Practice, practice, practice!
Exercise to improve skills
Everyone who has become involved in Irish dancing will know that it is vital to practice as often as possible. But a big part of practicing will include doing a range of exercises that are designed to help you improve your skills.
Here is a selection of exercises you should do on a regular basis so you can keep your body supple and well trained. If you stick to doing them regularly you should start noticing a difference in not too much time at all.
The hurdler’s stretch
This is a good exercise to do before you begin any dancing routine, or if you simply want to loosen up your muscles. You’ll need to sit on the floor with both legs straightened out but apart from one another. Bend one leg at the knee and bring your foot in towards your inner thigh, while keeping the other leg completely straight. You should now lean in and stretch your arms towards the foot that is outstretched. You can also bend your ankle at this point and point your toes outwards and upwards alternately.
This exercise will help you to strengthen your arms and abdominal muscles. Position yourself on the floor as you would if you were about to do a press up. Keep your arms straight and do your push up from the knees if you cannot manage it from your feet. Hold the position and breathe deeply while you do so. Aim for fifteen seconds to begin with and gradually increase it as you get more used to doing it.
The ankle stretches
Since dancers are always on their feet, it makes sense that you should regularly exercise this part of your body. The good thing about doing ankle stretches is that you can do them at any point when you are sitting down. Simply raise your feet off the floor, point your toes, hold the position for a few seconds and then bring your toes back towards you. Hold it again and then repeat a few times to get the benefit.
And don’t forget to practice the stance!
Another important thing to remember is to practice performing the correct stance for Irish dancing. Become more familiar with the standing position and the position of your feet too. This should be taught at your dancing school but it makes sense to practice it during your own time as well as during classes. Regular efforts will ensure you get the best results.
Indeed, regular exercises like these will help enormously when trying to improve your posture, your form and your strength and poise. The exercises given above are just a handful of the ones you can do to improve your Irish dancing.
If you do these and a selection of others every single day, you will soon notice the difference in the way you look and feel in general. This can be carried over into your dancing so you are able to perform better there as well.
Try it and see!