If you’re new to dancing or you’ve been dancing for years, having the strength to properly execute dance moves is very important.
Misty Copeland - Ballerina Body
Improving your strength means better endurance throughout practice and having the ability to quickly move from one motion to the next during a combination or routine. Increasing strength takes time, so it’s important to make baby steps and start with the basics. Then, you can begin to increase the difficulty of your strength-focused exercises over time. To help you get started, we’ve outlined 3 key tips to improve a dancer’s strength this year.
1. Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Although it’s important to strengthen your legs and feet, dancing also requires a super strong core. Your core controls much of your stability and balance. The stronger your core, the more easily you’re able to engage with other key muscle groups. Try a plank! You’re guaranteed to feel this yoga pose all over—from your arms to your glutes. Try holding the plank for 20 seconds at a time in 3 reps. As you get stronger, add more time to your hold.
2. Focus on Those Feet
It goes with out saying that keeping your feet strong, and in tip top shape is incredibly important for dancing. Consider focusing specifically on exercises to better strengthen your articulate metatarsals, and improve your arches and instep. It’s not enough to concentrate on your feet once a month, or once a week… think about your feet each time you’re in class and continue doing exercises and strengthening your feet and ankle muscles daily. The more consistent you can be with your habits the better the results you’ll have. For starters, work on slow, controlled rises through the demi pointe, first with both feet and then on a single supporting leg. This is a great exercise to incorporate into your personal warm-up.
3. Overcome Tightness
An important element to improve a dancer’s strength is to overcome tightness. It’s not uncommon for a young dancer’s bones to grow more quickly than their muscles. When this happens, it leaves their muscles feeling extremely tight, which can be uncomfortable. It’s so important to work through this tightness properly, with the help of your dance instructor and through approved stretches that your teacher recommends.
Improving a dancer’s strength will allow them to improve several aspects of their dancing. Whether you focus on building a strong, balanced core, or work to improve your pointe, make increasing your strength in some way a goal of yours in 2019. Talk to us at the studio about your strength goals! We would love to guide you along the way.