My shoulders are asymetrical!

BattyBaby

New member
Hi all!
I've been miffed for a long time over my asymmetrical shoulder technique. I posted a few months ago asking for advice and I received a very kind reply from a lady in traditional bellydance who said not to get hung up on my shoulders. I respect that, when I do Egyptian I'm much more focused on syncing with the music and getting tarab-y, but I do really want my shoulders to be symmetrical when I do fusion mostly because I do want to look a little like a messed up caryatid.
I live out in Philadelphia where there are not too many advanced bellydance classes especially for fusioners. I was thinking maybe I would take hip hop and see if that helped.
Anyway! I'm having trouble getting symmetrical shoulders when I do a snake arm in both arms, a la Zoe Jakes in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DGE0zVuHs4 at 1:50. I've been drilling like crazy but my shoulder rolls do not want to be symmetrical. They always come out with one of my shoulders a little higher or out of sync with the other one and if my weight is switched to one side it looks ok but if I'm grounded on two feet it looks sloppy. Do I just drill until they come out even or is there something else I can do?
Much love and thank you!
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I agree with the mysterious oriental style dancer who told you to cut yourself some slack for your natural biomechanics. It's one thing to have a good attitude towards good technique. It's another to be down on yourself about something that is intrinsic to the natural way your body moves.

Test: Shrug your shoulders in the mirror and on a video. Watch and see if they move differently through an unanimous movement.

Observe: Stand in a neutral position in front of a mirror and look at your shoulders. They may be different heights - mine are!

Consider: Are you beating yourself up over what is essentially a limp?

It may be time for you to be kinder to yourself. At any rate the above should give you a basis for why your shoulders are moving differently.
 

BattyBaby

New member
Oh, oh. I promise that I am not beating myself up over it and I'm so sorry if I made it sound that way, I just want to make it my business to really get my technique on point.
I'm not sure why, if it is a limp, do you know if there's much I can do to balance it?
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Oh, oh. I promise that I am not beating myself up over it and I'm so sorry if I made it sound that way, I just want to make it my business to really get my technique on point.
I'm not sure why, if it is a limp, do you know if there's much I can do to balance it?
I'm a dancer, not a physiotherapist. Might be an idea to consult a physio to get an idea of what's going on and how - if possible - to correct it.
 

Roshanna

New member
The most common cause of asymmetrical shoulders is having a tense shoulder on the side of your dominant hand, caused by using a computer mouse/writing. This can cause one shoulder to be noticeably higher than the other, and to have a smaller range of motion. I tend to have this problem, since I have a desk job. I manage it by:
- stepping away from my desk occasionally and doing some shoulder mobilising movements
- paying attention to posture and alignment when I'm working, and making a conscious effort not to tense my shoulders
- putting lots of shoulder mobilising movements into my dance warmup, and including shoulder-specific stretches in my stretch sequence
- if they are especially tense, then massaging them myself. You can do this by using the other hand to press into the tense muscle, whilst rolling the shoulder

I've seen a lot of improvement in my shoulder mobility and symmetry since I started paying attention to this stuff.
If you have the money, a sports massage might also help.
 

Tanglefoot

New member
The most common cause of asymmetrical shoulders is having a tense shoulder on the side of your dominant hand, caused by using a computer mouse/writing. This can cause one shoulder to be noticeably higher than the other, and to have a smaller range of motion. I tend to have this problem, since I have a desk job. I manage it by:
- stepping away from my desk occasionally and doing some shoulder mobilising movements
- paying attention to posture and alignment when I'm working, and making a conscious effort not to tense my shoulders
- putting lots of shoulder mobilising movements into my dance warmup, and including shoulder-specific stretches in my stretch sequence
- if they are especially tense, then massaging them myself. You can do this by using the other hand to press into the tense muscle, whilst rolling the shoulder

I've seen a lot of improvement in my shoulder mobility and symmetry since I started paying attention to this stuff.
If you have the money, a sports massage might also help.

This.

Pilates helps as does Yoga, in fact anything that encourages alignment, stretching and relaxation as desk work does make one tense through the mouse of which is our reaction to what we see.

Something else, as humans we aren't symetrical and handedness makes us unbalanced.
 
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