Beginners Guide: Body Movement Isolation Techniques
What is body isolation?
Body Isolation is a terminology used for the technique in which dancers move one part of their body, and keep the rest of the body completely still. In most forms of dance, isolation is crucial because it hones the core of the body, creating seamless dance movement for performances. But of course, there are also benefits physiologically to mastering isolation in dance.
Why should I practice body isolation?
When you dance do you feel all the muscles in your back engaging, or just your shoulders? Do you feel the back of your legs engaging, or just the front and your knees?
Isolation helps train our bodies for proper biomechanical movement. Throughout life, our bodies are constantly adjusting to life, leading to a decline in posture and posture health. When the body is making these adjustments and adapting to its new factors for your comfort, it is likely that some muscles are not being used to their fullest potential. The larger the muscle group that is overcompensating, the harder it is for our bodies to stabilize the joints while moving. The smaller the muscle group, the more likely you are to tear and strain. When done properly and consistently, isolations can rehabilitate those patterns and improve the fluidity of your movement. (bonus: it also prevents dance-related injuries).
Isolation techniques most commonly found in Latin Dance:
HIPS: Thrust your pelvis side to side, forward, backward, and in circular motions.
BACK: Stand facing a wall, and slowly lower your chest to touch the wall, one vertebra at a time, then when your body is completely touching the wall - reverse the movement!
CHEST: Push the chest in and out, holding your shoulders as still as you can
ABDOMEN: Hold lower body still, and twist at the ribcage (not moving the shoulders)
ABDOMEN: Hold lower body still, and move side to side at the ribcage (holding shoulders level)
BONUS: Basic step, or sidestep and move side to side at the ribcage (level shoulders)
*make sure to stretch to avoid injuries*
CORPO CLIQUE PRO TIP:
We recommend practicing isolations alongside music. Instead of moving randomly, try following the clave of a salsa song, or the 8 counts of a beat. This will help train your body to mark the beats, while also placing your mind and body in a familiar environment to performance dance.