Equipped with New Instruments: How Can You Improve Your Dancing Skills with Acting Classes, Ballet, Fitness and Nutrition
In our podcast with Dekatra Lapaeva, she told us that acting, ballet, gym or nutrition can be the instrument to improve the condition of a dancer. They might be the missing pieces of your puzzle. We decided to take each one of them and talk about their benefits for dancers.
The more knowledge you have, the more instruments you will have to tackle to become a top dancer. A dancer uses his body as a work tool, so he must train all his abilities, both physical (body expression, technique, musicality) and mental (creativity, analysis, and communication).
Instrument no 1: Acting classes
To be a dancer you have to know how to act
Dekatra Lapaeva came from an academic field of psychology where everything was about being you, no act, no roles and 100% humility. It was the opposite of acting. As a dancer she had to step on the floor and be a daring woman, although she didn’t feel like that at all. Everything in her body was rejecting those roles.
That’s why she went to take acting classes because she needed to understand the fact that she can be a star, a diva while dancing. Those lessons, and talking to other artists helped her differentiate her true self from what she has to be on the dance floor:
“We are performers above anything, we have to communicate, we have to be actors.“
A dancer must be prepared to face any interpretation work: movement or body expression; in addition, the music and the rhythmic sense is also fundamental to develop the floor work.
Since dance is a mimetic art, that is to say, an art of representation, it cannot exist without the performer who gives it life. The audience expects an interpretation from the dancer, thus a commitment of his individuality in the dance. The dancers who have made their mark on history are all, first and foremost, performers, before being technicians or virtuosos.
Instrument no 2: Ballet classes
Ballet gives a huge background training to the body posture
Whether we recognize it or not, ballet is the backbone of many dance techniques. Ballet uses the muscles so differently than ballroom, and it is much much harder on the body. Use ballet as a tool to become a stronger and more well-rounded dancer.
As everybody knows, it is a very formal style of dance that is done in studios with barres and mirrors. But ballet can be your time to work on your personal dance technique, without any of the embellishments of dancesport.
What can ballet help you with?
If you notice any imbalances between the left and the right side of your body, ballet can solve the issue. Classical dance is the best way to improve one’s posture. Standing up straight, clearing the head from the shoulders and lengthening one’s spine are the first things one learns in a ballet class.
When we think of a classical dancer, his work on flexibility is useful to avoid injury and to stem the natural aging of the joints and tendons. Ballet helps you develop lean, long, strong muscles and suppleness in your joints, especially knees, hips, and ankles. You will win in elegance.
Classical training can help you advance quicker than the norm!
Instrument no 3: A personal trainer/Gym classes
Got to the gym and get yourself a personal trainer
You simply have to be fit. Get a personal trainer that knows what parts of your body need strengthening. Otherwise you can easily get injured and have numerous problems. It’s all about body maintenance really.
When you have a goal, the best way to reach it is to surround yourself with the best people and get the best tools. Like any field, that of training has its specificities and that is why professionals spend their lives studying and practicing them.
These professionals represent the best guides to assist you in your journey towards achieving and exceeding your goals.
In training and nutrition, several myths exist and it is very easy to get lost in the whirlwind of information. A certified personal trainer is someone who has the expertise, the education and the know-how to design a personalized exercise program. Once you tell your goals to your personal trainer, he or she can tailor a program just for your needs.
Why should you turn to a personal trainer?
There are days at the gym when you run out of motivation. A personal trainer will fuel you with energy and motivation. All the stress and uncertainties will fade away. A good personal trainer will encourage you to aim for and reach other levels.This is a good way to build self-confidence!
The trainer will help you add variety to your workouts. Good personal trainers are on the cutting edge of the latest techniques and exercises to improve your athletic performance and strengthen your musculature safely. They will offer a variety of suggestions for your sessions progress and remain interesting.
The personal trainer will keep track of your different workouts as well as the number of repetitions and weights used to be able to inform you of earnings within a few months of each other.
Instrument no 4: Nutrition
Make sure what ends up on your plate is quality
Dancers need to be well fed at the time of their training and competitions so that they perform well and at their best. A dancer has to have a food strategy capable of providing the dancer with the necessary energy during training.
The diet of the dancer obeys dietary rules that differ little from those of the general population. It’s all about the balance between carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, structure and variety of meals. Also, the caloric need is higher because the muscular activity entails an additional energy expenditure.
The dancer’s diet meets the criteria of the normal man’s food balance:
- an equal supply of animal proteins and vegetable proteins;
- 15% of protein, 30% of lipids, 50 to 55% of carbohydrates;
- essential fatty acids;
- a small amount of simple sugars.
All dancers must absorb enough energy to meet the rigors of hard training. Adequate intake of quantity and quality foods and fluids will provide the body with the fuel you need, to make the most of advanced training and provide optimal performance.
From acting to nutrition, you can always find external sources that can give you the necessary boost to become a better dancer.
If you want to know more about Dekatra Lapaeva, you can read the articles “Dekatra Lapaeva – “I am a mirror to my students.” | The Teacher’s Corner “ and “Elements Of a Remarkable Partnership | Tips from the PROS”.
Leave in the comments what do you do that you think helps you be a better dancer. What are your instruments? Share your stories with us.
Dancing has been my passion since I was 13 and since then I've been doing things in that direction. Writing, creating and putting together the biggest community for dancers around the world!