The Biggest Secret to Skill Consistency

Can you imagine how much time you’d save cleaning routines if your dancer’s skills were consistent? I remember as a coach being overwhelmed and frustrated with the amount of times we needed to redo a skill or make it easier because we couldn’t get the whole team to look the same.


One run through, turn timing was great but heels were dropping and the next, it switched. It felt like as soon as one problem was fixed, something else fell apart.


Have you been there?


Here’s what I realized as I was becoming a personal trainer and improving in my own dancing – skill consistency increases significantly when you implement strength training for dancers to improve not only their legs and core, but to make their upper body stronger too.


Why is upper body strength important for dancers?


Have you ever seen a door on a broken hinge? Every time you want to open and shut it, you have to lift it or lower it into position first. That takes time and wastes energy.


When your dancers lack arm strength, especially the shoulders and upper back, their arms aren’t securely placed in their “hinge” and they  can’t move from point A to point B quickly, which takes time and wastes energy.


With the conditioning exercises for dancers below you’ll be the team expert on:
– How to build upper body strength for cleaner skills
– Ways to improve arm strength for power, timing and lifts


Training Your Shoulders and Back:

What they help: Port de bras, turns, lifts, kick hookups, acro tricks, and overall posture.

Whether you’re at the barre or in the middle of an intense turn set, having strong shoulders and a strong back will help to support and execute your movements. Without engaging these crucial upper body muscles you run the risk of looking sloppy moving behind the music. Dancing with your shoulders in your ears and poor posture can be avoided with some of the following exercises.

  1. Banded shoulder press (15)
  2. Side plank rotation (10)
  3. Flutter Kick Shoulder Press (20)


Training Your Arms:

What they help: Turns, lifts, tricks, acro and elongating your movements.

Bent “noodle” arms are distracting, can shorten your lines and overall make it harder to execute your skills and movements. Much like the shoulders and back, your arms work together to keep your upper body strong and in line. The following exercises will work your bicep, triceps and shoulders, the trifecta to clean, long lines.

  1. Push back plank (8)
  2. Bicep curl (15)
  3. Tricep plank jack (10)


Training Your Core Muscles:

What They Help: Balance, turns, kicks, tricks, all skills

Most people train their core with dozens and dozens of crunches and forget that your “Core” includes your low back. The front of your trunk and the back work together to keep you stable for every dance movement imaginable. Even the most fluid style of dance requires core strength. Crunching can build the abdominal wall outward when the belly isn’t engaged correctly so the following exercises help dancers pull their belly in and rib cage down while also moving their arms and legs, mimicking dancing.

  1. Dead Bug (20)
  2. Boat (30 seconds)
  3. Plank leg lifts (12)


Be sure you grab this More Consistent Turns Training plan:  to really see significant changes in skills

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