The Spiral Nature of the Musculoskeletal System and Expressivity of the Arms in Dance

Functional Awareness® (FA) is a practical somatic approach that provides a series of explorations in experiential anatomy to enhance our understanding of movement function, facilitate ease in body action, and improve dynamic alignment. It explores the relationship between the skeletal structure, the muscular structure and the myofascial tissue in order to help sustain elasticity, resiliency, and efficiency of movement.

Participants Will

  1. Deepen cognitive and experiential understanding of anatomy and movement function through discussion and movement exploration
  2. Learn the biomechanical distinctions of the glenohumeral joint and the scapula:
    An approach to teaching port de bras
  3. Investigate an embodied anatomy approach to relationship of the torso to arms:
    The trapezius, the latissimus dorsi, and pectoralis major
  4. Implement practical skills to analyze and correct the use of arms in relation to the back in dance movements
  5. Understand the role of posture and arm gesture in daily movement habits and their profound implications on dance training
  6. Learn verbal cuing & hands on tools to guide others towards balanced alignment


  1. The Role of Habit on Dance Training
    1. Lecture/Discussion and Movement Explorations
  2. Primary factors for Postural Balance
    1. Skeletal Factors
      1. Lecture/Discussion and Movement exploration
    2. Muscular Factors
      1. Lecture/Discussion and Movement Explorations
  3. Skeletal Landmarks of the Arm Structure
  4. Biomechanical Distinctions between Scapula and Glenohumeral Movement
    1. Assessment and it’s Application to Port De Bras
  5. Introduction to the FA® ‘Hands On’ Practices
    1. Contralateral Spiral Connections to Integrate Torso to Arms
  6. Myofascial Factor in Dynamic Alignment of the Arms to the Axial Skeleton