Top 6 Reasons Why you Aren’t Growing as a Dancer
Yes, this is a broad topic to cover as there are many forms of dance, but in general, we feel the points mentioned below are contributing factors on why a Dancer plateaus. Whether you’re new to dance or do it professionally; there are several reasons why you aren’t growing as a dancer.
1) You Stopped Training!
This may be an obvious one for some, but believe it or not, others tend to neglect this important topic; you NEED to continue practicing! All the best dancers do. I’ve met several dancers that were stuck in their comfort zone, and couldn’t graduate from simple patterns and routines to more advanced techniques that would elevate them as a dancer.
Technique training is imperative to a dancers growth, and one must continue to practice this. This sets them apart from other dancers who look good on the outside, but when it comes to partner work, they lack fluidity or connection. The technique is everything, and you need to practice; not just until you get it right, but until you don’t get it wrong!
2) You Aren’t Exploring Other Styles of Dance in your Training.
Bachata Fusion, Salsa Fusion, Tango pop, Hiplet, all of these are combinations of classic dances, with a modern twist that were pioneered by professionals in their respected industries. They went viral because of their innovation, and these pro’s soared with their careers.
Even classically trained dancers will learn how to dance Hip-hop, or more “Modern” styles of dance in order to loosen up and adapt musicality. Pro Bachata dancers have taken up tap dancing and have implemented some of the footwork into their own style of dance.
Nowadays you’ll see a lot of fusions. It’s important to learn different styles of dance so that you can continue to grow as a dancer.
3) You Aren’t Working Out!
Going to the gym is also important. Being in physical shape isn’t just about looking good, but being conditioned to dance for hours. Obviously, feeling good plays a part in your confidence, which transfers to your dancing, and makes you look like an overall better dance. However, that shouldn’t be the focus. There are a lot of exercises that work specific muscles of your body to help you flow easier through certain dance moves. For example, in Latin Ballroom, there’s an advanced move that requires the lady to do a split while her partner allows her to do “solo” shines. She requires little to no help from her partner; does the split and bounces back up, and continues dancing. That’s all muscle and strength from her part to be able to make that happen.
So to make a long story short, don’t skip on leg day!
4) You are Not Eating Properly!
Depending on the style of dancing you’re doing. You can burn anywhere from 250-450 calories per hour! Which means if you aren’t properly nourished, or drink enough water; you will hurt yourself as a dancer.
Have you ever felt like a zombie, or “foggy” during practice? That’s because your body needs proper fuel in order to continue to exhaust energy. Some dancers practice for 6 hours +, that’s a lot of work you’re asking your body to do. Feeding it correctly is important; otherwise, your practice is causing damage.
5) You Aren’t Taking Supplements.
Although this also falls under the category of eating properly, it’s listed separately because there are vitamins one should take that you wouldn’t get enough of from a proper diet. Vitamin D, Collagen, and protein powders are going to help with your muscles and joints. As dancers, your body needs specific vitamins in order to prevent you from future problems that may arise from dancing. Excessive exercise, without proper supplementation, will result in muscle and joint exhaustion. So stock up on your vitamins!
6) You’re not stretching.
This goes without saying; stretching is important! Flexibility is vital! keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That’s why when you skip a day of stretching, it’s like you skipped a week.
Stretching is not just so you can do a fancy split, but so your muscles stay healthy; allowing you to dance at the best of your ability.
Of course, there are variations to the information provided above, but overall, if you stick to these simple rules. You will continue to grow as!