An Analysis of the Centre of Balance

The Footscan can be a useful tool in the enhancement of dance teaching strategies where it can demonstrate the scientific truthfulness of such statements as ‘the weight always remains in the centre during a Rumba basic in place’.

By David Outevsky MSc

Trajectory in basic rumba steps using the Footscan (6.2)

The idea

Foot-scan appeared to be a potentially useful tool in measuring the trajectory of the centre of balance in latin/ballroom dancing as it travels through our feet during various steps.

The Method

4 dancers, 1 professional ballroom/latin dancer (sub. 1), and 3 novice dancers (sub. 2,3,4) with experience in contemporary and ballet were used for the experiment. 2 half hour sessions were given to the novices to learn the basic movement in place, cucaracha, as well as forward and backward walks in rumba. They then performed the weight change in place and the forward walks on the Footscan and the trajectory of their balance centres was recorded by the Footscan software and later analysed.

The Outcome

Although this was a pilot project some interesting results have emerged. While only one of the dancers was a professional and could have the results analysed as a representative of the training that ballroom dancers might receive, the other participants were novices to the style and their results demonstrate the various compensations that can occur as a result of the interpretations of the taught movements in beginners.

The Conclusion

The Footscan can be a useful tool in the enhancement of dance teaching strategies where it can demonstrate the scientific truthfulness of such statements as ‘the weight always remains in the centre during a Rumba basic in place’ or ‘the of centre of weight travels from front to back to front during a forward Rumba walk’. It can also be used to show the compensations and interpretations that students might defer to in order to execute the taught elements. These benefits can improve the knowledge of the teachers and possibly save the student future injuries due to unseen repetitive compensations in their gait during various dance steps.

David Outevsky MSc

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