a muscle contraction against resistance. Contraction is the
opposite muscle action to that of stretching. A strong body moves
freely, efficiently and above all safely. The aim is all round
strength, not the overdevelopment of certain muscle groups. As you can
see from these definitions, both of these elements are needed for a
good dancer. As Mary Wigman said on strength, 'The dynamic force of
movement wherein lies the life force of dance.'
Flexibility may come naturally to a dancer through inheritance, or
they may have to work on their flexibility, either way they could both
reach the same level of flexibility. There are however, other factors
which may influence flexibility, a few are, gender, age, body
temperature and training. Advantages of muscular flexibility are,
· Protects joints
· Increases the range of possible skills
· Improves the quality of action
· Maintains a healthy musculature
· Prevents injury.
All of the above things make a good dancer which is why flexibility is
a very important factor of dance.
Strength can also come naturally to a dancer but is easier to improve
than flexibility if it does not come naturally. As flexibilit...
... middle of paper ...
...ich will loosen the muscles
and joints which will increase the effectiveness of the programme on
the muscles. This warm-up should include using every muscle in the
body as it all needs to be warmed up. One way of increasing strength
is to devise a weight training programme. This would consist of using
a gym and the equipment there to increase the muscular strength. Most
weight training, is isotonic which means the muscle is shortening
(moving) to produce movement. Another way is to use, for example a
wall and use it to resist against. This would be isometric training,
which is where the muscle is resisting and increasing strength, but
not actually moving. The best way for a dancer to train, is to use a
bit of both of these methods. This is because a dancer needs all round
strength and using both of these would do that.
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