Strength Training for Dancers

Why would a dancer lift weights?

Dancers are seen as fluid and graceful, doing beautiful movements, seemingly without effort.

What is not easy to see is all the hours of training that goes into it. Most people do not understand how strong dancers have to be to hold a pose or catch someone and make it look like second nature.

They have no concept of the pain they may be in from a sprained ankle or how exhausted they may be from travelling and practising for perfection.

Considering the often hectic schedule of dancers, why would you bother to add yet another thing, like strength training

Most of you may have heard of hockey players taking Ballet. They take ballet because it makes them better hockey players. Why would a dancer think any differently?

Supplemental training is necessary is for balance, endurance, strength, power, recovery.

Your Strength Training Program Coach

Miss Freya

Personal Trainer Specialist

Let’s break this down


As with any occupation, there are repetitive motions we go through that eventually cause muscular imbalances in the body, which, over time can cause certain muscles to pull on the skeletal structure in a way to cause alignment issues and literally pull our body out of balance. Also, holding a pose for a length of time literally involves balancing, if your body is out of whack or certain muscles are underdeveloped, holding these poses is much more difficult and exhausts the dancer more quickly.


Dancers must perform the routine to completion, and do it again the next day. You do not have the option to take a rest midway through a competition. If you have not properly conditioned your body, your performance will suffer. The audience will see a lacklustre performance that does not accurately convey your artistic abilities and hours of dedicated training.


There will be times in a dance routine where a dancer will be holding their body weight or that of another dancer in certain movements. This requires a lot of strength which can only be created by lifting heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth (hypertrophy).


Power is a requirement to allow dancers to leap effortlessly through the air from practically a standstill. A dancer who also practices strength training, particularly the fast-twitch muscles can make it look effortless.

Doesn't lifting weights make me look bulky

Many years ago there was this idea that lifting weights would make a dancer less aesthetically pleasing. This has been disproved as dancers use so much endurance muscle that they tend to grow long lean muscle. However, dancers are such all-around athletes that they must have some strength and power thrown in to adequately and consistently provide the magical experience we as an audience have come to expect.

When properly trained and supported we can assist these dancers/athletes having long and productive careers while minimizing injuries and providing a better quality of life.

Freya Ames Personal Trainer Specialist

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