Conditioning for Dancers

Conditioning for Dancers book
Tom Welsh's book Conditioning for Dancers is a great addition to my library of books for dance and I would recommend it to teachers and dancers. It is well structured into logical sections and there are really useful study guides throughout for checking learning and understanding. The chapter on alignment provides very clear ways of thinking about and analysing alignment in dancers. It reminds us of key alignments and importantly that:

'whatever the position of the legs, the centres of the knees should align with the centres of the feet so the ankle and knee joints can both hinge without twisting'

This is vital for teachers to draw attention to when students are forcing turnout by twisting their knees or feet. This chapter offers a lot of excellent guidance and understanding about achieving proper alignment. The illustrations and pictures are useful, especially if you find the visual stuff makes it all crystal clear. I am a great fan of using relaxation techniques with dancers and so the chapter on improving endurance and releasing tension is a particular favourite of mine.

The book is full of gems of understanding that teachers and dancers will find fascinating - it is a book that you will want to keep returning to time and time again.

Welsh T (2009) Conditioning for Dancers Gainsville University Press of Florida