What is EBAS, and how does it help my ballet?

About EBAS

The Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS) is a unique programme, devised by creator and Master Teacher Scott Putman.

EBAS stands for Elemental Body Alignment System, a series of exercises designed for structural integrity and supported range of motion. Through anchoring and initiating movements via the pelvis, the body discovers its ability to efficiently articulate movement through experiential anatomy.

The work deepens the students understanding of where movement comes from, how to align the body and to build a physical consciousness of open pathways of energy for movement. The system helps the learner to override the central nervous system creating new neuromuscular firings supporting a greater understanding of sensorial technique.

Here is a short video of Scott explaining what EBAS is.

Please follow this link to Scott's website.

There is also this article in Dance Teacher Magazine which explains more about how EBAS came about.

What EBAS has meant for me

I first met EBAS and Scott at Sun King Dance Camps in June 2014. Sun King Dance Camps is a summer intensive ballet program, held in the USA, aimed at the adult dancer and has been running since 2000. I started going in 2006, and as I said in my last post that I would return home after the intensives, achy, sore, and sometimes with niggles that would not go away.

In that intensive in June 2014, I started taking EBAS classes. Scott would break down each exercise, explaining how one should feel during every exercise. How to articulate each movement, how to get things aligned, and how that felt. For me it was crucial in remembering how it felt, because it then allowed me to recreate it and translate it into ballet class. *This* is how my turnout muscles feel when it's engaged and working correctly, and *this* is the sensation I need to feel when standing up - at the barre, in the centre, in my variation, or in that particular tricky spot that I always struggle with.

When I then took all these tools into class, I find myself being able to stay on balance more. I was not gripping so much. Things moved with more ease. I felt I was stronger and being able to concentrate more on the teacher's corrections, instead of having to multitask in my brain and fighting my own body first.

Together with the stretch and restorative classes added at the end of the day, I felt less stress in the evenings during the course. Then starting with EBAS the next morning again made my body feel refreshed and ready for the long dancing day ahead.

I was very surprised when the end of the week rolled by. In previous years it was always sad to leave friends at the end of the week, but some part of me was always relieved that the body would then get a break. In 2014 by the end of the camp I felt like a different body. I was not actually aching. I felt activated. I felt energised. I was for the first time not carrying an injury on the way back home. And I felt EBAS had a lot to contribute to that.

Here's what some other dancers have to say about EBAS:

"EBAS to me is a life changing process. Not only do I feel stronger when dancing, I also feel more freedom of movement. It has also improved my golf game. I highly recommend EBAS to anyone who wants to connect with their body more readily and freely."  
Karen Mathis, Jacksonville, FL, USA

"I think the best testimonial for EBAS was something from the group ride to classes one morning (at Sun King Dance Camp August 2015). Someone groaned "I need EBAS" and found enthusiastic agreement all round!  I would say the idea is twofold:  recovery from the previous day, and refreshment for the day ahead."  
Louise Schwendeman, Richmond, KY, USA

"I ended up with spinal cord injury after a herniated disk pinched my spine. Although I was diagnosed as paraplegic ASIA-D, I keep exercising and trying to regain more mobility. But working as a SW Developer requires long hours of sitting causing back pain and lack of mobility, so I do the EBAS DVD to release the pressure, elongate the space between the vertebrae, and relax. By the end of the DVD, I have no pain and feel ready to enjoy the rest of the day."   Ileana Arroyo, Herndon, VA, USA

"With all the debates about pre class stretching, this is your answer! Gently wakes your body up in preparation for dance. By the time you are done, you feel lengthened and ready to go."   Jill Bysterveld,  Kalamunda, WA

"EBAS taught me how to use my body more efficiently, to conserve energy while maximizing power, and allowed me to spend my second camp week injury-free, and felt much stronger!   EBAS even helped me improve my swimming, for example, better torso rotation while catching breaths in freestyle, and better abdominal control while swimming butterfly.   Highly recommended for everyone!"   Alicia Diaz de Leon, Silver Spring, MD, USA

Dancer testimonials reproduced by kind permission from Perth Ballet Management.

Next time: How did Aspire Ballet Intensives come about