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Is Your Instagram Habit Harming Your Technique?

You spend countless hours in fifth position. But there's another position you might be just as familiar with: neck craned down, shoulders hunched and eyes on your phone. Researchers estimate that the average person spends two to four hours per day on smart devices, and this slumped posture can place up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine.


Toni Hukkanen via Unsplash

All that time spent texting and poring over your Instagram feed can result in "text neck," a gradual loss of the cervical spine's natural curve. And this postural change is the exact opposite of the proud chest and raised head desired in ballet.

The simple solution? Keep your head up, lift your phone and let your eyes scan as you read. While it might feel overly formal, practicing good alignment in your downtime reinforces—instead of reverses—the épaulement you work on in the studio.

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Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

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