Health & Body

Ask Deb: Can I Lengthen My IT Band?

Thinkstock

Q: I was told I should lengthen my IT band in order to not overuse my quads in tendu. How do I do that?


A: The simple answer is: You can't lengthen your IT band. The IT band is composed of fascia, which is dense connective tissue. It's wrong to state that it can lengthen like a muscle. Fascia can't create movement; it can only allow or restrict movement depending on its relationship and balance with the surrounding tissues.

If you have tension in any area along a fascial line, it can influence the muscles that connect to it. A chronically tight IT band may be an indicator that other lateral hip muscles (usually the gluteus medius) aren't doing their fair share of the work. The fascial line that more directly influences the quads is called the superficial front line.

As far as a tendu goes, the IT band and the quads have totally different roles. You must engage the quadriceps in order to tendu front and side, while the IT band acts to stabilize the lateral knee and to coordinate the muscle action of the glutes.

Perhaps your teacher was using an image of the IT band lengthening to keep the tendu tracking correctly, but it might be better to think of sending energy through the center of the hip, knee and ankle joints instead. Hope this helps to "de-myth" this correction!

News
Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
News
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.