Over the years many top athletes have attributed the much of their success to their background in dance. Super Bowl winner and former hurdler Willie Gault was one such player who believed his on-field performance and resistance to injury was enhanced by ballet. Herschel Walker credits his speed and agility to his diverse exercise routine that included ballet. NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann credited his background in dance for his prowess on the football field. In fact, Ballet has been used as an additional developmental tool within the NFL since the 1970s. The whole team from the University of Memphis has to take yoga and ballet classes for flexibility and agility.
Some of the benefits that have been attributed to dance training are:
• Makes you stronger
• Improves agility
• Improved balance
• Improved flexibility
• Increased speed
• Improved stability
• Greater range of motion
• Reduced risk of injury
• Improved concentration
• Cardiovascular conditioning
Ballet provides a total body workout that targets muscles few other exercises use. For instance, ballet strengthens the muscles in your feet, back, legs, arms, with a great emphasis on strengthening your core muscles. Working a variety of different muscles makes your muscles more adaptable, according to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Using ‘tendu’ position helps to enhance ankle and foot flexibility, which is seen to enhance agility. The ballet ‘turnout’ rotates legs from the hips and helps to strengthen smaller, more injury-susceptible muscles.
John A Bergfeld, the Cleveland Browns’ medical advisor, noted that groin injuries decreased in the season following ballet training. He believed that the training had taught the players, who had to crouch during games, an awareness of their pelvis positioning and that this had reduced injury potential by increased range of motion in their hips.
One of the most important components of playing football is concentration, another benefit Walker credits to his ballet experience. Dance lowers your stress, stimulates you intellectually and helps you recognize and deal with patterns, spacial issues and sequences, which are essential to football strategy. Dance also trains you to perform in front of an audience, an aspect that can frighten athletes into poor operation at game time. Dance stimulates a connection between your brain and your body that helps you do your best in all activities, including football.
Dancer Strong Academy wants your young athletes to be able to benefit from dance just as many top professionals have. Dancer Strong Academy offers boys only classes taught by male instructors in order to help your boys feel more comfortable in class. For the fall semester we are giving boys an introduction into dance with a boys only Hip Hop class. Lavoy King, the instructor, has been dancing for the past 13 years. He has choreographed for radio Disney rapper Supa Chad, has trained with Janet Jacksons choreographer Gilbert Duldulao, and has taken master classes from JLo’s lead dancer Gilbert Saldivar, among other accomplishments.
The boys only classes are available on Tuesdays this fall. Please check our schedule at www.dancer-strong.com/schdule.html for the complete list of class days and times. We invite you to come try a class for free.
Dancer Strong Academy
192 Industrial Blvd # 103
McKinney, TX 75069