Here is my showcase with my new partner Ivan Kudashev, Jersey City Competition, Fred Astaire Dance Studio regionals. Thank you Ivan for being such a wonderful partner! We received the highest score out of 47 participants!
Yep, it takes the village of YOU to succeed in developing skill, ease, strength and beauty in any physical endeavor. Ultimately, if competition is part of your life excitement, you want to feel prepared and confident so you will enjoy yourself while performing.
But there is more to do. Beyond the time you spend in the ballroom, let’s consider what you can do to bring the cat’s meow to your dancing and add fitness to your life as long as you live.
Because I have a professional dance background, people think that I get out on the ballroom floor and naturally do pretty well. But the reality is that because I’ve made the choice to stay healthy going into my , let’s just say, ‘mature’ years, I do cross training on a regular basis. It’s not just ballroom lessons.
I’m not a fan of gyms so I make it a priority to walk briskly 2-3 miles a day. That is my constant. If nothing else happens, at least I’ve done that. After taking yoga classes for 10 years, I now practice myself in my studio 3 to 4 times a week even if only for 20 minutes.
On days when weather is an issue and I don’t feel like braving the heat, cold or rain, I bike briskly 30 minutes on my stationary bike. The cardio aspect is helpful in keeping my blood pressure at a healthy level. That seems to be creeping up over the years, but boy does getting the heart rate up on a regular basis keep it at bay.
On Saturdays I take a gyrokinesis class with my friend and fabulous teacher, Andrea Sandahl. This class is particularly helpful for ballroom dancers to strengthen, lengthen and create more mobility in the spinal muscles. Especially great for Latin dancing! I use some of these exercises in my own teaching.
But for me it’s more about staying healthy and adopting a variety of movement modalities into my everyday life. And it most definitely does help bring stamina, strength and freedom to the ballroom part of my life.
As far as nutrition, I focus on eating healthy fats, limit grains. and, no surprise here, limit added sugar to 6 (women) to 9 (men) teaspoons per day. I’ve learned to abandon baked goods and salty snacks for the most part .
But yes, have your chocolate cake/baklava/pie (insert your favorite here) once in awhile!
The work that I do with all my students addresses habits -patterns of movement that are inefficient and limiting. Becoming aware of our head/neck/spine relationship is key to getting a leg up (quite literally!) in your ballroom dancing. Other opportunities are noticing that you hold your breath, overeat, not moving enough during the day, and one of my favorites, learning to pause before losing your temper and saying something that you can’t take back.
In my next blog, I’ll talk more about what actually happens in a lesson and how I can work with you to learn unique tools to help you have more energy, a healthier spine and respond in an efficient way to all matter of stimuli.
Happy Dancing! If you find this intriguing, book a lesson with me, either on zoom.com or if you are in the NY/NJ area at my studio in Montclair, NJ. Please use my contact form, tell me about yourself and leave your availability. I will respond within 24 hours.
If you know other dancers who may benefit from reading my blog, please forward.
To get my free 10 Steps to Competitive Greatness in PDF format, click here.