Running and Dancing


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Love Strictly? Discover the benefits of ballroom...

Why Dancing Is the Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body

Running has become my outlet for that need to to challenge myself day after day. As Joffrey Ballet star Fabrice Calmels once said in an interview with Runner's World about his own running habit, "the physicality of the race is similar to some parts of the ballet…. It becomes a decision, 'I'm just going to keep going through this struggle.

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But I find there's a bigger connection than just sheer grit or applause. I think dancers and runners both are attracted to their passions because they want to achieve the seemingly impossible. They want to prove to themselves that with enough hard work, you can do something superhuman, whether that's balancing your entire body on your toes or running longer than 26 miles in one go. For me, one of the greatest things about dancing is that feeling you get during a perfectly placed pirouette.

You're turning and turning, and you hold on to eek out one extra rotation, using your turnout to slowly finish exactly where you want to with complete control.


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That feeling of total grace, of an ease that you can only master after hours, days, years of practice, is one of the most satisfying things I've ever found in life. That feeling is what I search for every time I go out running. Just like in dance, I don't find it every time.

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Sometimes you're sore, or tired, or "off" your leg. Usually when I'm running I'm a panting mess, bobbing awkwardly up and down. But every once in awhile, I can find that ease and grace where my body feels like it's soaring forward, and my legs are churning below me effortlessly. I don't know if I'll get that feeling during the marathon on Sunday.

Stay on Topic

Jacques d'Amboise in Apollo, Photo by John Dominis via danceheritage. One person I often think of to get through the rough parts of a race is Jacques d'Amboise. He trained for it without telling George Balanchine, mostly by running around the Central Park reservoir. After his very first long run of 20 miles just two days before the marathon!

Is dance a sport? Should it be in the Olympics? They're complicated questions that tend to spark heated debate. But many dance fans will be excited to hear that breaking please don't call it breakdancing has been provisionally added to the program for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Have questions?

We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.

Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Dancing can improve flexibility and dexterity, which is highly beneficial to runners.

Having a good range of movements in your ankles and hip joints improves running technique, consequently enhancing performance.

There is Nothing Wrong With Dancers Running: Here's Why - Dance Magazine

Experts agree that the stretching involved in a dance class is good for runners, particularly as some runners are prone to skipping stretching before or after training. By integrating a good stretching routine into a training plan, runners will help to avoid common symptoms of stiffness. Stretching through regular dance classes will reduce this stiffness and also reduce the risk of injury.


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Both Keith and Helen agree that athletes should integrate weight-training into a fitness plan to facilitate performance and lengthen careers in reducing the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis and brittle bone. I mproves cardiovascular endurance performance i nterval training. Specifically, ballroom dancing focuses strongly on tempo changes — an intensive level of interval training, perfect for runners.

Dancing vs. Running: The Difference in Muscle Tone

As ballroom dancing alternates between slow dancing and then builds speed, this mixture of high and low intensity movement, bringing the heart rate up and down is a fantastic activity for runners to carry out amongst their training. So, if you fancy mixing up training, ballroom dancing is not only a social and fun activity but will in fact help to improve certain aspects of your running performance.

If you enjoy dancing and are a Strictly fan, try integrating a ballroom dancing class into your training once every two weeks, not forgetting to maintain regular weight-training sessions for muscle-strengthening and injury prevention. About us Contact us Login. Best support shoes for runners. All Videos Videos.

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