In this lecture you'll learn:

  • Where to put your feet, ankles, knees, hips, torso & head
  • How to use your torso to connect to the ensemble
  • Techniques for checking your balance
  • Common issues with stance and how to correct them

The Basics

  • Neutral stance means you have a neutral background for expressive gestures
  • Our stance is reflected in the ensemble's posture - we need to stand tall and open
  • Mirror neurons means the ensemble is subconsciously copying our stance


  • Feet Hip width apart
  • Too close together causes swaying side to side
  • Too wide causes big distracting movements and limits flexibility
  • Feet evenly spaced front to back
  • One foot in front causes rocking front to back


  • Keep knees soft
  • Locked knees creates excess tension in lower back
  • Overly bent knees creates excess tension in quads,
  • Overly bent knees causes bobbing up and down


  • The waist is not a joint - think hips
  • Know where your hip joint is - in the groin crease
  • Have hips balanced over the knees
  • Upper body standing tall
  • Leaning forward creates shadows and breaks connection with ensemble
  • Leaning backward creates distance from ensemble and breaks connection
  • Leaning either way creates excess tension in legs and back

Checkup Exercise

  1. Put your hand on the small of your back
  2. Lean forward until you feel muscles engage
  3. Return to middle point
  4. Lean backwards until you feel muscles engage
  5. Return to middle point - this is your optimal neutral position for your hips


  • The torso communicates truth, attention, vulnerability and connection with others - it never lies
  • Torso needs to be open and available to the ensemble
  • Elevated, smiling torso improves posture, support, breathing, tone and intonation

Checkup Exercise:

  1. Imagine your torso is a big mouth and the shoulders are the corners of the mouth
  2. Frown with your torso
  3. Smile with your torso - this is where

Top Tips!
You can do this exercise with your entire ensemble to improve their postural awareness
Put a Post-It on your music stand 'Smile With Your Torso' to remind yourself to stay open and available

Complete and Continue