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Dance

Competitive Dance vs. Origins of Dance

Dancing is something that predates human recorded history. Our primate ancestors most likely danced early and often before they evolved into the humans that we are today (take that for what you will). It’s a chicken before the egg type of conversation – but we do know that since we’ve been self-aware and recording things for historical purposes – there has been quite a bit of dancing. The earliest references we can look to are when history became “History” and that dates back to 8000 BC when cave paintings appear to show humans engaging in forms of dance in India. The Egyptians were also showing dance (moves) in their historical record around 3300 BC. The ancient Greeks also showed what appears to be dance in their historical record. Rest assured, long before we figured out how to record our histories – humans and our predecessors were dancing. For entertainment, celebrations, rituals and ceremonies – dance is deeply engrained in the human experience. Lets dance!

Fast forward to the modern era and we see the emergence of athletic, competitive dancing. This sport is worldwide and features a seemingly never-ending myriad of styles and innovations. From improvisational dance to modern dancing to ballet, hip-hop and jazz – literally there are as many different styles of dancing as there are different styles of music. In general, the style of dance will vary based on the competition and there will usually be a group of judges (experts in their own genre of dance) and groups or individuals will compete artistically but also within pre-determined criteria. Typically there will be dance lines, or troupes, or competitive groups that will compete tournament style leading up to national and global comps to see who, in fact, is the best. Children compete all the way up to retirees in different dance competitions and state, collegiate and national level teams are formed and have at it. Toddlers to high school kids to collegiate athletes and professionals all have their place in competitive dance. It’s a SCENE.

Building Strength & Skills for Competitive Dance

Dancers who intend to compete on any level must be extremely physically fit. This isn’t a standard wedding “chicken dance” affair (which can also be exhausting) – these are high performance athletes combining astonishing physicality, strength, flexibility, technique and balance. Competitive dancers work for years to become elite athletes and training is oftentimes a year round undertaking. When they are not actively competing or working on their skills and routines, competitive dancers are often using the rare downtime to cross train and study their craft. As one could surmise relatively easily, dancers must have incredibly strong leg muscles. As such, performing squats and lunges – mixed with a great deal of stretching – will find its natural way into most dancers training. It is important for a dancer to build strength in the calves, hamstrings and gluts – as well as focusing on their bottoms, legs and their cores. Abdominals, pectorals, shoulders and lats will all see rigorous use in most forms of competitive dance. Anyone who has ever seen a ballet knows just how powerful and graceful dancers are and this runs the gamut for all styles – especially on the higher levels of competition.

The Diet of the Dance

No matter what type of dancing one is undertaking – if the goal is to perform at a high level then strict attention to the detail of the diet must be exercised. Dancers will need protein heavy, low calorie diets in order to keep their body mass in check whist simultaneously keeping up their high energy during complex and grueling routines and performances. A dancers diet will feature lots of fresh fruits, chicken, fish, egg products and food types that in general that provide low calorie protein and foods specifically designed to maintain weight requirements and high energy levels. Dancing puts incredible stresses on the athletes. Their joints, bones and muscles take a battering and they need to have exceptional, disciplined eating habits in order to avoid injury, stay healthy and endure oftentimes rigorous competition and performance schedules. An elite dancer is a perfectly tuned, beautiful machine of precision and skill. This level is only maintained and improved upon with the addition of a well balanced diet.

How We Can Help the Dancer

One of the most important skills a dancer has is superb balance. It is perhaps the single most important attribute a successful dancer – across all styles and genres – can have. For this reason we recommend dancers add ‘Balanced Energy’ to their suite of training, education and nutrition. ‘Balanced Energy’ is specifically formulated to provide a natural source of energy, vitality and stamina in order to assist the dance athlete in staying focused and alert. Focus, balance and alertness are ‘must haves’ for competitive dancers. Our supplement is made from a proprietary dietary supplement that includes rhodiola rosea, ginseng, L-theanine and several other beneficial herbs. This suite of crucial ingredients will give dancers the tools they need to stay on their toes, literally.

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