As studios started shutting down all over the country, dancers began scrambling to stay in shape and the #keepdancing movement began.
Dancers are some of the most disciplined athletes due to it’s nature and online classes began popping up everywhere!
How can you make sure you are taking online classes safely?
AND what should you expect when you do return do the dance studio?
As a dancer, there isn’t much of an “off season” to rest and nurse injuries. Take this time to heal any nagging injuries you may have sustained from over use.
Continuing pushing through dance classes can irritate a sustained injury and if that is the case, take a week or two off from dancing. Supplement other activities that do not irritate your injury to keep your strength and endurance up.
Online Dance Classes:
Most dancers do not have a sprung studio floor at home. Because of this, your dancing at home should be limited to shorter classes and less larger movement you would normally be doing in the larger, safe studio space.
Online classes should be re-worked to be safe to do at home. Classes online shouldn’t be the same intensity or require the same amount of agility as they would in the studio.
This means you may be dancing less, but that is OK. It’s more important to be safe and take of your body for WHEN you get back into the studio.
Cross Training – Focus on Weaknesses:
- Stretching – Include a nice warm up before stretching to make sure the muscles are warmed up. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds on each side. Repeat the stretches multiple times instead of just holding in longer in one stagnant position. This will help you gain flexibility without over stretching.
- Core Strength – Developing core strength does not just involve the abdominal muscles. ‘Core’ is referring to the muscles around the pelvis and trunk of you body. This includes you glutes, lower back muscles, pelvic floor and abdominal region. Pilates and Yoga is a great way to work on developing a stronger core.
- Endurance – Work on aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming. Most dancers are used to hours of classes and rehearsals at a time. This has been now cut off and losing endurance will be the hardest thing to gain back once back in the studio. Work your endurance at least three times a week for 30 min.
Practicing routines mentally can be very beneficial for dancers to retain choreography for performances that may be quickly approaching.
Visualize your self dancing and performing. The mind-body connection is strong and will help you step back into the studio and regain the muscle memory to get performance ready.
When you get back to the studio:
About 2 weeks before coming back into the dance studio, increase your activities to match your hours in the studio. You can do this through a variety of classes and cross training.
Proper nutrition and hydration will be a key factor when coming back into the dance studio. Most likely you will need to ease back into your dancing. The most important thing is to listen to your body – you many not be in the same place your were when you left.
Being patient is KEY!
The most important thing is for teachers and directors to be understanding that dancers’ bodies are de-conditioned from being away from the studio and health is the number one priority.