Sugano system ballet
SuganoSystemBallet is a pragmatic methodology of mastering professional classical ballet technique by integrating science to produce consistent and repeatable results. Additionally, it contributes to reducing the risk of injury and promoting longevity through ergonomics and efficiency: safe dance practices.
Borne out of 30+ years of teaching, the essence of SuganoSystemBallet is learning exactly how to stand in the “turned-out ballet stance.” The key components are: the understanding and implementation of the concept of “centered placement,” the role of the pelvis, and the active combined usage of the hamstrings, external rotators, and adductors. Integrating these concepts into dynamic movement transforms ballet technique from an insurmountable challenge into a pleasurable and attainable dance form. These differences from “traditional” technique are simple and subtle, but the results are remarkable and significant.
At its core the “system” is a science-based philosophy, but can be further enhanced with teaching aids such as original music tailored for the class, CDs, DVDs, flashcards, lesson plans, and specially designed dancewear. The combination of these tools will serve to reinforce the essence of this philosophy: healthy technique.
This knowledge base is a collection of data amassed from over three decades of meticulous research: teaching, participating in different dance disciplines (i.e., dancing professionally), examining and experiencing various methods of bodywork, and engaging in scientific inquiry and exploration with physicists, biomechanical engineers, kinesiologists, and healthcare professionals.
When students experience changes in their dancing as a result of logical analysis and scientific application, they flourish with a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. This approach gives the dancer “wings” far sooner than the traditional methods, not only because of its scientific integration but because the dancer can effect bodily movement at will, making them want to boldly re-assert their new-found control over and over again.
Knowledge about the body has grown significantly over the years and many of the traditional ways of teaching seem less effective when compared to a scientific approach to dancing. Dancers in this day and age are keenly aware of the importance of their “instruments” and are constantly seeking ways in which to maximize their physical potential while decreasing the risk of injury and avoiding overdevelopment of muscles in an art form where the creation of “line” is important.
Much of contemporary choreography has become physically demanding, requiring the body to produce movement that seemingly defies gravity. If a dancer is armed with the knowledge of how muscles work (anatomy/kinesiology) and how the body behaves in space with gravity (physics), that dancer is one that can maximize personal potential and establish career longevity in a healthy manner.
Additionally, a dancer can be powerful without creating unnecessary muscular bulk. Those who are injured or are struggling with already overdeveloped legs find that this knowledge rehabilitates and protects their health while it streamlines their bodies, creating the long, lean physique desired by ballet dancers.
Each dancer is unique with individual physical attributes, personal histories, and thinking processes. Yet, collectively, all dancers are driven by passion and seek anything that will help them in their endeavor to dance with control while actually having total control. With these scientific tools, students are able to apply universal concepts to their own individual circumstances, freeing themselves from unproductive habits and physical restrictions, consequently accelerating their development.
Mastery of ballet technique typically doesn’t happen overnight. On the other hand, armed with the SuganoSystemBallet method, dancers can experience dramatic improvements immediately, producing quick and positive results through a logical progression. This surpasses rote, tiring repetition of exercises that can have negative physical and psychological repercussions.
One can argue that incorporating science diminishes the artistic aspect of classical ballet. Dance is an art form where the moment of execution is paramount to articulating the proper expression and intent of the choreographer.
The application of science provides a consistent technical reference, independent of style or form. As a result, this allows the performer rock-solid technique with the freedom to devote more time to honing artistry and expression. Therefore, the science must be recognized as a valuable and integral partner in the grand scheme of things.
This approach will take the frustration and pain out of mastering ballet technique and create happier and healthier dancers. Certainly, ballet is about awe, magic, and the suspension of reality, but the creators of the illusion, the dancers, should be armed with knowledge of the 21st century, not shrouded in a cloud of mystery from centuries past. SuganoSystemBallet can help to make that a reality.