Throughout 2013, I wrote about a variety of topics, but dance was certainly at the top of the list. Here are the top 5 most frequently viewed dance posts of the previous year. If you didn’t see these the first time, take a look and let me know what you think:
In this article, I reviewed research on the intensity and metabolic cost of competitive ballroom dancing and concluded that an athletic dancer’s body is developed through high-intensity work that’s more consistent with resistance training, sprinting, and plyometrics than extended duration activity like distance running.
I reviewed a fascinating study that compared different methods of achieving the active hip flexibility needed for développé. The data suggest that a combination of strength training of hip flexors and low-intensity stretching of hip extensors is superior to the high-intensity aggressive stretching often used by many dancers.
Misty Copeland, one of American Ballet Theatre’s top dancers, was kind enough to share her thoughts on training, nutrition, and balancing athleticism with the dance aesthetic. Inspiring information from an incredible dancer.
A literature review of research on the fitness of professional ballet dancers revealed a number of interesting findings. Strengths include power, muscular endurance, flexibility, and low body fat. Limitations include low aerobic capacity and strength below weight-predicted norms.
Even at the championship level, there are biomechanical differences between top-ranked and lower-ranked ballroom dancers. In this article, I examined a study on the turning quality of dancers during competition. Top-ranked dancers were more likely to turn along a straight (rather than curved) trajectory, their turns were generally faster, and their turning speed was more consistent overall.