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7 Non-Dance Activities That Will Make You a Better Dancer

As a dedicated dancer, you're probably pretty proud of the number of hours you spend in the studio. You may even feel guilty whenever you divert from your normal non-stop routine. But time spent outside the studio can actually be super beneficial for your dancing.

Here are seven non-dance activities that can help you become a better dancer.


Attending Every Performance Possible

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Local dance companies, touring Broadway shows, plays, recitals…if you're not onstage yourself, get in that audience, because you can learn SO much from watching other people perform. As an observant audience member, pay attention to who draws your eye onstage and why. Chances are, you can apply what you like to your own performance toolkit.

Brushing Up on Your Dance History

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If you want to be taken seriously as a dancer, you have to know Graham from Giordano–and everyone in between. Hit the library! Or, if Netflix binging is more your learning style, start with this list of 40 Of the Best Movie Dance Scenes, and then move on to these must-see classics.

Studying Other Art Forms

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Whether you like to play an instrument, write poetry, draw or photograph, spend some time expressing yourself outside of dance. Even simply listening to music can help you grow as an artist, and give you tons of inspiration to draw from when it's time to hit the studio again.

Getting (More) Talented

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From acting to tumbling, singing to aerial work, dancers are expected to do it all these days.

Is the "special skills" section on your resume looking a little sparse? Carve out some time to give a new dance-adjacent talent the attention and energy it deserves.

Exploring Other Cultures

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There are so many life-changing effects that come with experiencing new places, and those benefits can spill over into your dancing! While you're traveling, learn about the dance community in that city or country, especially if the area is famous for originating a particular style.

Becoming a Cross-Training Queen

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Cross-training is a great way to supplement your dancing and keep your body healthy and happy all year. Check out these cross-training tips just for dancers.

Trying Out a New Style

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Ok, so this is technically a dancing activity, but come on, you can't expect to sideline a dancer for that long! Local organizations are always hosting fun community events like salsa and swing classes, which give you a chance to try out a new dance style in a low-pressure environment.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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