I love salsa dancing, but I basically gave it up some years ago, because well-meaning dance partners would keep telling me to “just relax”, usually while wiggling my arms about.I knew I was tense in my arms and shoulders – this was part of my back pain and headaches – if I could have “relaxed” I would have! I did sympathise with these poor guys- I was a nightmare to manoeuvre; I would unwittingly fight against them, and totally miss cues to turn etc. It was no fun for either party.
Alexander Technique transformed all that. I have learnt to switch off all that unnecessary tension that was getting in the way of communication. I’m relaxed, in the sense that I am using only the amount of muscle tone I need. Sadly, this doesn’t make me an amazing dancer, but it allows me to pick up on the little cues and pressures that a dance partner gives me. And it’s fun again!
As I continue to learn with my dancing I see many people struggling with similar problems to those I had. They may be blessed with better rhythm than me, but they are too tense to be able to communicate with their partner. Or sometimes their habitual posture is holding them back because they naturally look down rather than at their partner or where they are going. Good ( natural, easy) posture also makes dancers a pleasure to watch!