Home guest articles Athlete Spotlight: What Dancers Bring to Their Art

Athlete Spotlight: What Dancers Bring to Their Art

written by Guest Blogger February 12, 2015

Who isn’t impressed with a dancer’s body? Did you know that you can obtain a body of a dancer, too? Today’s guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan, shares with us how dancers achieve their look and skills. 

Dancers combine the finest aspects of art and athleticism while performing. It is important for them to be physically strong in many areas in order to be able to move efficiently and achieve many of the different body positions. Even though the specific skills needed depend on the particular genre of dance, there are a few common athletic traits that are necessary for dancers to perform with precision. Dancers who master these areas of fitness may also have a greater advantage over other athletes who do not always train these skills as much.

Muscular Strength
Stronger muscles enable dancers to sustain the weight of their bodies while holding positions and performing intricate movements. Core strength, in particular, keeps the body under better control and helps achieve cleaner lines.

If a dancer is performing with a partner or in a group, strength can make it possible to execute lifts and other similar movements. Muscular strength can also increase endurance and enable a dancer to finish a performance with energy.

Weight training and callisthenic exercise that use the body’s own weight (such as pushups and squats) can dramatically increase muscular strength. Don’t forget Pilates to supplement core workouts and help in performances.

Flexibility
The more limber the body, the easier it is to move with fluidity. Splits, arabesques, and other movements commonly seen in dance are best performed when a dancer’s body is flexible. Dancers who are more flexible often have the ability to contort their bodies into unique positions that can really wow an audience.

Muscles that are more flexible also have a better chance of not sustaining injuries. Stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps, and muscles in the arms and back on a regular basis is one of the best ways to increase flexibility. Remember to hold positions and breathe through them for the best results.

Balance
Strong balance is one of the fundamental elements in almost all forms of dance. Balance is particularly important when executing certain positions that require the dancer to remain on one foot. En point, which is a position where the dancer performs while standing or walking on their toes, utilizes balance in a way that can challenge even the most seasoned dancers, but should be performed with caution in order to avoid the need for bunion surgery later on.

Balance can be improved by incorporating exercises like standing on one foot for a prolonged period of time or doing certain yoga poses. A bunion removal specialist recommends that dancers who spend a long time on their toes, also take time to relax the feet and get proper footwear to prevent injury.

Being well-rounded in areas of muscular strength, flexibility, and balance can help dancers achieve the skills needed to succeed while staging their performances. Perfecting these areas of fitness will also give dancers the credibility they need to consider themselves on par with other athletes.

About the Author

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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