5 Ways Dance Can Improve a Gymnast
The Olympics are here! It’s that amazing time of year when we all gather around the television and root for our country’s athletes! What can be more exciting than seeing the best of the best compete for that gold, silver, or bronze medal?
One of our favorites events to watch at Nan’s Dance is the men’s and women’s gymnastics. They are incredibly talented and with each routine, it is easy to see how dance techniques and practices influence gymnastics. Whether you are watching the floor routine or the balance beam, you can see techniques that dancers learn right here at our dance studio. Here are 5 ways that dance can improve a gymnast.
Dance Improves Grace
Have you seen these incredible floor exercises and balance beam routines? They aren’t just about tumbling, but rather a combination of tumbling and dance elements that are effortlessly combined to create beautiful and memorable routines. Gymnastics is more than just performing a series of skills, it requires dance to connect these movements. Gymnasts that take dance learn that the end of one motion is the beginning of another. This principle allows gymnasts to have more graceful connections between elements.
Have you paid attention to the way gymnasts stand? Their backs are not arched and their bellies are not out, they are standing straight with proper alignment and not just before their routine begins, but throughout their routine and of course at the dismount! Proper body alignment throughout the execution of every skill is something that needs to be expected from all gymnasts. The gymnast should be expected to maintain and think about body alignment throughout their routine. This is a skill that can be improved through dance, proper stance, posture, and alignment. These are all crucial to dance, like in ballet.
Arm and Leg Positions
Visualize a gymnast on the beam, do you see them pointing their toes, extending their legs and arms? Gymnasts are taught specific arm and leg positions during their training. In preschool classes, athletes practice passé walks on the balance beam. This is just one example of a position that is taught and reinforced in dance class. Additionally, gymnasts are taught to start and land skills with particular arm positions and body posture. These positions are also taught in dance class to help gymnasts learn how to press their hands and lunge into and out of skills.
Both dancers and gymnasts are required to remember a series of instructions and repeat them. They learn skills and gradually build upon them, ultimately putting them together into a routine. When students practice these skills during dance or gymnastics, they are reinforcing their memory skills and will find it easier to remember combinations.
Self-expression is very important for children of all ages. Teaching kids to express themselves through music and dance allows them to express themselves in a safe environment. Dance is all about self-expression, and one particular gymnastics event definitely delivers this skill – the floor routine! Oh, how we love a good floor routine, where the gymnast not only wows us with their incredible strength and skill, but we get to see their personality shine. All those dance moves let their personalities sparkle while also connecting each skill in the routine. Competitive gymnasts are rewarded for expression in their beam and floor routines by the judges.
So why Nan’s school of dance?
If your child is a gymnast and wants to take his/her gymnastics to the next level, why not enroll in a dance class? We offer instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pre-Dance at all levels. The skills that your child will learn in dance can help make them an even better gymnast. We love having new members in our dance classes! We will help get your child acclimated to our dance school and make them feel right at home.
Want to Read More About Dance?
Take a look at some of our other articles about dance.
Don’t forget to register!
From ballet to hip hop, we offer dance classes for ALL ages and skill levels in a variety of styles. We place students in classes that will challenge them while offering a fun atmosphere for learning and growth. We also offer Mommy & Me classes, (18 months – 2.5 years)