Ask most sportspeople and they will say that ballet is a very different world from the one they inhabit. At first glance, there doesn’t seem much of an overlap, apart from maybe some mental toughness approaches and the dedication needed for both. But as a number of big name sports and athletics stars have recently discovered, the training for ballet is also great training for any number of sports. Here’s why.
There’s little doubt that flexibility is something you would associate with ballet dancers but not always with sportspeople. But being more flexible has one clear benefit that every sports person would want to enjoy – fewer injuries. Most sports involve some sort of flexibility training but the work done in the ballet class is far greater than this and aims to create a greater level of flexibility. This, in turn, makes the body able to withstand more without collecting an injury.
Speed is crucial in almost every sport, whether it is the speed of running, swinging a club or bat or reacting to situations. In many cases, being strong is how speed is obtained but the way that ballet teaches speed is about better use of muscles. This makes for better speed with less likelihood of strains and injuries.
Balance and finesse
Again, two key elements to a ballet dancer that may not seem immediately helpful to, say, a football player. But being able to keep your balance while dribbling the ball or making a quick turn to change direction and outwit an opponent is definitely a useful trait and these are learned through ballet classes. While no-one expects sports people to be able to pirouette or try the one leg moves that are core to ballet, the principles that lead to these moves can help almost any sportsperson.
All sports require mental focus so anything that helps build this is a good thing. In ballet, there is the need to quickly react to requests and changes in moves that teachers throw at you and this means a level of mental focus that can be learned by sportspeople. This speed of adaptation to a situation could mean the difference between scoring a goal or not, hitting a six or not.
By conditioning the body to endure more than before, sportspeople can extend their high-performance period and therefore get better results. Ballet helps teach that endurance along with the stamina needed to make the most of it. Other types of dance can also be added to this to enhance the skills further – footballs taking tap dance lessons, for example.
Ballet in North Tyneside
When you examine the core benefits from ballet, it is clear that these are also benefits that help sports people from all areas. That’s why we have seen rugby players or American football players training in ballet classes recently – they have realised that, while they aren’t going to switch to ballet as a career, the skills learned in these classes can help them achieve more on their sports field.
For a list of classes in our North Tyneside Dance Studio click here