The Native Dance Project

That Ballerina Figure and Poise

Ballerinas are most sought after for their artistry, beauty, figure, and poise. Just like other dancers, however, they do not happen overnight. Ballerinas go through rigorous training and rehearsal schedules to attain their stature.

As gentle as it may seem, ballet is actually one of the more physically demanding dance sports. And ballerinas are considered to be serious athletes. Only elite dancers who can keep their tip-top shape with extreme flexibility, strength, endurance, agility, and speed can stay on to perform the routines. Read More

The Importance of Strength Training

Strength training, which involves the use of resistance to build muscle strength, is recommendable not only for athletes but also for everyone. This form of physical exercise can greatly benefit the health especially as one gets older, since it is a very effective preventive measure against the loss of muscle and bone mass. For dancers, however, strength training is highly essential.

Most people perceive dancers as lithe, graceful and willowy creatures gliding and flying across a stage. However, appearances can be deceiving because a dancer’s body needs to be strong and powerful in order to perform well. This is why all dancers need muscular strength.

Stronger muscles results in more balance, which is a must for all dancers. Some performances require torso rotations, lifts, twists and explosive movements. While doing this, a dancer has to control his weight so as not to get injured. Obviously, not all strength training techniques are the same, since this would depend on the type of dancing involved. For instance, ballet dancers are very prone to foot and ankle injuries; hence, strengthening the muscles on the limbs would prove helpful. On the other hand, performers who engage in contemporary dance would do well with stronger lower bodies and core muscles.

Dancing is an activity that is not kind to the joints. During rehearsals and performances, dancers spend several hours in a day rotating, jumping, leaping, twisting and bending the body in all sorts of angles. All these movements put tremendous stress on the joints and make them prone to injury. For dancers, an injury can be very detrimental. It will not only sideline a career but can also mean weeks of dealing with pain. More health-conscious dancers who are aware of pain medications’ harmful side effects opt for the use of medical marijuana for pain relief. In states where this is legalized, one can have access to this type of alternative treatment by purchasing marijuana from centers like the Washington dispensary found on this site. Fortunately, with proper strength training, injuries can be avoided and a dancer need not go through all these.

Dancers need strength training for stronger muscles, improved flexibility and longer endurance. Weight lifting, active stretching and Pilates are just a few of the various exercises that can be beneficial to dancers. By engaging in strength training, dancers can perform better and take good care of their bodies at the same time.

How Dancers can Avoid Injuries and Pains Prior to the Show

Dancers are always under pressure. They need to use their energy during practices and for the actual performance. Sometimes, they have to do performances one night after another. Dancers are just human beings and their bodies may also be vulnerable to injuries and other problems. Therefore, if you are a dancer and you want to stay physically fit throughout the performance especially if this is your source of living, here are some tips that you may follow:

1. Avoid doing moves with great body impact during practices. You can do it once in a while, but you must only give it your all during the final performance. Sometimes, this stunt won’t go as expected and you end up being injured even before the show has started. This is not to say that you won’t practice well. You just have to select the practices where you will really give everything that you have. You need to learn how to conserve your energy and strength for the actual performance.

2. Go for strength training. Focus on your core. If your core is strengthened, the rest of your body will be affected in a positive way. You need to do sit-ups, push-ups and training exercises that focus on your abdominal area. You may also go for more intense moves that will center on the core. This will make you more resistant to pain. If the dance moves require balance and lifting, this exercise will also be of great help.

3. Check out intense physical fitness exercises. These exercises can be done in just 30 minutes a day. However, it should be done nonstop. You need to faithfully follow all the details of the said exercise. You should also do it as scheduled. You have to find a way to fit it in your rehearsal schedules to maintain your shape.

4. Smoke pot. This might appear weird to you, but the truth is that marijuana has properties that will help you feel numb when sustaining injuries. It will also help you feel a lot better during practices and give you the energy that you need for the final performance.

If you live in Portland area and you need to buy marijuana in Portland Dispensary, check this out.

Hammer Down on Pain

Hammer toes are more common than people think and, so many times, I hear someone saying that a dancer with hammer toes should not be allowed to go en pointe. My question is why?  There is absolutely no reason why someone should be discouraged just because they have a small deformity on their feet.

