How to look like a dancer without being one

5 Simple Steps To A Dancer Body — The CORIO Method

The dancer-body. It’s always been the envy of women around the globe, after all, who wouldn’t love to be able to get toned and fit while doing something that’s so much fun?

In this post, ex-professional dancer, personal trainer and CORIO creator Elle Kealy is sharing exactly how to get that dance-inspired look, which is something that many of our private training clients have come to us to ask for.

Before we begin though, Elle notes, “Dancer bodies come in ALL shapes and sizes. You might not see them on TV, or on stage, or in magazines all the time, because truthfully, auditions favour those of a certain height, or size, or shape, so in some sense it’s a myth that if you dance, you’ll end up looking like a prima-ballerina, or a contemporary dance- powerhouse.

However, you can absolutely train in a way that encourages a leaner, more athletic and svelte look, as opposed to the ripped, gym look that’s popular at the moment.

In this post we’re sharing the 5 keys to getting “dancer-fit” that anyone can do, even if you're not a dancer.

If you’re looking to find out how to get a dancer-inspired body, then we’ll share with you:

- What kinds of exercise work best if you want to get fit like a dancer,

- Why it's not all plies & dancing (and what you need to ADD to get amazing results)

- The little known secret to making short workouts effective and great for fat loss.

“The truth is that dancers have incredible bodies but most dancers don’t get those results from the practice of dance alone. And even if they’re genetically blessed, it’s one thing to look a certain way on the outside, but another to be truly fit and healthy on the inside too.”, says Elle.

Step #1  Cross Train (Or...mix it up!)

Professional dancers who want to get strong, lean and avoid injury train to improve their strength, agility, power, posture and endurance outside of the rehearsal room too.  This blend of cross training helps them meet the demands of dance but also keeps their body in top condition.

When we work with private clients, and in our CORIO Sculpt class, we like using a blend of methods too, from dance cardio, to interval training, strength, bodyweight and resistance band conditioning and core strengthening exercises.

We even put cross-training elements into our cardio-focused CORIO Dance classes, which also work the core, and use bodyweight exercises to sculpt and tone.

If your goal is to get a body that’s healthy, fit and injury free then all of these elements need to be in place.  


#2 Move more

Let’s not underplay the most important aspect of getting dancer-fit:  Consistency.

“When I was a dancer I was rehearsing and performing each and every day, dancing for an average of 8 hours.

When I wanted to get in my best shape, I went to the gym 3 times a week on top of that to do strength and conditioning work that helped me to get definition and strength. ”, says Elle.

If you’re hoping to get beach-ready in 1 or 2 dance cardio classes a week and that’s all you do, you’ll be fitter but you won’t necessarily see dramatic changes.

Try adding at least two (ideally three) HIIT or strength/HIIT workouts per week, as well as your weekly cardio, to start seeing progress, and stick with it for at least 4 weeks before analysing if it’s working for you.

And don’t forget to move on your days off! Walking, Pilates, barre class, these are all great ways to stay active even on a rest day.

Stay consistent and try to work your way up to enough weekly activity.  Don't let lack of time get you stuck here. If that gym class or barre studio is too far from home and you only get there once a week, try adding creative at home workouts, like The CORIO Club to supplement your training.


#3 Eat well, most of the time.

While workouts are going to improve your mood, cardio fitness and strength, fat loss ‘mainly’ comes from the food you eat, but it doesn’t have to be dramatic shifts in your habits or a diet that get you there.

“I firmly believe exercise should never be viewed as a punishment because you ate something, or a green light to have a terrible diet. I sometimes tell my clients they’re like a high performance car. Your meals are your fuel, which should always be high-grade, and your workouts are the fine-tuning, the mechanics and the design that gives you extra oomph.”, says Elle.

She asserts that unfortunately, you can’t outrun that mega-burger and fries just because you danced for 30 minutes non-stop. (Unfortunately, steady-state cardio alone burns less calories than you think and in some people it ramps up the hunger hormones, which is why HIIT workouts, like those in a CORIO Dance class can be more effective than pure steady-state cardio.)

Equally, extreme dieting can put your body into a metabolic mess, slowing down your metabolism and ultimately leading to additional weight gain. Not something we suggest you try!

Instead of fad diets, eating tasty, nutritious food most of the time, and dropping the unhealthy snacks, or heavily processed foods, is enough to get most people the drop in pounds that they want.

( And yes, there’s still room for a glass of wine and chocolate in a balanced diet!)

#4 Challenge to Change

You need to challenge your body to change your body. The theory is that if your body can already do something, like lift a weight, plié for 1 minute, dance for an hour, then it doesn’t see the need to adapt to meet the demand of doing that activity.

So if you want your body to create muscle, to build strength or endurance, you need to consistently ask it to do something it can’t already do, called a progression.

