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:
Martha Graham Dance Company’s PeiJu Chien-Pott
“Bikram yoga, bicycling and climbing stairs. I live on the top floor of a walk-up apartment.”
The Washington Ballet’s Ashley Murphy
“TRX Bootcamp, WERQ and PlyoFit! They all are a good kick in the rear.”
Miami City Ballet’s Nathalia Arja
“I love Pilates. It has brought me so much strength and body knowledge.”
Tap Dancer and Choreographer Caleb Teicher
“I’ve started rock climbing/bouldering at Brooklyn Boulders in the last year, and I love it. It’s intelligent movement, strength training and problem solving rolled into one. Beyond that, social swing dancing, independent practice in a dance studio and yoga/Pilates when I can.”
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Leta Biasucci
Biasucci in Jerome Robbins’ In the Night.
Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.
“When my schedule is pretty busy, I stick to yoga and light free weights. When my schedule isn’t too heavy, I, like any good Pacific Northwesterner, love to hike. But after a long week, miles of elevation sounds like the last thing that I want to do! There is really no substitute for dancing to get in dancing shape.”
B-Girl and Choreographer Ephrat Asherie
“Dancing for hours to music by my favorite DJs. That really helps my stamina and breathing. In terms of something more regimented, I have a set of breaking drills that build technique in a way that has sustained me for years.”
Pennsylvania Ballet’s Sterling Baca
“Swimming, gym time (upper and lower body) and floor barre.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jamar Roberts
Jamar Roberts in Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up.
Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy Ailey
San Francisco Ballet’s Sarah Van Patten
Van Patten in Romeo and Juliet
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB
Commercial Choreographer James Alsop
“I am the absolute worst and have never cross-trained in my entire life. I have never even had a gym membership. So my routine is trying my hardest to avoid the Taco Bell drive-thru!”
Boston Ballet’s Joy Womack
“Diving when I can. Elliptical. Pilates. NeuFit electrical muscle stimulator enhanced balance training.”
Contemporary Choreographer Jacob Jonas
“In the summers, I swim a mile in the ocean every Saturday morning. During the rest of the year, I enjoy going to the gym, weight training and playing basketball. Basketball is especially fun for me as it has the same physical demand as dance without the creative expectations.”