That’s all hammer toe is – a deformity where the middle tows bend at the middle joint, in a similar shape to a hammer.  It’s usually only one toe and it isn’t uncommon for callouses or corns to appear on that joint.

How to Relieve the Pain

There are one or two things that I recommend dancers try to take some of the pressure off.  Foam pads used to build up the length of the big toe can help but you should see a specialized podiatrist for this.

I have had hammer toes my whole life and I know how painful they can be.  My whole dance career was spent with a large corn on the top of the joint on my second toe, a corn that revolved around a number of different infections.  I found that narrow shoes made it worse so I had to modify the shoes I wore.

Another form of pain reliever is something called second skin. It is normally used in the treatment of scrapes and cuts or burns to stop a blister from forming.  It’s easy to use as it is available in handy sized rectangles. Gel toe sleeves help as well, especially as they have a long life to them – so long as you wash and dry them between uses.

Marijuana Works Well

To my mind, though, absolutely the best form of pain relief is medical marijuana. I make no bones about telling my dancers to use it if they can. It works quickly and it is effective, needing no time to take effect. And, I find that proper use of it sharpens the performance of the dancers as well.

Many people ask me about medical marijuana and I’ll tell you the same as I tell them. I’m all for it and, if I could, I would get into the business myself. In fact, I have done some research and found some great information about how to open a dispensary – food for thought, perhaps a new career.

What Dancers Need to Do to Stay on Top of Their Game

Being a dancer is never easy. Whatever genre it is, it will surely require discipline, training and focus. This is why lots of dancers have the ability to perform incredibly difficult stunts. This is due to their years of training and hard work. In fact, lots of dancers sustain injuries along the way. They might hurt themselves during practice. They could also get injured with the use of certain props. This is why dancers have to make sure that they are totally focused all the time. In order to ensure that they are at their best, this article will discuss about what dancers need to do. Read More

Strength Training Exercises that Work for Dancers

Dancers should maintain regular exercises in order to look fit for their performance. They also need to strengthen their muscles and bones so they can endure daily practices and hours of performances over several days. In order to make this happen, dancers need to be involved in strength training exercises. These exercises should be done apart from regular dance practices. With more exercises being done; dancers become more physically stable and are capable of challenges ahead. This article covers some of the training exercises that dancers have to go through.

Cardio Exercises

If there is one thing that cardio does to the body, it helps in improving lung capacity. This is what dancers need the most. When they are in serious trainings and performances that last for several hours, they need to make sure that they can catch up their breath. Otherwise, they will pass out in the middle of their performance or not have enough strength to do difficult stunts. Cardio exercises done for 30 minutes a day over 3-5 days can help a lot in improving lung capacity.

Core Exercises

Strengthening the body’s core is also very important. Simple sit-ups and push-ups could work. However, the only problem with this exercise is that it could potentially hurt the neck. Therefore, planking can be a good alternative. Those who do planking have an assurance that the core is still strengthened without injuring any part of the body. It can be done for several cycles a day.

Resistance Training

Among the exercises that work are bicep curls, shoulder presses and even squats. Repetitive actions will most likely help condition the body to resist pain. Those who do this kind of exercise regularly may prevent foot injury and cramps. They also become more numb to pain and can stand long hours of practices with intense dance steps.

Balancing Exercises

Balance is an important part of every dance routine. Ballerinas need balance all the time to appear graceful. Break dancers also have to learn balance to protect themselves from injury. Dancers who are lifted up in the air or those who use props to lift them also need balance to avoid problems when dancing. Therefore, balancing exercises will help. If done during spare time, it could really improve one’s ability for balance during the performance.

A Little Help

Other than rigid trainings and exercises, it is also important for dancers to take marijuana. Yes, many people might be against it, but it is actually helpful. The truth is that with marijuana use, dancers become more resistant to pain. Injuries are healed a lot faster. They also feel more relaxed and calm during performances. They don’t feel any pressure. Thus, they perform better. Many people don’t see this as an alternative, but dancers who perform for a living, definitely need all the help they can possibly get to be on top of their game. As long as dancers stay faithful to exercises, healthy diet and practices, they can easily succeed in their goals.