Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Dance and gymnastics are similar in nature and can be considered complementary classes and for good reason!
Each discipline can positively impact the other. For gymnasts that can be found in building their musicality and choreography skills on the floor exercise. For dancers, it can be found in the leg strength required for bounding leaps that gymnastics can supplement through conditioning.
Cross-training has proven to be an effective technique for young athletes and it continues to develop a well-rounded approach to activities. Specialization requires focus while pulling strengths from an array of opportunities.
Dance increases body awareness
Gymnasts are already known for their body awareness but with the inclusion of dance, it’s taken to a whole new level. Gymnastics ensures strength and power to perform awe-inspiring skills, which takes many hours of conditioning and repetition to perfect. The addition of flexibility and small bits of dance are included, but not focused on, which can leave gymnasts lacking. Dance can make up for that with a specific focus on position and poise.
Dance teaches musicality
Dance training naturally incorporates musicality training. Because dance classes are conducted with music and dance routines are performed to music, a gymnast who studies dance will easily begin to better understand counts and rhythms. For example, a floor routine encompasses music, tumbling, jumps, turns, and dance choreography. With a 90 second time limit, time to breathe in between power tumbling is important. Practiced dance can help with that through muscle memory and regulated breathing throughout the routine. A win-win!
Dance develops grace through poise
While gymnastics is considered more of a sport rather than an art, gymnasts are still required to express artistry in two out of the four apparatuses, beam & floor. Their technique in skills must be balanced by their performance quality to elicit grace and poise. The culmination of strength and clean lines is required for top marks. With the inclusion of dance into their repertoire, gymnasts can understand the tiny details that pack the most punch, from elegant, elongated fingers to the often elusive pointed toe.
With those three reasons in mind, consider adding dance to your gymnast’s schedule! It will only help them grow and learn in a whole new way!