Dance is great fun, but like any sport, it can be physically demanding. Exercising can help reduce the chance of injury while also bolstering the dancer’s stamina so they’re more able to keep up with the routine. Not to mention that exercise can help with flexibility, coordination, and movement fluidity.
Whether you’re doing virtual dance camps or taking dance lessons in-person, there are a lot of benefits to cross training exercises that specifically support dancers.
That in mind, let’s take a look at how cross-training for dancers can help—just as dance classes in Toronto are gearing up to open again!
What Is Cross-Training?
Before we delve into the benefits of cross-training, we first need to define the term.
Cross-training is a pretty simple concept, if wide in scope. It simply means any training that is outside of the typical dance exercise regimen you do.
For some, that may mean weight training and running, while for others, that may include high-intensity training or lots of cardio.
In other words, cross-training can mean different things to different people, but the essence of it is supplementary exercise that’s done in addition to your usual dance training/exercise program.
Benefits of Cross-Training Exercises for the Dancers
Builds Muscular Strength and Endurance
Dance requires strength and endurance in order for you to perform effectively. As such, it makes sense to strengthen your muscles and endurance outside of your usual training. Otherwise, you may find that your dance skills become limited by lack of stamina or strength deficiencies.
Lifting weights and cardio can be great additions to most dancers’ exercise programs. The one thing to remember, though, is to do your research to figure out which muscle groups you want to focus on and how best to train them. As for cardio, the key is balance, as running can be great for stamina, but overdoing it can end up hurting your legs or eating away into those muscles you worked so hard to build.
Maintains Proper Alignment
As mentioned at the top, the more exercise and physical activity you do, the better your coordination and balance will become. And there are few things more important to a dancer than balance and coordination.
So, before you hop into virtual dance classes in Toronto, it may serve you best to get some outside training in to improve body alignment. A move like a backbend, for instance, which requires you to lean back as far as possible, can benefit greatly from that extra flexibility and balance. What’s more, it will also help you avoid injuries down the line.
Improves Bodily Awareness and Artistic Expression
Similar to proper alignment, the more you exercise outside of dance, the more comfortable you’ll get using all sorts of muscles in your body. This will help you become more fluid and graceful in your movements, which is another huge part of dancing. What’s more, this can help you execute more advance moves. This can be a great addition to your dance move repertoire, allowing you to perform in more varied routines and overall increasing your versatility as a dancer.
Helps Prevent Injuries
Perhaps the most important benefit of cross-training is your increased resilience to injury. By strengthening your body you’ll by definition become more able to withstand injuries. That not only saves you pain and other complications from injuries, but it also means that with a little bit of outside exercise, you may end up saving yourself from a lengthy recovery process where you won’t be able to dance.
Improves Mental Health
Being focused on dance is awesome! We know how easy it is to fall in love with dance and really put your all into it; passion for dance, after all, is something we encourage both in our virtual dance classes and in-person dance classes in Toronto.
But getting overly focused or locked in can be unhealthy. It’s good to wind down sometimes and do something other than dance, which is where cross-training can be a great outlet to blow off steam and decompress.
If you do suffer an injury that prevents you from dancing, then cross-training can be a great way to stay in shape while you recover. While you of course need to be mindful of your injury and not exasperate the damage, there are a good number of exercises that you can do that isolate certain muscle groups so you can avoid irritating the injured body part while also keeping active, reducing your recovery time.
Get Dance Classes in Toronto from Expert Instructors
Cross-training can be a huge boost to you as a dancer and it’s worth looking into! And when you’re ready to get out on the dance floor, that’s where Performing Dance Arts comes in.
With us, any dancer will always be cared for by trained professionals. We not only love dance, but also know what to look for to prevent injuries and keep everyone safe, having fun, and improving.
We offer in-studio dance classes in Toronto, and virtual dance classes. Our virtual classes are open to children of all ages and skill levels, so contact us today to register your child or learn more about which style and program fits best.