Anatomy Signature™ is the term I coined several years ago to describe the unique design of one’s body. I wanted to help dancers I worked with be more satisfied with themselves. Basically, your Anatomy Signature™ makes you you! You are specially designed and valuable because of it.
Not all dancers have an Anatomy Signature™ that is ideal to be a prima ballerina or principal dancer…in fact, very few do. However, that should not keep them from enjoying dancing and trying to advance through the dance world as far as they can without physically or emotionally destroying themselves. I discuss this concept a lot in my performing arts health and kinesiology classes; the evidence that it resonates with students shows in both their faces and comments…
You can’t change flat feet or hyperextended knees or short legs or tight hip joints because these are genetically coded in you. BUT, you can train yourself to the best of your ability to counteract the perceived negative effects of these, especially condemnation from observers such as teachers, choreographers, and artistic directors. And you can do so with your self-esteem intact.
Freed by Your Anatomy Signature
Dance can be a cruel world of failed auditions, dashed dreams, and negative, thoughtless comments. But, dancers are relieved when they grasp that their Anatomy Signature™ is a gift that makes them unique. It is a very freeing concept because it releases them from the emotional baggage and physical injury that result from trying to force their bodies to do things they weren’t designed to do. I love that my students really get this!
Even more, I love when dance teachers get it! They realize that the Anatomy Signature™ is an idea that helps their students excel. The concept focuses on excellence within one’s body design and abilities. And, it is never a reason to settle for less than maximum effort.
Ultimately, dancers must work within the confines of their Anatomy Signature™ in order to reduce the likelihood of injury. Of course, goals and dreams may need to be adjusted and based on reality. But, becoming more realistic by considering one’s anatomical design is not failure! When teachers, choreographers, artistic directors, dancers, dance students, and dance parents all respect this, dance becomes much more enjoyable, dancers improve their technique, and everyone benefits.
Feel free to comment about your dance experience, either good or bad, and about how understanding your body’s limitations could have made or did make a difference in how you danced and enjoyed dancing.