The Importance of Cross-Training for Dancers ~ by, Gillian Lastinger

Cross-training is very common among professional athletes such as hockey, baseball, football, and basketball players. As dancers we spend so much time working on our ballet technique, pointe shoes, rehearsals, and classes when do we have time for another activity?

However more and more we are finding that to get the most out of those rehearsals and classes is to cross-train.

What is cross training?

Cross training is training in two or more sports in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in a main sport.

What is cross training for dancers?

Cross-training is a very broad term used to explain diversifying your training. However with dancers there are many levels for cross-training depending on how broad you want to go. For our ballet dancers I’m just going to break it down into 3 levels.

 Level 1: Diversification in Ballet – Cross-training in styles of ballet

This level of cross-training is the most common in ballet dancers. It is good to get experiences with different styles of ballet whether it is classical, contemporary, neo-classical, Balachine technique, Vagnova technique, etc.

There are lots of different ballets and lots of different styles. It is good to cross-train in different styles to become a stronger dancer. A classical ballet can teach you artistry, while a contemporary ballet might work on your technique more.

This level of cross-training is pretty simple, now let’s explore more.

Level 2: Diversification in Dance – Cross-training in styles of dance

Going a little bit further out of our comfort zones, it is good for dancers to explore other styles of dance. Ballet is the basis of all dance. Every other style of dance is rewarded by learning and studying ballet. However artistry and movement for ballerinas is improved by learning and studying other [...]

Netflix for Ballet Dancers ~ by Gillian Lastinger

Five Dances (2013)

83 Minutes

Netflix description: Real dance Phenom show their acting chops in this tale about a prodigy from Kansas hoping to make it big in New York City.

My Notes: This is a fictional story about a young dancer traveling to NYC. This movie does not have much of a plot and is about a young dancer growing and learning to open himself up. Mostly, I watched this for the beautiful dancing and that is why you should watch it too.


Ballet 422 (2014)

75 Minutes

Netflix description: Go backstage at the New York City Ballet, from first rehearsal to world premiere, as choreographer Justin Peck readies a new piece

My Notes: Ballet 422 is a documentary with no narration. It is a unique look at all the work that goes into a new ballet. I loved watching the story

of this ballet come together and think you will too.

First Position (2011)

94 Minutes

Netflix description: Follow dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, where the stakes are high.

My Notes: For someone like me who has never gone to the Youth America Grand Prix, this is a great look into the world of competitive ballet competitions. I loved seeing the story of these dancers as they compete and grow. What is also interesting about this documentary is how much these dancers have grown since it was filmed. Take a minute and search each of their names and you can see how far they have come since this movie (hint: check the balancing pointe podcast archives)

Ballerina (2009)

76 Minutes

Netflix Description: This 2009 documentary profiles five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre, following them from rehearsals to performances around the globe.

My Notes: It is no [...]