If you’re a professional dancer or teacher, chances are you might also be a pro cashier, waitress, administrative assistant and all-around hustler. Securing enough teaching positions to make a living can be difficult. Cue the fitness classes.
Dancers have historically turned to popular workouts like Zumba and Cardio Barre that have a performance-like class atmosphere and share similar physical requirements to beef up their dance training. That’s why it’s no surprise that more and more dance teachers are now becoming fitness instructors to supplement their incomes.
So, let’s get physical! Here are six fitness trends that dance teachers and studio owners will love adding to their schedules.
This thirsty-sounding technique isn’t as much a fitness program as it is a methodology in movement. Through dance theory and sensual movement techniques, participants learn to create true body awareness and floor work with a purpose.
Why Dancers Would Love It: In each class, instructors are expected to do a freestyle sequence demonstrating the moves taught that day. The choreography is not based on counts or musical cues, so instructors are able to truly explore the art and get in tune with their bodies.
Teacher Training: Getting certified to teach Liquid Motion requires completion of a four-day training program for $500, which includes the breakdown of core movements, teaching cues and passing the written and practical exam. www.liquidmotionct.com
Why Studios Should Offer It: According to former dancer and founder of Liquid Motion, Jeni Janover, “It’s an open-level class designed to appeal to someone who walks in off the street or even a technically trained dancer. It’s the perfect option for high-level dancers who got injured and want to get moving again, or the complete beginner who wants to gain strength, mobility and flexibility.”
This intense workout is more than twisting and twirling around a pole. It’s an aerial-based workout that helps improve strength, flexibility and grace. There are several types of pole dance, including art, sport and sexy.
Why Dancers Would Love It: Considering it employs several dance terms and concepts, such as pointed toes, pirouette and pole splits, dancers are drawn to pole because it’s not only a fitness class. Many see it as an artform that offers a sense of creativity and freedom with freestyle options and deciding on execution, whether athletic, sexy or artistic.
Teacher Teaching: There are several pole dance teacher trainings available. One of the most popular is ElevatED, a $600 training, which is a three-day course that breaks down cuing, anatomy, alignment and safety guidelines. www.elevateducation.com
Why Studios Should Offer It: “Pole dance is the best of two worlds,” says Tara Faulkner-Catalina, fitness instructor, pole dancer and creative director of Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio in South Plainfield, New Jersey. “Pole dance allows you to work all the same muscles you are used to in traditional dance class and then some. ”
Since adding the pole dance to the studio lineup, Faulkner-Catalina has noticed parents choosing to join pole classes to kill time while their children are dancing.
This high-energy dance-fitness class was inspired by Bollywood moves and songs from South Asia.
Why Dancers Would Love It: Like traditional dance class, a portion of the Doonya class is spent breaking down movements before executing them to pre-selected songs.
Teacher Training: A two-phase online training for $500 includes warm-up guidelines as well as the method’s basic styles of movement. www.doonya.com
Why Studios Should Offer It: Not only would this class provide a unique cultural experience for everyone, it will also attract a diverse clientele to the studio.
This cardio workout uses weighted drumsticks known as Ripstix to turn a drumming session into a full-body workout.
Why Dancers Would Love It: For most dancers, each class is a rehearsal for performing. With Pound, each class is the performance. Known as the “Rock Out Workout,” teachers and participants are encouraged to let loose as they strike the ground with the sticks in coordination with music. Done either in sneakers or barefoot, the series is filled with wide-legged squats in second position and is reminiscent of a dance class.
Teacher Training: For $249, dancers can attend an eight-hour training that covers class structure, as well as choreography to six tracks. An additional payment of $19 per month provides access to marketing materials and a library of choreography to use for class. www.poundfit.com
Why Studios Should Offer It: “Pound has a great musical dance base that trained dancers would love,” says Tara Faulkner-Catalina, Pound instructor and assistant director of Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio in South Plainfield, NJ. “You are staying on beat without using heavy weights, so you’re not worried about injury or hurting your technique.”
Soul Body Barre
This one-hour, total-body workout borrows principles from Pilates, yoga and ballet. The series, done primarily at a ballet barre, incorporates props like a Pilates ball and TheraBand to sculpt and elongate.
Teacher Training: The one-day training involves learning choreography, transitions, cuing and following the rhythm of the music to create class sequences. www.soulbodyonline.com
Why Dancers Would Love It: Dancers commonly feel at home at the barre and enjoy teaching the style in smaller, easier to follow doses compared to a typical ballet class.
Why Studios Should Offer It: It’s an introduction to fitness and the principals of ballet in a less intimidating way and may draw students into other dance classes.
This ancient discipline of combining breathing techniques and various postures creates a vigorous physical and meditative practice.
Why Dancers Would Love It: A better understanding of anatomy and alignment is often developed from yoga.
“While dance instructors may understand the way the body moves, they may not always understand the anatomy, which is commonly translated through yoga instruction,” says Cydny Vochovski, yogini and co-director of Next Step Dance Company in Randolph, NJ. Yoga knowledge can also assist with injury prevention in dancers.
Teacher Training: Offered worldwide, yoga certification follows a 200-hour format and typically cost around $3,000 to $4,000. YogaFit and Yogaworks offer teacher training accredited by Yoga Alliance. www.yogafit.com
Why Dance Studios Should Offer It: Yoga is a common go-to for dancers looking to improve flexibility and upper-body strength. Studio owners may also appreciate the meditative aspects of it for their busy dancers. “Teenagers who have a lot going on may feel easily frustrated in their dance classes,” says Vochovski. “Yoga helps them focus or gives them more peace, which is helpful in dance classes and performances.”