Maintaining your posture in Salsa is one of the golden rules of leading or following.
Most people are unaware of the issues bad body posture causes, which is why few spend the time to correct it.
In this post, you’ll find out why proper posture is so critical to becoming a successful Salsa dancer and how you can fix your bad habits so you can start reaping the benefits that will take your Salsa to the next level.
Why Good Posture Matters in Salsa
The benefits of good body posture open the doors to looking, feeling and dancing better than ever before. By improving your Salsa posture you’ll be able to execute more difficult patterns, improve the overall success rate of your moves and become a more enjoyable partner to dance with.
Benefits of Having Proper Salsa Posture
- Your leading signals will become more clear
- You’ll become more responsive to your partner
- Your movement will become more efficient
- Dancing will start to feel smoother, getting closer to that elusive effortless flow you’ve always imagined
- Your balance will improve, making your timing more accurate
- You’ll be able to relax your elbows, allowing your arms to manoeuvre efficiently during complicated arm work
- Your physical presence will become stronger
- You’ll Lower your risk of shoulder and back injuries
Now that you know the importance of good Salsa posture, let’s talk about how you can tell if you’re guilty of some nasty habits.
Signs of Poor Posture and an Unstable Spine
Discovering you’re part of the problem, is the first step to the solution. Here are three easy ways to tell if you have bad posture while Salsa dancing:
- You use your arm strength to push or pull your partner
- You have a poor reaction to your partner’s cues and can never seem to respond properly
- Your shoulders are hunched
- You have trouble maintaining your frame
Correcting Your Salsa Body Posture
An easy way to correct your Salsa posture (and one of Patrick’s favourite tips) is to stand up with your back against a wall keeping your butt, shoulder blades and head flat against it (see 1:30 in the video above). If you have a difficult time keeping everything touching the wall, keep adjusting your position until you find a better fit. Once you’ve stood against the wall for a minute or so, step away and try maintaining your posture as you walk around the room. Be sure to keep a neutral spine and avoid having a chicken headed neck position.
How To Create Healthy Postural Habits
Other great times to practice your posture are when you’re walking around your house or driving a car. Whenever you decide it’s time to practice, keep these Salsa posture tips in mind:
1. Always stand tall
It should feel like there is an imaginary string gently pulling from the top of your head towards the ceiling.
2. Keep a neutral spine
Don’t tilt your pelvis or arch your lower back. Squeeze that butt and keep your lower abs slightly engaged.
3. Set your shoulders
Place them slightly back and down towards your hips. Avoid shrugging your shoulders forwards. Strengthening your upper back (with rowing type exercises) can help maintain your posture in the long run.
How Posture Helps You Maintain a Solid Frame
Your posture is the foundation of your frame. Without good posture, your frame will be easier to compromise. Think of your frame as an extension of your posture. It includes your arms, elbows and shoulders and needs to stay in tact at all times while dancing.
For more info on improving your frame and how it affects your partner connection, watch this video. We’ll introduce you to the concept of 3 Centers and give you some helpful tips on how to gauge how much hand pressure to give your Salsa partner when dancing.