Sometimes we wonder why we cannot improve faster.
And I think the reality for ballet dancers is that ballet class and rehearsals alone are not enough for our career's demands. And for those that are not dancers and reading this, you might say, "what?! don't they do enough already?"
Well, yes. We do a lot. But the reality is that conditioning and supporting our body with things like Pilates, cross training, Gyro tonics and related, will for sure help us create a longer and safer career as well as dance better: with better stamina and better strength, as well as helping us with injury recovery (a face I am now).
During my student years, I never really had the chance to cross train (and I wish I did open some of my free time to work on it). And to be honest, I am about to turn 21 years old, and I have realized the positive impact additional training has in my technique when I actually do it: I feel stronger and able to do far more things, far easier.
But both you and I know that it is not easy to find the motivation to cross-train every day.
It will take time to build this habit. So before setting a routine, know that you will give up some days, or not train every day, or maybe forget or be too busy or too tired to do it.
I will start with some days a week, for an hour and a half. And keep building the habit in order to make it an everyday thing.
So no matter if you are a student or a professional, or maybe starting your professional career like me, know that conditioning and taking care of your body will be the best thing for your career along the way.
Just make sure you do not overdo it. Your body will scream even louder than if you don’t do anything at all.
From here on, and especially because I am getting older, I am going to try and open a time every day for any additional activity that will help and support my technique. Like this, I know that my career will be longer and more fulfilling.
Who wants to join me?
PLUS: Watch Royal Ballet's Ed Watson prepare for the demanding ballet Mayerling. See his cross-training routines and physical therapy sessions. Fantastic!