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Corrective alignment and injury prevention strategies: Science, somatics or both?

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This article explores the interface between scientific and somatic principles within dance practice. It focuses on the combined use of science and somatic practices to correct alignment, and questions their exclusivity. Maintaining the physical well-being of dancers should take a holistic approach and extricating scientific from somatic principles may not be in the best interest of dancers. This article looks at the epidemiology of injury within dance and discusses the importance of injury prevention to promote dancers' health. It then considers how fundamental somatic principles may be useful in encouraging self-awareness among dancers and further describes how these methods may assist in the prevention of injury. Divergent third-person and first-person experiences are discussed, with reference to how a self-aware, subjective approach to correcting alignment could be a useful integration in to dance practice and enhance the objective approach of rehabilitation and injury prevention taken by injury specialists. With the use of examples of current practical applications of somatics within dance practice, the article concludes with recommendations for further potential applications of somatic principles within the dance class, rehearsal and performance.


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2010-07-01

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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