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Five Exercises To Enhance Your Irish Dancing

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Cara Sutherland is an Open Champion dancer from Cleveland, Ohio, USA. She is currently studying Exercise Science and is involved with the Performing Arts at John Carroll University.

These days, if you’re serious about competitive Irish dancing, you have to be a powerful and well-rounded athlete. Dancers are constantly training in different ways to become better dancers and competitors. Here are some other sports and exercises that will help to enhance your dancing!

1. Ballet

The slow movements on barre to emphasize foot technique will help dancers to develop sharp pointing and arch in the foot, as well as turnout. Of course there is also a big emphasis in ballet on full body flexibility, which will help your Irish dancing. An important technique in ballet is posture, and Irish dancers know how crucial that will in front of adjudicators.

2. Kick boxing

I recently tried a kickboxing class and it was one of the most intense workouts I’ve ever experienced! The exercises are designed to work on many muscle groups and endurance. The swift, fast kicks will help to tone quick-release muscles. There is a lot of core work, which helps Irish dancers to control leaps and add strength to their overall performance.

3. Swimming

Swimming is a great way to cross-train because it requires a lot of different muscles and does not put stress on joints that already receive a lot of impact from dancing like knees and ankles. The natural resistance from water will build strength in your arms and shoulders, which will help you to keep them firmly at your sides.

4. Pilates

Many dancers try yoga or pilates which helps with balance, flexibility, and strengthening the core muscles. Be sure to check out Dance Master Paula Golding’s flexibility and pilates videos here on Diddlyi!

5. Cycling

Cycling can be as difficult or moderate cardio as you’re willing to go. Like swimming, it does not require a lot of impact on your legs but requires primarily leg muscles. This is a great way to exercise outside and take a break from the dance studio or gym!

If you have anything else to add or are looking for additional tips, check out the Diddlyi Master Class workshops or follow me on twitter @SutherlandCara.


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