Dancer, Yes. Physically Fit? Maybe.
Don’t assume you are physically fit just because you’re a dancer. Find out! Schedule an appointment with an athletic trainer or physical therapist, explaining that you want to test your fitness and strength levels, as well as get some ideas for improvement.
Chances are, your endurance is not what it could be. That’s because most forms of dance are anaerobic; you will need to cross train in order to build your stamina. Also, depending on what kind of dance you do, some muscle groups get a lot of attention, while others are left alone; a fitness test can show you where you need work. Working even for 1 or 2 sessions with a trainer can open your eyes to the wide variety of activities that you could do to cross-train your body into better physical fitness. Strengthening of your overall fitness will help you in the dance studio in ways you probably don’t even know about; it can improve your…
- Agility: ability to change direction quickly and powerfully
- Strength: how much force can you generate for a specific muscle group or movement
- Coordination: from simple to complex movements, getting all your parts in the right place at the right time
- Stamina: get your heart and lungs to keep up with the pace of your allegro
- Muscular endurance: when your lungs feel great but your muscles give out or shake= lack of muscular endurance
If you haven’t cross-trained before or need some tips, Dance Spirit Magazine has a great article out this month: The Dos and Don’ts of Cross-training. Give it a peek, contact a trainer or PT, and then make a plan to improve your physical fitness. You will feel the difference, I promise.
Tell me how you’ve improved your physical fitness; did your dancing improve as a result?
Yes! We have just discovered this, with reference to my daughter, who is a dancer. She had injuries due to the fact that the only exercise she did for four years was dance. We found out that the “turn-in” muscles were weak, requiring another activity or exercises not involving ballet, in order to overcome the inability to avoid turn-in injuries (too weak to control extent). Also, we have been walking every day/other day to increase stamina, and are looking for exercises to do in the gym to strengthen that “turn-in/turn-out” muscle by the knee-if anyone knows any good ones, I will pass them on-Thanks for the great posts!