Most people consider sports and dance as two very separate activities, but both require strenuous physical conditioning. Whether you're into football or trying to improve your basketball game, taking dance classes can seriously improve your performance and help prevent injury. It might seem like a strange idea at first, but here are just a few reasons why anyone into sports should also give dance a try.
Activation of Smaller Muscles
Sports usually emphasise size, so it's common for players to work on developing as much mass as possible. However, such training tends to place all its focus on the body's larger muscles. These are certainly important, but dancing will also help train your smaller muscles. These might not seem as vital, but they're important for performing quick-fire movements, and working all muscles instead of just the larger ones can dramatically increase strength and quickness.
Reduced Chance of Injury
Flexibility is key to dancing. You need to be able to move your body with ease to get through most routines, which is why most dancers have no problem touching their toes without bending their knees, doing the splits or performing front kicks. Those movements might not sound important for most sports, but the flexibility they demonstrate can be vital. Playing sports usually puts plenty of strain on a body; if your muscles, tendons and ligaments aren't flexible, you'll be more likely to suffer an injury. You should also recover from muscle soreness faster after each game if you're more flexible.
Better Balance and Coordination
Whether performing ballet routines or a fast foxtrot, dancers need incredible balance and coordination, and such skills are as applicable to sports fields as they are to dance halls. When you're properly balanced and coordinated, you'll be better able to navigate the field, outfox your competition and avoid a slip or stumble that could end up losing you the game.
Enhanced Muscle Awareness
Dancers tend to have extremely well-toned bodies. That's because they need to use each muscle perfectly instead of relying on raw strength. As mentioned above, going through such training can increase the strength of smaller muscles, but it can also improve overall muscle awareness. When you need to move slowly and gracefully, you become aware of how your muscles are working and better able to control them. Instead of playing sports with all muscles engaged, you'll start noticing yourself activating muscles more intelligently. You might actually be faster when you aren't tensing as many muscles, and an awareness of how your muscles are working can help you perfect your performance.