Book Club: Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology

In this month’s Book Club meeting Holly Wallis is excited to discuss “Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology” by Karen Clippinger.

Don’t be shy, please share your thoughts about this book, and your suggestions for future reads.

Allow me to be perfectly honest, although I love reading about how the body moves, I don’t usually sit down to read an Anatomy text cover to cover. I have made an exception with this book. It is a great Anatomy resource, not just for dancers but for all movement teachers or even those interested in what our bodies do from the inside during movement.

There are many references to dance in the examples that are given to explain the theory. However, these are useful to all and do not exclude all non-dancers as a result.

This book is simple on purpose as Clippinger explains a few times throughout the book, and this makes it easy to understand, and applicable to your work with clients. Although it is intentionally a basic introduction to functional anatomy (how the body works in movement), it gives just the right amount of information to be useful, while building your curiosity of certain concepts that you can look into in further readings.

The book is divided into body parts and systems so that it is easy to reference back to later, since you will definitely want this in your reference library (if you don’t have one, start one). In each section on muscle actions, there is a useful summary chart listing each muscle and its actions. Again, because this is a simplified text as Clippinger states, use these charts as a basic reference but understand that combined movements, and synergistic muscle actions are not specified. This is not necessary for the beginner teacher or those seeking a basic functional understanding of Anatomy, but can be misleading for the more curious or experienced. In this case, I would suggest adding a more detailed Anatomy reference to compare and contrast with this one, such as the Thieme Atlas of Anatomy (my personal favorite).

If you are planning to read this book, my suggestion would be to read it one chapter at a time, then try applying the information you’ve learned in your own movement practice or with your clients. I find that embodying these concepts in movement is an easier way to truly learn these concepts.

What did you think about this book? Please share your thoughts and how you use it in your practice.

Until next time, keep reading!
Yours truly, ✍

Holly Wallis, Certified Movement & Rehabilitation Specialist, PMA®-CPT
Director of US Operations, Body Harmonics Pilates & Movement Institute
Studio Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 LaSalle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

© Movement Monthly 2018. All rights reserved.


So now it is time to announce the next Book Club read that Holly will be diving into (drum roll please)…
Join us on Monday, June 25 to discuss Katy Bowman’s “Dynamic Aging”.

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