Strength, Stretch & Control Cross Training for Dancers


July 2015

Many professional athletes cross train with alternate forms of exercise in order to keep their bodies healthy and in shape. Adding yoga and Pilates to your weekly schedule is a great way to cross train as a dancer. Not only will these other forms of exercise benefit your body, but they will also benefit your mind!


  • Yoga is a great way to work on flexibility, posture, balance, strength, and breathing.
  • Consisting of a sequence of poses, Yoga helps a dancer increase their core strength, all while working on transitions and fluidity of movement.
  • Through simpler yoga poses dancers can focus on body alignment and placement.
  • Dance Auditions and Summer Intensives can be stressful and taxing on your body, but taking yoga regularly helps calm the mind, relax the body, and boost your confidence.
photo: Paul B. Goode


  • Most dancers know Pilates focuses on core engagement and abdominal strength, but it also it utilizes, trains, and works the entire body through various exercises.
  • Strong abdominal muscles increase a dancer’s control in balance and movements, and helps prevent common injuries.
  • Pilates also teaches dancers how to isolate and use their muscles correctly in order to improve extension, turn-out, and alignment.

Try a class!

Pilates classes are included in the Technique and Pre-Professional Programs at The School at Steps, and Steps on Broadway also offers several yoga and Pilates classes daily with a variety of professional instructors.


Tip by Claire Henley, School at Steps Work/Study Assistant, contemporary dancer, Chicago native, Western Michigan University alum.