Donna Krasnow
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York Dance

INTERMEDIATE

The importance of body conditioning for dance, athletics, and daily life is becoming increasingly more recognized and valued, by teachers, artistic directors, coaches, and medical practitioners. Muscular strength and endurance, as well as flexibility can improve performance, aid in injury prevention, and enhance aesthetic beauty. However, for these changes in the body’s physique to be beneficial, it is crucial that the brain learns how to “speak” to the muscles so that they are organized in more efficient ways. This is called neuromuscular repatterning, or motor recruitment. When we dance, or move about in daily life, it is rare that single muscles achieve a task; rather, it is the complex organization of multiple muscle groups that must be achieved. We refer to this as “body integration,” and it is the job of the brain to establish patterns of muscle use that involve core support, balanced muscle function, and the right amounts of muscle tension to optimize the movement without undue stress.

The goal of the intermediate video is to expand on the exercises learned in the beginning video for muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, while incorporating imagery and visualization techniques. Additionally, this video places an emphasis on flexibility training. When we think of flexibility, we often think of aesthetics, that is, improving the body’s range of motion for larger movement potential, higher leg extensions, and more expressive spines. However, flexibility can also aid in injury prevention in a variety of ways. First, it can reduce resistance in muscles that cause antagonist muscles to overwork and fatigue. Second, it can release tension in muscles that are used constantly in dance, such as the outward rotators in the hip, or the quadriceps. This intermediate video is an excellent way to continue work on core support and body integration, while increasing the flexibility of the system.





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