How to get a dancer's body

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Glad you go to geek out - right now I'm doing that over learning about how big bands learned how to "swing " and the issues related to the dancing that was done, etc, etc,

Without reading the article (my bad?), just a very quick look, my initial reaction is... what about all the dancers who don't have "dancers bodies," meaning the body type that is idolized in DanceSport and ballet?

Going to a hip hop audition (as an observer) years ago was a great eye opener for me. A mutitude of body types were represented. If this article was headlined with somethng like - how to get the physiology of a dancer - I would not be having this reaction.
 

llamasarefuzzy

Well-Known Member
#3
Yeah, not so much a fan of the title... Does seem to imply that one cannot be a dancer without that physique. On the other hand, most ( if not all) high level (as in world finals) dancers, especially in the junior/adult categories do have that body type. It isn't necessary to be a great dancer, but I feel like if someone really wants to make it at an elite level, it is either just going to happen because of how they are training or they are specifically going to make it happen because to some extent, that is what the norm is and not looking like the norm risks judging marks.
 
#4
There's the science of the article (which is excellent) and the philosophy at the beginning and end of the article (which is not so excellent). He writes that "The appearance of dancer’s body can be achieved through yoga, Pilates, proper nutrition, and resistance training." No form of exercise will change your body type; it will only make you stronger, more flexible, and possibly leaner. Looking at highly competitive ballroom dancers as he does, he neglects the cultural selection that happens in the ballroom world: those who have certain body types are more likely to be encouraged and rewarded than those who don't have those body types. It's not really the point of the article, which almost makes we want to ignore it, but it does contribute to a culture of conformity and looks that is discouraging for a lot of people, which is why I think we're having a negative reaction. The philosophy of a few words in his article is getting in the way of his science message, which is unfortunate.

In my opinion, the best way to get a "dancer's body" is to learn how to move like a dancer: with strength, grace, energy, and rhythm. In terms of training, train for the type of movement you want to be able to do. The science he is presenting points to this message, so it's a shame he couldn't keep the overall message along these lines.
 

llamasarefuzzy

Well-Known Member
#5
Completely agree with all those points. I got so very excited about the physiology and the primary sources that I overlooked those messages the first time around. It is too bad that some people have the preconceived notion that only the very lean can be dancers, because it just isn't true and the community would be missing out on a lot of talent if we ignored everyone who was more than a size 2.
 
#6
Coincidentally, I just came across this video today. It's the freestyle dance of the most recent winner of Dancing With The Stars, Amber Riley. She's the first female winner (in the US version of the show at least) who is "full figured."

 
#7
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I wrote the article. The message of the article is this: If you just want the appearance of a dancer, that's easy enough to achieve. But there's more to the body of a dancer than what can be seen. High-level competitive dancers have fit bodies, and anaerobic activity is the way to achieve that.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#10
meh....I do all that in spades...probably more than most dancers...real answer is; eat almost nothing and only healthy stuff when you do...and everybody knows it...not advocating it...just stating a fact
 
#11
It depends on what you intend to achieve. Low body mass is achieved by manipulating energy intake and expenditure. Food quality is irrelevant. Macronutrient ratio plays a role in body composition. Exercise promotes fitness but may not be useful if low body mass is a goal, particularly if excessive activity results in compensatory behavior like overeating.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#12
yes...IME most successful dancers have low body mass to which they add an exercise program which compliments their goals...but, most of it is about intake and about specifically what that intake is...IMV...
 

CDH

New Member
#14
What I need to know is how to get a 'non dancers' body as it seems I never can put on any weight at all and it takes so much effort to gain even a bit of weight...sigh!
 
#15
I disagree that that Dancesport is an anaerobic activity. That is true if you only look at the short bursts of competition dancing, as the study did. As we know, however, there are actually many hours of practice and lessons required to reach that proficiency level. Usually anything you see a dancer do, in performance, is just the tip of the iceberg of the real work. Dancers don't stay thin and fit because of bursts of competition dancing, but because of hours of practice and rehearsal. And some people work very,very hard in practice and some just coast.
 

vit

Active Member
#16
Yeah, the article is quite short insight into it, so it can't give very complete picture.
But it was useful to me at least in a way that I checked some articles in Wikipedia. I didn't know that there are 2 types of muscle fibres - for aerobic and for anaerobic activity
 

llamasarefuzzy

Well-Known Member
#17
Surprisingly, though, practices don't tend to be as aerobically active as one might think. At least in my practice, it is a lot of slow, careful practice with time to analyze in between. One would have to be practicing consecutive rounds at competition intensity to get a good cardio workout in. Otherwise, it just doesn't have the METload required to be a good cardio workout.
In my experience, dancers don't stay thin and fit solely because of dance. They stay fit through other physical activity as well as dance, and stay thin through decreased caloric intake. Practicing and lessons just aren't vigorous enough to burn the kind of calories needed to stay very, very thin.
 
#18
I disagree that that Dancesport is an anaerobic activity. That is true if you only look at the short bursts of competition dancing, as the study did. As we know, however, there are actually many hours of practice and lessons required to reach that proficiency level. Usually anything you see a dancer do, in performance, is just the tip of the iceberg of the real work. Dancers don't stay thin and fit because of bursts of competition dancing, but because of hours of practice and rehearsal. And some people work very,very hard in practice and some just coast.
Yes, but the activity during hours of practice is intermittent. This is not "aerobic" training.

Consider the glycolytic and oxidative energy systems. How often, even during practice, do you dance for more than a few minutes without stopping? For most dancers, practice is more like interval training than "cardio."
 
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