Dance requires discipline, precision and an extraordinary level of physicality. Professionals spend years honing their technique, developing strength, balance and grace.
While dance may be seen primarily as a performing art, however, its influence extends beyond the stage. If you love your sport or are a professional athlete, learning a few dance skills can have some amazing benefits.
In short, dance serves as an excellent foundation for athleticism.
The rigorous training involved builds strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness and that’s just the start. Dancers have a strong core, powerful legs and excellent posture. These are also crucial components of many sports.
Coordination and Body Awareness
Dancers have a heightened sense of body awareness and control, allowing them to execute precise movements with fluidity and little thought. This translates well to activities that require precise timing, such as gymnastics, but also competitive sports such as tennis, cricket and even golf that are based on sound techniques.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
Through intensive stretching and conditioning exercises, dancers achieve a remarkable range of motion in their joints and muscles. This flexibility is advantageous in sports that demand agility and quick changes in direction. It can also help reduce the potential for injuries and boost longevity.
Gymnastics and Figure Skating
The disciplines of gymnastics and figure skating are probably more directly related to dancing in almost every way. They both require a high level of control, balance, grace and artistry. Of course, these sports often incorporate elements of dance into their routines, as they share similar foundations. In particular, those with a background in ballet will possess a solid understanding of body alignment, poise, and precise movements.
You may not think it wise for footballers to hit the dance floor but you would be wrong. Agility, balance, and coordination are crucial in the sport, especially at the top level. Ballet techniques could help athletes develop better control over their bodies, improve footwork and increase flexibility. The greats of football are often said to be blessed with amazing footwork and coordination, something that generally comes naturally to dancers.
Benefits of Dance Training in Sports
Almost any type of sporting activity can benefit from a little dance training now and again. Whether you play for a local team or have higher ambitions, it’s well worth considering. Here are some of the proven benefits:
Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
Dance training pays special attention to injury prevention and rehabilitation techniques – ballet dancers in particular put their bodies through huge pressures as they perform and they often have to contend with injuries. To reduce their risks, they learn effective body alignment and practice strengthening exercises and stretching routines to maintain their physical well-being.
While strength is important in many sports, so are flexibility, and coordination. Both can significantly enhance athletic performance and improve agility, explosiveness and overall performance. The focus and work ethic instilled in dancers from the very beginning might also contribute to mental fortitude and competitive drive, translating into improved performance on the field or in competitions.
Expressiveness and Artistry
While sports may have different objectives and require specific skills, incorporating elements of dance could bring a unique dimension of creativity and artistry to performances. Athletes who possess dance skills inject grace and style into their routines, potentially elevating their performances to a higher level.
Overall, athletes who learn dance may experience numerous benefits. These include preventing serious injuries such as muscle tears and strains, enhanced performance and durability and the infusion of expressiveness and artistry into their performances on the field.