Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash

The Best Cross-Training for Dancers, According to 12 of Your Faves

Today, dancers are cross-training more than ever. And though there are some recommendations about what types of cross-training might be best for dancers' bodies, ultimately it comes down to what works for you.

We asked 13 pros about their go-to cross-training routines as part of our "Spotlight" series—and each one of them has a totally different approach:


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts

Roberts onstage in a spotlight. He wears shiny silver pants and an open red track jacket with no shirt underneath. He also wears a red cap. He crosses one leg in front of the other, and has his arms to the sides, one curved up and the other curved down.

Jamar Roberts in Talley Beatty's Stack-Up.

Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy Ailey

"Yoga is a daily necessity for mind, body and spirit."

San Francisco Ballet's Sarah Van Patten

Van Patten in the party scene. She is in attitude, with one arm in fifth position above her head and the other in second to the side. She wears a pink long sleeved-dress. Other party guests meander around her.

Van Patten in Romeo and Juliet

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

"Gyrotonic all day, every day."

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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