Written by: Haley Thomas
Why is Fitness important to dancers? Well first off let’s just say that’s like asking why water is important to fish. How do I know? I’ve been dancing for thirteen years. Seven years ago I began dancing at Arts ‘N Motion under Melissa Moore and five years ago I was graced with the presence of Adam Moore and his company. Let’s just say before that, I wasn’t very good at what I thought was dancing and now I’ve won a national competition.
As a dancer our work doesn’t end after putting in twenty hours at the studio per week or competing at both regional and national competitions. Every single part of us must be in peak physical condition to accomplish the things we do. Imagine sixteen hour days packed with classes, auditions, and twelve numbers. Each number packed with as much as you can fit into four minutes, much like a dreadful EMOM from Adam, but you know, for fun and with a full face of makeup and a sparkly costume on.
Now think about how much stamina and endurance it takes to go four minutes straight at a hundred miles a minute in front of hundreds of people. Or maybe think about how much power it takes to leave the floor from one leg to jump over five feet in the air in a split. Everything is directly related to our strength and our fitness. Of course technique and performance play large roles in dance as well, but you can’t do that very well if fifteen seconds in you feel like you’re going into cardiac arrest. Without fitness and weekly cross training it is impossible to gain the strength needed to throw each other across the stage and make it look effortless or hold our foot behind our ear.
As dancers our body is all the equipment we need. So, as me and my fellow dancers may complain about conditioning, remember that fitness is essential to us. None of our work can be done without extreme strength, agility, and endurance. Fitness is what sets us apart from good dancers. Fitness is what makes us great.