What Is Axial Movement?

Axial movement refers to an element of dance in which dancers stay anchored to one place by a single body part while using available space in any direction. Axial movements involve bending, stretching, twisting, swinging, gesturing, rising, rotating and spinning.

Axial movements tend to involve the spine as the focal point. Rather than moving from one place to another on stage, dancers rely on the space given to them to perform movements. Spinning is a prime example of axial motion, since the dancer is planted in the floor while moving in place. The body part connected to the floor can be a foot, leg, knee, hand, elbow, back or head. Movements involve arms, hips, knees, the head and the neck.

Sometimes, axial motion is done between two dancers, as the point of movement is on another person rather than the floor. One dancer can use an arm or the hand of another person as an anchor point and perform movements in place. Axial movements can even be performed on apparatuses such as poles, bars, steps and ladders. Any stationary base works for axial motion as a dance element.

Axial movements require flexibility, proper skeletal alignment, agility, coordination and fine dexterity.