Top 5 tips for being a strong, healthy, happy dancer!

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If you are a dancer, life can be an exciting whirlwind full of travelling, performing, auditions and rehearsals. The perks of the job are incredible and to everyone watching you perform, life seems to be one big ‘high’. The truth is thought that there are low points to this profession which are made even more complex by the nature of the art form and the current performing arts and entertainment industry.

The psychological and physiological strains on a dancer are acute and should not be ignored. If you are a dancer, work with them or have family/friends who are, action should be taken in managing these pressures in order to have a strong, balanced mind and body.  This in turn will produce happy, more fulfilled performers who have the energy to reach their full potential and at the same time give enjoyment to their audiences for longer.

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Role models, inspiration and dreams

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This is slightly different to what I usually write about, but I have been thinking a lot recently about role models in Society and who we aspire to be like. In today’s Society, we are bombarded with certain images and ways of life which are the ‘norm’ and we are subtly told what we should look, act or be like. On top of this, much of the western media is centred around the rich and famous who are held up on a pedestal, whether they like it or not. The problem is this can influence and shape our dreams which can become shallow, unrealistic and meaningfulness.

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Fitness training for dancers

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Dance is an art form that at it’s highest level, demands extraordinary levels of both athleticism and technical skill. For the amateur dancer, the condition of the body is central to the level of performance it is capable of achieving. At all levels, from the first-time dancer to the seasoned professional, the individual’s physical fitness plays a key role in their ability to perform.

Dance training has a tendency to follow a pretty strict pattern; there’s technique, repertoire, rehearsal. Perhaps there’s a conditioning class thrown in once a week in the form of Pilates or Gyrotechnics, but for the most part it’s dance, dance and more dance.

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Zumba, will you enjoy it? Your no nonsense guide to exercise

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Who has not heard of Zumba? Answer, nobody! Even the most unco-ordinated blokes I know have heard of Zumba. It is in every church hall, gym and dance school. With humble beginnings i.e. the Colombian dance and aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, forgot his traditional ‘aerobics’ music and had to improvise, Zumba Fitness is now the largest franchised dance based exercise class on the planet. The brand have expanded and moved into Zumba toning, circuits and even Aqua.

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Is running for me? Your no nonsense guide to exercise

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Next form of exercise to de-mystify and talk about is running. It is very cheap (i.e. free) but perhaps not always as enjoyable as it looks (!). The very word running will either fill you with dread or pure joy!

I personally have had a funny relationship with running. Not until my husband dragged me round an American football pitch in Santa Barbara 4 years ago, had I ever ran for more than 15 minutes (and that was at a stretch).

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Spinning? Your no nonsense guide to exercise

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Probably the most common question which I have been asked from friends and family throughout my life is, ‘What is Spinning/Yoga/Body Pump (etc, etc) and will I like it?’. I absolutely love it when people ask me what a certain form of exercise is like and how it will make them feel; will they enjoy it or will it just hurt. Growing up surrounded by dance, gymnastics and exercise, I have never been scared or dubious in trying out new forms of exercise. However, I know I am relatively alone in this and the majority of people I have met throughout my life find it difficult to experiment with new fitness classes or methods of training.

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Workouts at Home 5 Tiffany Rothe’s Boxer Babe & Mountain Climber Workouts

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Week 5 – Tiffany Rothe Boxer Babe Workout

This was my final week of my review series on the best home workouts on YouTube. Having followed exercise routines including rolling out, Crossfit, Yoga, Pilates and body weight toning, I thought boxing would be a fun way to finish the series. I found Tiffany Rothe’s YouTube channel which had a range of workouts on it including a Boxer Babe 10 minute workout. Now, ignore the title, do not let it put you off! You learn the 10 minute routine with Tiffany and then repeat it 2/3 more times. We completed the routine 4 times and then followed it up with an additional routine from Tiffany called the 10 minute Mountain Climber Workout and repeated this once (but you could do more if you are really keen!).

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Workouts at Home 4 – The Yoga Solution with Tara Stiles

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Week 4 – The Yoga Solution with Tara Stiles

This week I tried Yoga with Tara Stiles on Live Strong Woman YouTube channel. I wanted to see if these home Yoga routines would give me a cardio element as well as the tone and stretch I have experienced before. I began with the Cardio Workout which consists of a series of poses and transitions which are repeated at a reasonable pace. This definitely raised the heart rate and got the body nice and warm. The only draw back is if you are new to Yoga, you will need to follow some of her other videos first to learn the basic poses.

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Workouts at Home 3 – Crossfit

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Week 3 – Crossfit I have heard and seen a lot of hype surrounding this seemingly ‘boisterous’ and ‘competitive’ way of exercising, so I was really interested when I came across this article by SELF magazine on a basic Crossfit total body workout. This article was geared towards us women and explained the general concept of Crossfit.

My friend Mel was over so we did all three of the routines (WOD 1, 2, 3) together in my front room. The three routines are actually short workouts to do over three days and the idea is that you do each routine once a week. We felt that each routine was not really long enough so that is why we did all three.

The exercises are very basic and use large groups of muscles at the same time. This means it was easy to remember the next exercise in the circuit. This was imperative really as the timings and repetition differences for each workout takes a while to get your ahead around!

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Workouts at home 2 – Tone it up Tuesdays & SparkPeople

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Last week was Ashley Borden on LIVESTRONG Woman YouTube channel, this week it is Tone it up Tuesdays with an additional Abs workout from Sparkpeople. This time I did this with one of my good friends in my front room and she had some interesting feedback which the review is also based on.

 

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