Dance Well, Live Well

Wellness blog for dance medicine, holistic health, and more

Repost from May 2021

Look Beyond Muscle for Platinum Performance

As much as we love dance and depend on muscle strength and flexibility to do what we love, our bodies have a secret...

...skeletal muscles, bones, and joints are not our body's highest priority for safety and life functions.

I know. That's a tough one to swallow, but it's the truth. So, how can that help us with dance? By knowing that sometimes a more dominant body system may be holding back our performance.

Take this picture here. This a student that signed up for a private session from us during a weekend workshop. This is not at our clinic in Arizona, so we only met with this dancer one time. We were able to get this change in about 15 minutes of actual work. How did we do it? By looking beyond the muscle.

This dancer was frustrated with the height of her arabesque and wanted her leg higher (though I would have killed for her lower arabesque when I was dancing, lol). After asking a few questions, I discovered that she also experienced upset stomach and constipation. Nothing reduces back flexibility more than a clogged up belly. It tightens the intestines and doesn't allow the digestive system to elongate sufficiently to allow the back to arch or the hips to open up. So what did I do to get her arabesque higher?

I massaged her belly.

No exercises. No back stretches. No therabands. Just a belly rub. And voilà, higher arabesque.

So if you or your dancer is struggling with mobility, strength, or something else in their performance, check to see if there are any digestive, menstrual or bathroom issues presently or in the past. It may be holding them back from dancing their best.

Next steps: if a simple belly self belly massage helps improve any performance a functional assessment of the abdominal systems (digestive, reproductive, urinary) could further improve performance. Feel free to contact us at and ask about an assessment at our Phoenix clinic or online and let us help you create a plan to fully achieve your dance goals.

As always, know that we can help and we are here for you. 
Our mission is to help everyone who reaches out to us live their most amazing life. 
But we can't help, if you don't let us know you need us.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Not a dancer?  No problem.  We can help you too. Click HERE.

AZ Dance Medicine Specialists | 602.730.4159