Conditioning for Dancers – Identifying the fitness needs for dance

Principal Dancer and Youth Wing director Vishwakiran Nambi’s second blog in the body conditioning series. Have a look…

Irrespective of the dance style one practice, it is absolutely necessary for a professional dancer to be in shape, not just to own a physically attractive body but also to be in a condition to endure long hours of extreme physicality, considering he/ she will be will be practicing their style of dance for at least 4-5 hrs in a day.

Identifying the fitness needs of your body is not a complex task. Strength, stamina, endurance, agility and flexibility are 5 areas in which every dance body needs to train. It is possible that one might be strong in all these areas while a few might be weak in some. An easy way to find out will be subjecting yourself to activities that would require you to perform in all these 5 areas. Find a dance routine which is quite physically challenging and perform it a number of times to understand which area you are in  need of assistance.

It is not right to neglect the areas in which you think you are strong. In fact, designing a balanced fitness regime is the most vital part of you working towards your fitness. It should have a combination of your stronger and weaker areas. Of course, you increase the intensity of your weaker areas. Let’s say you’re light on your feet and you can do 30 knees to the chest jumps quite easily but cannot hold a posture (let’s say a plie or a deep lunge)for a long time, then your routine must have 50 knees to the chest jumps and 3 rounds of moving across the floor in deep lunges. Try challenging yourself by not doing something that you CAN do, even if it is difficult. There will be definite progress in your fitness only when you bring your body out if it’s comfort zone.

Conditioning for dance would require you to focus on many areas other than just your body. Spacial awareness, musicality, movement textures, emotional application and movement design are all areas pertaining to professional dancing. We shall cover these areas along with understanding how to design your fitness regime in my next section of the blog.


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