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Classes - Strength and Conditioning

Stretch and Strengthening

Benjamin Wilson and Hannah CaitensDancers require a great amount of flexibility and strength to be able to perform movement with their bodies. Flexibility refers to the range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in the muscles that cross the joint. Strength refers to the capacity of the muscles to produce force.   
Stretch

Dancers require flexibility in many different muscles of the body in order to meet the physical demands of dance. Dancing is unique in that it requires a lot more flexibility than most other professions or sports. In order to achieve flexibility, dancers must be consistent and stretch regularly and properly. Dancers need to be consistent and patient with their stretching, as improvements in flexibility take place over time and do not happen right away. Flexibility does not only improve the aesthetic performance of movement, but has a role in the prevention of injury.  

Strength

Dancers also require a great amount of strength in their muscles. Strength is required for not only producing power and force but also for control, which is extremely important for dancers who must make movement appear smooth and effortless. Dancers gain strength through repetition of movements or exercises that challenge a particular muscle group. For example, practicing plies will develop strength in the deep external rotators of the hip (the ones that produce turn out), quadriceps (thigh muscles), and calf muscles. Strength also has a role in preventing injury. Strength promotes joint integrity and stability at the joint, which is especially important in hyper-flexible dancers.

Pictured:Benjamin Wilson and Hannah Caitens
Photography by Winkipop Media

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