(This progression concept that we call CHALLENGE TO CHANGE is a key part of The CORIO Method, where we program each workout to continually push your body so that it changes shape and grows stronger. )

A progression might mean adding resistance to a bodyweight moves, increasing the time or intensity of a workout or making it harder through more challenging variations, or different rest times and repetitions.

If you’re still doing the same workout you’ve always done and nothings working, the chances are it’s time to try something new.


#5 go FULL OUT

Most dancers perform choreography “full out”, which means they’re really trying to move fully through every step and put all their energy into it. If you’ve ever tried it, it’s tough!

It’s a common trap to go through movements but to lack intensity. If you want to see results, add intensity by really moving as fully as possible. Straighten your arms, jump a little higher, push to the end of the timer, don’t stop 2 seconds before, and focus on your technique.

And finally a little bonus tip: While traditional gym stalwarts like squats, lunges and push ups are all great ways to train (and we use them a lot of inside of The CORIO Method), there are nuances to those movements that dictate whether you’re going to use your glutes more (which we want), or your inner thighs, or your quads (less ideal), for example.

This is something that we’ve dealt with for our clients inside of the CORIO Club, with every workout designed to hit the right muscles, and with special programs designed to get great results when you follow the expertly designed plans.

Try the CORIO Method for yourself, with our exclusive, 7 day mini-program, which is yours when you join our in-the-know VIP list. Simply click the link below to sign up. (Those on our priority list are first to find out about special events, training opportunities and new releases, which often sell out quickly.) Sign up now and get your free 7 day CORIO Method plan.

Fitness TipsElle KealyFItnessComment


10 Moves to Give You a Toned Physique Like a Ballet Dancer

  • Wellness
  • Fitness


Kim Grundy

Kim Grundy

Kim is an experienced writer and editor, as well as a licensed physical therapist. She has been published in USA Today, Parents, Livestrong, SheKnows, Fit Pregnancy, Byrdie and more.

Byrdie's Editorial Guidelines

Updated on Mar 02, 2022

Reviewed by

Joe Masiello

Reviewed by Joe Masiello

Joe Masiello is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and medical exercise specialist (MES) with more than 20 years of fitness industry experience.

About Byrdie's Beauty & Wellness Board

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Fact checked by

Lisa Sullivan

Fact checked by Lisa Sullivan

Lisa Sullivan, MS, is a nutritionist and health and wellness educator with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. 



Ballerinas have a way of carrying themselves with grace, strength, and confidence.  Their training not only teaches them poise but also works their bodies in a way that creates long and lean muscles. You, too, can train like a ballerina (minus the bruised toes and fierce competition) with these ballet exercises that will sculpt and strengthen your entire body. “It’s a method of movement that allows you to connect to the body, to sculpt a feminine physique, to balance posture, and to burn calories without heavy impact,” says Christine Bullock, former ballerina, and creator of Evolution 20.

Ballet dancer and director of the Steezy Studio Brittany Cavaco agrees, adding that ballet gives you strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, and lots of energy. “I find that even doing just 20 minutes of a ballet barre or ballet toning class gives me a lot of mental clarity,” she says. “The repetition of the movements, along with the artistry, allows you to do a full-body workout without even realizing it.”

Ready to get started? Here are 10 total-body exercises to get you a toned physique like a ballet dancer’s.

Meet the Expert

  • Brittany Cavaco is a professional ballet dancer and the director of the Steezy Studio ballet program. Her career highlights include dancing with companies such as the Washington Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and English National Ballet.
  • Christine Bullock is a former ballerina, a fitness expert, and the creator of the Evolution 20, Super Shred, and Body Reborn fitness series, as well as the co-creator of Kayo Body Care. She is certified in yoga, Pilates, postnatal fitness, and nutritional counseling.

Safety and Precautions

These ballet exercises are low-impact, so they are easy on your joints and also strengthen your muscles to prevent injury. “These ballet-inspired toning moves are very inclusive,” says Cavaco. Even so, it is important to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have existing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Start slowly with any exercise program, stopping if you have any pain, and work your way up in intensity and duration. If you have prior injuries or conditions like arthritis, Cavaco recommends listening to your body and stopping if you have any discomfort. “I would suggest that people with arthritis take the pliés very slow and don’t go as deep down.”

One of the benefits of ballet toning and ballet barre exercises is that they can help prevent future injuries. “Even if you love heavy weights or HIIT workouts, it’s beneficial to your body and goals to add barre,” says Bullock. “This type of workout can build the small muscles around joints to protect from injury. It incorporates mobility and flexibility to balance posture and sculpt longer musculature, and it still blasts calories.”

01 of 10

Plié in First Position

Steezy Studio

Plié means “to bend,” and it is the best exercise for your glutes and legs. “This traditional ballet exercise is the first step we do in every ballet class, and it is the bread and butter of all ballet moves,” says Cavaco. There are two types of pliés: a demi plié (meaning small or half) and a grand plié (meaning big or full). She recommends doing each type of plié in this exercise sequence.

