It is absolutely imperative that dancers are strong, physically fit, and able to endure the rigors of dance performance. A conditioning regime allows dancers to opportunity to strengthen their bodies to compliment their technical and stylistic dance training and prevent injuries.
Conditioning typically includes:
Arm/ Back/Leg Work
Our Dance Strength & Conditioning Training Programs complement the training of a dancer. In these customized programs, dancers will increase their understanding of their anatomy, proper alignment, while increasing flexibility and strengthening both their upper and lower body. When leading dancers through conditioning exercises, it is important to reiterate the purpose of the exercise and explain the detail of the execution, placement, and alignment of the body.
Our lead program designer is our Co-Founder and Director of Performance Mike Clark. Mike is a Kinesiologist, Master Personal Trainer, and Black Rank TRX Instructor with over 25 years in the fitness industry.
Please wear athletic / workout clothing to the training sessions. Due to space restrictions it will be drop off only for participants. We will have a section at the end of the day where parents can come in and we will be reviewing our day, and answer any questions.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT STRENGTH IN DANCERS?
Research consistently shows that dance-only training (particularly in ballet/contemporary forms of dance) do not provide enough stimuli to enhance or increase fitness levels.
Poor aerobic fitness and fatigue is related to dance-related injuries. The faster our bodies get tired, the more difficult it becomes to control our limbs and perform complex movements.
Dancers need to possess different types of strength in order to perform slow and controlled movements (adagios, or sustained choreography), but also produce movements with increased force exertion (jumps, kicks).
For effective strength training, forces utilized must be beyond what that they are accustomed to (in our case, dance-only training). This can be achieved through resistance exercises, or varying the number of repetitions or sets.
WHICH DANCE-RELATED INJURIES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH DECREASED STRENGTH?
With the amount of training and activity dancers are exposed to nowadays, it is not unreasonable to assume that a dancer will at some point in their life sustain some kind of injury.
Studies show that dancers have up to 90% risk of injury during their careers, with the majority - around 75% - of injuries occurring in the lower extremities (lower back, knee, ankle, etc). Inadequate muscle strength and power while simultaneously working in extreme and joint end-ranges increases risks of dance-related injury.
Reduced thigh muscle strength is associated with increased injury severity in dancers.
Muscle Strains: Decreased low body muscular power and eccentric strength is a risk factor in dance-related injuries.
(e.g. ability of your muscles to "put on the brakes", such as landing from a jump)
Ligament Sprains: Decreased strength may result in over-reliance on structures such as ligaments and joint capsules, resulting in sprains and overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries: Often associated with poor training technique. On top of decreased strength levels, compensations, and poor adaptive strategies, many dancers may only continue to set themselves up for further injuries later in their careers.
Dancers with "snapping hip" or *IT band syndrome" often present with decreased strength AND decreased control of hip stabilizing musculature.
Strength training allows for more nerve-muscle connections to be made. The more nerve-muscle connections we make, the more efficiently and effectively our brain is able to use our muscles.