How to Avoid ‘Sinking’ In Your Standing Hip
Many women shift their weight lazily to one leg, letting the hip slump and appear higher on one side. This common misalignment, which dance teachers usually call “sinking” in the hip, is seen a lot in dance class, too.
Sinking in the hip is most likely to happen when a dancer balances on one leg. It’s not only common in big balances with the working leg high off the ground, but even small shifts of weight in movements like tendu.
If you’re being told by your teacher to “get up on your leg” or simply that you are sinking in your hip during dance class, there are a few ways that you can correct this problem.
First, understand that when you hear these cues from your dance teacher, they are talking about the hip of your supporting leg, also known as your standing leg (it’s “sinking” into the socket). What’s happening is the muscles on that side—the glutes and abductors—are releasing and not supporting the hip so it falls out of alignment with the rest of the body.
It’s possible to sink in your hip without tilting your whole pelvis—that happens only in severe cases, so you may not realize at first that you’re doing it. Becoming aware of your mistake and knowing when you tend to let the hip muscles release is a big first step in fixing it.
Correcting the sinking hip habit will improve your dancing and help prevent injuries to your knees and hip joint as you continue to train and study in dance. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you avoid sinking in your standing hip:
- Keep your weight balanced evenly over the feet, especially when standing on one leg. If you’re resting in your heels, you’re more than likely sinking in your hip.
- Think about pinching a penny right under your bottom on the standing leg side as you tighten the muscles below your belly button.
- Spend time outside of dance class strengthening the abductor muscles. Side-lying leg lifts in parallel are especially good for this.
- Stop slumping while you’re standing around, waiting! You’re promoting muscle weakness around your hips and forming a bad habit that’s sure to sink your dance technique.