In Focus: Dance

To celebrate the launch of Human Kinetics Dance Technique, we are showcasing a selection of its exclusive instructional material. From movement demonstrating videos, to eBooks, static images and audio glossaries, this is your gateway into dance techniques.

GDC Feelin’ Good (Wikimedia Commons)

History of Jazz Dance

The rich history of jazz dance parallels the social, economic, and political history of the United States from the early 1900s to today. In this chapter you will learn how jazz dance grew from West African roots into a performing art, supported along the way by a fascinating list of artists, dancers, and choreographers. Understanding jazz dance history helps you realize the connections between the varied expressions that jazz dance takes, as well as the vital connections that exist between the figures, personalities, and every jazz dance student.

Lighting effects (Beginning Musical Theatre Dance)

Musical Theatre Choreography

Beginning Musical Theatre Dance introduces students to basic musical theatre dance techniques from a variety of genres, forms, and styles and explains how to put them into practice for performance on stage. Accompanying instructional video clips help students practice and review musical theatre dance forms, techniques and adaptations. Click here to watch a video clip of precision style choreography in the style of musical theatre.

Preparing for Class (Beginning Tap Dance)

Safety in the Classroom

As with any physical activity, dance related injuries sometimes occur. Understanding safety precautions along with basic movement, nutrition, and anatomy can help you prevent many of those injuries. This chapter from Beginning Tap Dance examines studio safety, including creating the best environment to minimize joint and muscle stress and keeping the studio free of injury-causing obstacles. Basic anatomy, proper alignment, nutrition and hydration are also addressed to further assist understanding of injury prevention.

Ballet Swan Lake (Pixabay)

Ballet Steps

Beginning Ballet introduces students to the study of ballet as a performing art and provides instructional support in learning foundational ballet technique. The book features an audio glossary which explains key terms such as échappé sauté and rond de jambe à terre, as well as images demonstrating basic positions, barre exercises, and centre combinations. Whether you are learning an arabesque a terre or a coupe devant, this collection will provide clear instruction to help guide your dance practice.

Spotlight Lighting (Pixabay)

Staging a Performance

A dance exists only in the mind of the choreographer and as a rehearsal exercise until it is performed. However, bringing a dance performance to fruition requires long-range planning and a number of intermediary steps. Planning a dance performance can be a daunting task, but it is possible to minimize the challenge by arranging the production process into a series of smaller, more digestible tasks. From rehearsals and lighting, to props and sets, this chapter is your guide to staging informal concerts and lecture-demonstrations.

Topic in Focus: Fitness and Health

An elderly couple go for a walk on a woodland path in the Fall

Fitness and Healthy Aging

Can exercise continue to improve your quality of life in your later years? Just what are the effects of exercise on aging? This chapter from Physical Activity for Health and Fitness explores how the cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength of older people are affected by physical activity, and how regular, lifelong physical activity in younger people will affect their health and vitality as they grow older.

Two volleyball players hold hands before a point

The Cultural, Religious, and Spiritual Components of Fitness

Values usually drive our behavior; they reflect what we consider to be most important, such as our health, family, happiness, knowledge, and faith. In Applied Health Fitness Psychology, Mark H. Anshel examines the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the ways in which physical and mental health professionals can apply faith-based content in consulting with patients and clients of faith, and how religious and spiritual beliefs, texts, and programs can provide greater incentive to initiate and maintain healthy levels of fitness.

View of a woman's legs walking up a flight of steps in running attire

Fitness to Combat Diabetes

For people with diabetes, regular participation in fitness activities can help to lose fat weight, gain muscle mass, and improve overall blood glucose. Insulin sensitivity is likely to improve, resulting in a need for lower doses of insulin or other diabetes medications. In this chapter, Sheri R. Colberg outlines key fitness activities, ranging from low-intensity activities such as yoga to power ones like kickboxing, and endurance-based race walking and stationary cycling, with general recommendations for managing blood glucose during and after the fitness activities, separated out by insulin changes for anyone using a pump or injections, dietary changes, or a combination of both.

A female pilates instructor assisting mature student on high-low chair during class in exercise studio

The Exercise Diagnosis and Prescription Model

The term "exercise prescription" is often used, but have we actually considered its meaning and its implications? We can think of a prescription as "a written or verbal order for administering medicine or other treatments based on a diagnosis of the patient's needs". There is a very important concept contained in this definition which is commonly ignored when we use the word in association with fitness: the diagnosis process. In this video, Joseph Signorile outlines the importance of fitness techniques as precise tools that can be used to provide a targeted training intervention, while in this video he puts the concept to practice and looks at the diagnosis and prescription model through the diagnostic sheets of four case studies.

A view of people performing warm up exercises on a gymnasium floor

Physiological Motivation to Improve Health and Fitness

With so many people now either inactive or infrequently active, effective programs to help them start and stick with an active lifestyle are critical. Many of the techniques used to promote physical fitness originated from psychological theories of motivation and behavior change. The stages of motivational readiness for change model evolved from the work of Dr. James Prochaska and Dr. Carlo DiClemente who studied the stages of changing health habits. This chapter from Motivating People to be Physical Active outlines the concepts of motivational readiness and stages of change, and describes the strategies and techniques for behavior change.