I have had the grand joy of introducing many beginning students to the art of aerial dance. The first thing that I get on my soapbox about is injury prevention. I say that “the shoulder is to an aerial dancer as the foot is to the ground dancer.” When I say that, the dancers get it. The ankle is the most often injured part of the body for ballerinas. Traditional dancers are on their ankles day in and day out, dancing on it. For an aerialist, you are on your shoulder day in and day out, dancing all around it. Therefore, it just makes sense that the shoulder would be the most often injured part of the body for aerialists.
So, its worth our time to learn a thing or two about what’s holding us up all day, and pass this on to the students we teach. While I don’t feel anatomy is as important as proper execution and technique, anatomy can certainly help everyone understand a little more what is going on during exercises. So, take 10 minutes out of your day, grab a pen & paper, and put yourself in aerial school.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the questions below. Bonus points to you if you can answer these questions without watching the video! If you can’t answer these questions, watch the video, and take good notes. This video is a production of Anatomy Zone.
1) Why does the shoulder joint sacrifice stability for mobility?
2) What are the 4 rotator cuff muscles? (Hint: Use the acronym SITS)
3) How does each rotator cuff muscle move the shoulder joint?
Answers will be in the next blog!