Cultivate that Cross-Training from Vito Bernasconi —
Cross-training has been vital to my career as a ballet dancer. I enjoy being active outside of full time dance and a fantastic by-product of this has been the benefits I’ve gained by exercising in different ways.
Ballet can give you the skills to move and control your body in ways most people can’t, but other athletic pursuits have helped me build strength where I’d previously experienced weakness, and gain resilience in place of rigidity.
Over time I’ve found the following activities have helped me progress as a dancer, well beyond what I thought were my limits:
- Cycling has increased my endurance and leg strength.
- Swimming has helped to elongate muscles, assisting me to create the longest lines possible.
- Running has not only improved my cardiovascular fitness but also provided me with more knowledge around shock absorption within my joints.
- Pilates, which I adore, has actually highlighted certain weaknesses and allowed me to focus on overcoming them through targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen.
- Tai Chi has programmed me to relax into certain stretches and focus on releasing areas of tension, increasing my flexibility.
Finding cross-training activities that you enjoy can unearth expected benefits to your dance practice.
In my experience it has helped me understand by body better, allowing me to become a fitter, healthier and more knowledgeable dancer.