What is a dance conditioning class, and how is it different from yoga or pilates
On Thursday 18 August 2016, Move Through Life Dance Studio will be launching our first Dance Conditioning / Stretch class.
The class will be taught by the lovely Billie Cook, and be held from 7-8pm on Thursday nights for 6 weeks in Windsor Gardens. If you haven’t done a class with Billie before, have a look at a recent video we created from her Wednesday night contemporary class. Her inspiring and gentle nature are very apparent in this video.
Billie is a qualified Satyananda yoga teacher, as well as massage therapist and teacher of ballet and contemporary dance. Satyananda yoga is primarily about meditation, breathing, postures, and relaxation, and Billie’s dance conditioning/stretch class will focus on all four of these elements.
She has a wealth of experience working with people of all ages, including young people, adults, people with a disability, elderly people, and even babies. In other words, Billie understands how the human body works, and how to help it move with more efficiency and safety.
It occurred to me that people may be unsure what to expect from a dance conditioning / stretch class, so I had a chat with Billie to get a bit more detail about just what you can expect.
Is a dance conditioning class for you?
I asked Billie who she thought would benefit from the dance conditioning class, and what kind of benefits they can expect.
“In a nutshell, the class will be good for everybody, but particularly good for taking your dance practice further. You’ll improve balance, strength, posture, and coordination, but you’ll notice the difference in your dance class when you give time to developing these fundamentals. But as with any class I teach, I’ll be immediately assessing the abilities and level of the group and make sure I offer alternatives that are suitable for everyone in the group.”
She stressed that people of a range of abilities and experience can benefit from the class.
“The dance conditioning class is about finding the best way that you can do the activity. People think they are not flexible, not a rubber band. But that’s not the point. It is about each person finding the best way to do things for them, so if they need a chair or need some other support of adjustment, that’s what we do. You should be comfortable while stretching and strengthening, not in pain.”
What you’ll get from the class
“Strengthening, stretching and dance in general is a great way to let go of tension and de-stress. As a yoga practitioner, my teaching draws on a combination of dance and yoga influences. The class will help you to clear the mind, strengthen the body, create a sense of unison and oneness with yourself, and we all need that.” she continued.
“At the end of a session you will feel an element of peace in the mind, having reconnected with your core strength, and stability to feel strong and healthy in your body. You’ll feel calmer and rejuvenated. I focus on spinal health and core strength, so over time, you’ll notice improvement in your muscle tone, core stability, balance, and the growth and development of dance technique, as well as a reduction in aches and pains, particularly those you get from sitting at a computer all day.”
“The yoga poses are excellent for all of the organs. Lots of the postures do things like massage the digestive system, improve organ vitality and health. Going upside down is particularly good for the organs.”
Is dance conditioning different to yoga
Since Billie is a yoga teacher as well as a dance teacher, I wanted to know if this would be just like a yoga class, or if it would be a bit different. She confirmed that it will combine both yoga influences, as well as dance type exercises.
As a dancer and dance teacher myself, I know that it’s really common for people to hold their breath when performing dance movements, so this focus on connecting breath and body will be really important for helping to overcome that tendency. And in fact, when you use your breath with your movement, it significantly improves the quality of the movement, as well as your experience of it.
“It is a good idea to bring a towel and a yoga or pilates mat – you can pick them up quite cheaply from places like Big W. But you needn’t be worried about having to move in and out of the floor, the way you might in contemporary dance class. And if you need to roll the towel for support of your knees or back, or use a chair instead, that will be fine. There will be lots of stuff for back care, developing core and abdominal strength to support your back and improve your posture and balance.”
How is dance conditioning different from yoga?
I wanted to know how the class would differ from a pure yoga class.
Billie confirmed that the class will be based on both dance and yoga “The exercises will help you build the strength and flexibility you need for dance, or for non-dancers, give you the same benefits you can only get from dance type movements.
“I always have music on at a low volume to create a nice atmosphere. The elements from my dance practice that I’ll include focus on lengthening and stretching the legs, getting more articulation through your feet so you create nice lines of the leg and foot. And the dance influence helps improve the relationship between the brain and the spine.”
“Dance and yoga are complementary, which is why I love them both. You learn when to relax, to release tension, to work with your body rather than against it. Both yoga and dance may use flowing sequences to energise your body as you stretch and strengthen the major muscle groups.”
Billie mentioned a couple of examples of the dance inspired exercises, which can best be described as a ‘floor barre’.
“There will be beats and repetitive, conditioning movements that are related to the core technique of dance which are good for articulating your feet and legs, toning inner thighs, and improving turnout.”
Would you like to join us?
As with all the classes at Move Through Life Dance Studio, our new dance conditioning/stretch class will be non-judgemental, everyone will be welcome, and it will be fun. After all, that’s one of the major benefits of using dance as a way to exercise, you just enjoy yourself and get so involved the pleasure of movement that it doesn’t just feel like a hard slog. It’s a thing of beauty.
We’d love to have you come and join us and get your body toned and supple and ready to dance and move.
You can book through our Online Booking System
Move Through Life Dance Studio offers dance classes to adults of all ages in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, dance conditioning/stretch, and mature dance. We pride ourselves on offering you a place to indulge your love of dance, whether you’re a complete beginner, had a long break from dance, or danced all your life. Our classes have a broad mix of ages, and our philosophy is that you are never too old to dance, it is never too late to start, and you can dance forever!
If you have any questions, get in touch with Jo on 0402 070 021 or email email@example.com
Keep up with the latest from Move Through Life; dance classes, plus tips & fact sheets to help you on your dance journey…