How to Ensure You Dance Your Best at all Times

It can be a rather embarrassing problem to have. After finishing a routine, you double over, so out of breath you can hardly stand straight. And no matter how often you’ve rehearsed it, the dance simply doesn’t seem to get any easier over time.

Whether you dance ballroom, hip hop or ballet, having great stamina is a must. You simply can’t dance your personal best if you’re not in top shape.

But lacking stamina is a common problem for dancers, even at the professional level. These 5 tips can help get you get fit so you can tackle even the most challenging of routines.

Eat Well

It goes without saying that dancers need to watch what they eat, but did you know that what you put in your body also could affect your stamina?

Make healthy food choices and eat small meals throughout the day to keep energy levels high. Certain foods themselves can also help increase stamina. Try including more of these foods into your diet:

  • Oatmeal. A complex carbohydrate, oatmeal breaks down slowly in the body giving long lasting energy.
  • Beans. With plenty of iron and minerals, beans help carry oxygen to tired muscles.
  • Peanut Butter. Rich in protein, peanut butter makes a great energy boosting snack when paired with a complex carbohydrate.
  • Bananas. Try eating a banana a couple of hours before you dance to increase stamina.
  • Leafy Greens. Slow to digest, leafy green vegetables help regulate blood sugar keeping energy levels high.
  • Red Grapes. Rich in the energy boosting compound resveratrol.

Lean animal proteins like fish and chicken as well as the grain quinoa also can help improve stamina so be sure to add more of those foods into your diet as well.

Drink Plenty of Water

Essential to maintaining stamina, staying hydrated helps combat fatigue. Muscles that don’t get enough water just simply can’t perform well.

Always have a bottle of water handy when you’re in class or at rehearsal. Avoid too many caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they can dehydrate and decrease your stamina level.

Breathe While You Dance

It may seem obvious but many dancers forget to breathe while dancing. Instead of breathing from their stomachs, they take short, quick breaths from their chests.

Your muscles need lots of oxygen to function properly so train yourself to inhale and exhale from your abdomen every time you dance.

Break It Down

If you find that you have a particularly demanding routine, break it down into manageable pieces. Don’t try to tackle it all at once after learning it. Start off by running the piece in sections and slowly work your way up to dancing it straight through over time. Your stamina will increase as you go.

Cross Train

Because dance is an anaerobic exercise, dancers are often not aerobically fit.

What does that mean exactly? Anaerobic exercise is one that is high in intensity but maintained for shorter periods of time. Aerobic on the other hand is lower in intensity but sustained for a longer duration.

So because dancers mostly get anaerobic training in their classes, they often have trouble with their stamina when they have to perform longer, physically challenging routines. If you want to be in your best shape possible you need to be both aerobically and anaerobically fit. Cross training with another form of aerobic exercise like swimming or running can help increase your stamina for dance.

Getting easily out of breath is a common problem- especially of you’re new to dance. With just a few changes in your habits, you can develop stamina so you dance your best at all times.

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