Dance vs. Power Question

Institute of Motion Forums General Dance vs. Power Question

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    • #13475
      Penelope Bridge

      Hi All!

      I’ve got a Q re: power and dancers that I need a few eyes on, and I wonder if anyone would like to offer some insight.

      Looking at the Level 1 power modules, especially Week 9 (SAQ/Plyo), what I (a dancer) am seeing are dance warm up drills. The Carioca is literally borrowed from Samba, and the in/out drills are also basic samba steps, without the added layers of hip rotations. One day of power programming might be 5% of a typical dance warm up.

      What I am understanding now is that once you add strategic, periodic rest to a dance warm up, what you really have is power? If you can see a squat as a modified 2nd position and a lunge as 4th position, then modify/loop that one movement for a count of 6, add 90 sec rest, and BOOM…Power. But if you keep pressing on for 8 hrs, it’s endurance, yes?

      So if I were to change a class structure with a proper activation, as laid out, but modified slightly for dance, with these exact power drills *but* with the added layers dancers already put on (sprints are jumps, or “jetté” in dance), what could I fill this 3 minutes of rest with?

      Some history for context: European dance styles were created about 1,000 years ago by one of the King Louis (IV? VI? I forget), for the purpose of humanizing/acculturating France’s elite soldiers (officers) that had seen too much battle. Ballet (and acrobatic) training was originally based on soldier drills, and remains unchanged. Dancers are very much trained like soldiers, and the concept of stopping to rest is definitely not allowed. At all.

      You aren’t supposed to drink or adjust your hair. This is changing a little, but I’m learning through your material that this is not conducive to health or optimal performance. Still, there is this problem of +/- 3 min rest, which will never fly. I’m thinking that very light mobility drills could work? Or is that too much?

      Thank you for your eyes!!
      <p style=”text-align: right;”>Penelope</p>

    • #13542
      Derrick Price

      Hi Penelope, copying my email response here for others to see in case anyone is curious:

      I think one of the places we can start this conversation is understanding what Power is from our perspective so we can be clear as we communicate to each other.

      Power is about Explosive Movements… Not fast movements, but Explosive. So Squatting and Lunging in the traditional sense are not Power-based movements/exercises. You’d have to modify the intent behind these movements to make them explosive, i.e. a Squat Jump, or Lunge Jump.

      With that said, you now have to consider the Metabolic demand of a Power Exercise. Explosive movements demand energy from our ATP-PCr system, which is the fast-acting anaerobic energy system. This system can foster a ton of energy quickly for muscles to produce explosive force, however, they have very small gas tanks that take time to replenish. From a programming perspective, maximally explosive exercises can only be repeated for about 10-20seconds before the power output begins to diminish considerably. Once exhausted, we’ll need at least 2-3 minutes just to replenish half of our ATP stores, and longer rest to recoup more (5 minutes or even more).
      Submaximal Power efforts primarily utilize the anaerobic glycolytic energy system which can allow us to repeat submaximal power efforts for approx 60-90s max (for most people) before rest is needed and a similar rest period is required. Aside from ATP replenishment, we also produce a lot of metabolic waste which will interfere with muscle force production which is another reason our power output diminishes and fatigue sets in.

      One of the most explosive dance routines is the Floor Routine in Gymnastics. They typically last up to 90s!

      So for endurance-based dancers, they may have an occasional bout of explosive movement in their routine, but if they are dancing for long periods and for hours at a time, I might say they spend very little time doing maximal or submaximal explosive movements in their routines. In other words, they move with much lower Power outputs as to not exhaust their anaerobic energy systems which would lead to fatigue.

      Have a think on that and come back to me with your thoughts. Because your dancers require minimal rest times in their training, the tradeoff is they move with much lower Power outputs as a result

    • #13546
      Penelope Bridge

      Thank you so much for laying this all out Derrick! I see a way to possibly isolate those intrinsically explosive movements in dance so that I can bring them into a proper power session with modifications and rest as prescribed. My justification for this is a greater ease in bridging the gap between the worlds of dance and weight/fitness training.

      If we’re already doing 32 consecutive bounding leaps with a 45 second rest, maybe we can make it 6 high quality explosive leaps with a 90 second rest first, instead of going straight into athletic-based power? But this presents it’s own problems in the warm up, so the answer might be no! We’ll see.

      I so appreciate your help with reframing this problem set.

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