Is Dance Important for Gymnasts?
Gymnastics and dance both provide similar physical benefits including improved muscular strength, spacial awareness and flexibility. However, while gymnastics and dance have similar characteristics, the actual practices are very different. These differences make dance the perfect complement to gymnastics training.
Dance improves grace.
Balance beam and floor exercise in artistic gymnastics combine tumbling and dance elements into a beautiful routine. Gymnastics is more than just performing a series of skills, it also requires dance to connect these movements. Gymnasts that take dance learn that the end of one motion is the beginning of another. This principle allows gymnasts to have more graceful connections between elements.
Arm and leg positions are reinforced through dance.
Even at a recreational level, gymnasts are taught specific arm and leg positions during their training. In preschool classes, athletes practice passé walks on the balance beam, just one example of a position that is taught and reinforced in dance class. In addition, gymnasts are taught to start and land skills with particular arm positions and body posture. These positions are also taught in dance class and helps gymnasts learn just how to press their hands and lunge into and out of skills.
Memorizing combinations helps athletes.
Gymnasts and dancers alike are required to remember a series of instructions and repeat them. This practice helps teach skills in a safe and progressive environment. When students practice these skills during dance or gymnastics, they are reinforcing their memory skills and will find it easier to remember combinations not just in the class they are in, but also in other similar classes.
Athletes are taught to express themselves
Self-expression is extremely important for youth of all ages. Teaching kids to express themselves through music, rhythm, and dance allows them to improve their communication skills in a safe way. This self-expression transfers to gymnastics as students find their personalities through presenting their skills with their own flair. Competitive gymnasts are rewarded for expression in their beam and floor routines by the judges.
Whether your child is a preschooler or competitive gymnast, dance and gymnastics provide a perfect combination that allows your child to be successful at both while remaining challenged and entertained during class.