There’s a nice article online at Dance Magazine floating around on the social media today about common mistakes we are making in the dance world. Author Nancy Wozny gathered information from Physical Therapists, and I’m relieved and excited to report that all three bullet points are things I’ve already said.
In a nutshell:
Mistake #1: Static Stretching at the beginning of the day is not helpful.
In 2010, I wrote a post at Dance Advantage about types of stretching and noted the idea that static stretching is not as useful or necessary pre-class as we might believe it to be. The Dance Magazine article cites a well-known set of studies that appear to indicate a loss in power or strength in performance when using static stretching before a workout, but it should be noted that this research was not a dance-based application, and the decrease in power was minuscule to the point that it may only matter to athletes who’s performance rely on hundredths of seconds (not us).
Mistake #2: Dancers should walk like normal people, rather than walking in turnout.
The following year, I wrote Knees, Please: Why a Dancer Should Walk Like a Man, and discussed this important point alongside other tips for optimal knee health.
Mistake #3: Dancers should cross-train
Apart from making me feel good about myself, I’m pointing out these previous articles in reference to Nancy Wozny’s wonderful post in Dance Magazine to remind you that, well, this stuff is important!
Though Art Intercepts is now largely consumed by critical reviews and previews of dance performances, I’m still passionate about dancer health and it’s extremely reassuring to see others invested in evidence-based writing to try and improve the training environment for dancers.