When people think of a dancer’s body, they often think of tone, flexibility and of course … LEGS. Legs inevitability get a lot of attention, because legs do a lot of the work in dancing. But What About Arms?
Of course, it is a bold statement, and definitely untruthful. There is no such thing as dancers forgetting arms! But, do we really pay a lot of attention to the arm work and strength? Contemporary, Theatre Arts/Cabaret and certain other dancers pay a lot of attention to arm strength, but many ballroom dancers pay less attention to arm and upper back strength than they do to other parts of the body. The reality is however, that arms are an essential part to the look of every ballroom dance. And, your dancing can be stronger with attention to the strength and flexibility of your arms.
Consider these points:
A sharp or repetitive shoulder movement in rhythm, latin or smooth; or maintaining a slightly imperfect position in standard can cause strain or other injury if your arms and upper body are weak.
You will also have the ability to hit stronger looking lines more quickly and cleanly with arm and upper body strength, and holding a proper position will be easier and less tiring.
Your Range In Dancing
Most ballroom dancers at some point do showdances or add additional styles. It is all too easy to have your muscles get used your specific competition routines, and then falter when you try someone new unless you have all around strength and flexibility.
Still not convinced?
Perhaps you are a male dancer, and generally toned and have low body fat – so not obvious problem, — and do not want to bulk up and change either your look, or the fit of carefully made to measure jackets.
The truth is that you may look fine, but still have unnecessary limitations or risk of injury.
Or perhaps you invest a lot of time in practice and lessons. You are short on time generally, and do not want to spare any free time going to a gym or doing anything outside that is not directly related to your goals.
The truth is that any physical development will help your dancing goals. Plus, simple exercises can be built into any routine at home, the studio or travelling, with even just a few minutes on a regular basis, doing much more for you than no minutes at all.
Next time, we will talk about the exercises you can do to strengthen your arms, and make them really compliment your awesome ballroom dance style.