Jana Jacques and Meredith Page: Analysis of current fitness expectations and the effects of cross-training implementation on collegiate dancers

School for the Contemporary Arts: Dance

Dance technique specialization may lead to overuse injuries that could be avoidable with the implementation of cross training. For this project a cross training program was developed to target all muscle groups, increase aerobic capacity and address common areas of physical weakness in dancers. A student body of dancers were invited to attend the training sessions 1 to 3 times a week for 13 weeks. Data was collected from three fitness tests.Results show the largest strength gains in plank holds, back extensions and cardiovascular endurance. No new injuries were reported from participants. Data from specialist interviews shows a perception of critical importance in cross training and the opinion that dance classes themselves are not sufficient in physical maintenance and injury prevention. Results from a student questionnaire indicate a high interest in the addition of cross-training classes to their curriculum.