  • Start with a demi plié in first position. Your heels should be touching and your toes pointed outward.
  • Your legs will be straight to start, glutes engaged, and pelvis slightly tucked.
  • Bend your knees, going down about halfway, with your heels still on the floor.
  • You will create a diamond shape with your legs. This is your demi plié.
  • To do a grand plié, just continue all the way down until your glutes are hovering over your heels.
  • In between each plié, come back up to straight legs.
  • Perform three demi pliés followed by one grand plié. Repeat this sequence for three to five sets.

“Try to keep your pelvis and glutes under you. It’s tempting to let them go back like a squat, but try to avoid that if possible,” says Cavaco. “Also, make sure to have your knees go over your first and second toes in each plié to avoid any knee discomfort.”

02 of 10

Plié in Second Position

Steezy Studio

This is the same exercise as the first position plié, however, you will be standing in what ballerinas call the second position. You will also perform both the demi plié and the grand plié (pictured above) in this sequence.

  • Stand in second position, with your feet hip-distance apart and your toes turned out.
  • Perform the demi plié, in which you go halfway down.
  • Return to standing.
  • To perform the grand plié, bring your pelvis in line with your knees. Your heels should stay on the ground.
  • Perform three demi pliés followed by one grand plié. Repeat this sequence for three to five sets.

03 of 10


Steezy Studio

“This will ignite your inner thighs,” says Cavaco, who explains that “jeté” means “to throw.”

  • Start in fifth position, with both feet turned out and one in front of the other. Your front foot’s heel should touch the back foot’s toe.
  • Your outside leg will go out to the side at 45 degrees and then close in fifth position, with this leg in the back instead of the front.
  • Continue doing this movement, alternating front and back.
  • Repeat on the other leg.
  • Do as many repetitions as you can for one minute.

“Make sure that both legs stay as straight as possible the entire time,” says Cavaco.

04 of 10

Leg Circles

Steezy Studio

This exercise strengthens and sculpts your abdominal muscles. The bigger the circle, the more challenging it will be! 

  • Sit tall on your sitz bones (the bony part of your pelvis), and lean back onto your hands behind you.
  • Bring your legs up to tabletop and have them glued together.
  • Circle your legs around, starting to the right.
  • Do this 15 times, then repeat to the left.

05 of 10


Steezy Studio

Bridging helps lift and strengthen your bum as it works your gluteus muscles, hamstrings, and even your core.

  • Lay on the ground, with your head facing toward the ceiling.
  • Place your feet hip-distance apart, with your knees pointing to the ceiling.
  • Engage your lower abdominals, and start the movement by tucking your pelvis.
  • Slowly roll up into a high bridge, lifting each vertebra in your back one by one.
  • When you reach the top, hold for a moment, and slowly reverse down. Make sure that your hips are even throughout the exercise.
  • Perform 20–40 reps.

06 of 10

Standing Obliques

Steezy Studio

This exercise tones and sculpts your oblique muscles, which are your side abdominal muscles. “Try not to let momentum take you up, and instead let it be driven by your muscles,” says Cavaco.

  • Stand up, feet hip-distance apart. Make sure your shoulders, hips, and feet are all in the same line.
  • Put your hands over your head.
  • Lean to the right, and use your left oblique to slowly bring yourself back up.
  • Repeat 20–30 times on each side.

07 of 10

Ballet Arms

Steezy Studio

You know how ballerinas have such beautiful arms? It is partly due to this move, which also strengthens your shoulder and back muscles.

  • Standing hip-distance apart, open your arms to your sides. Make sure your elbows are lifted and your forearms are curved in slightly.
  • Using your lats and back muscles, bring your arms together in front of you. Imagine that you are hugging a tree.
  • Reverse your arms back out.
  • Make sure not to let your elbows drop and to keep your arms at shoulder height throughout the entire exercise.
  • Repeat this move for 30 seconds to one minute.

08 of 10

Plank With Hip Dips

Steezy Studio

This exercise strengthens and tones your midsection, giving you that lean and graceful look of a ballerina.

  • Start in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Try to keep your body as long and straight as possible, from your head to your toes. Make sure your bottom isn’t sticking up.
  • Engage your lower abdominals, and shift your hips to one side. Come back to the middle, and then shift them to the other side.
  • Lift your shoulders up and out throughout the entire exercise.
  • Repeat 15 hip dips on each side.

09 of 10

Inner-Thigh Lifts

Steezy Studio

This thigh-lift exercise will strengthen and tone your inner-thigh muscles for strong and sculpted dancer’s legs.

  • Lie down on your side, and take your top leg and bring it over onto the floor in front of you.
  • Flex your bottom foot, lift it up about seven inches, and then lower it back down.
  • Lift it high enough so you are feeling your muscle work. If you aren’t feeling it, you aren’t lifting your leg high enough.
  • Perform 30–40 reps on each side.

10 of 10

The Swan

Steezy Studio

“The goal here is to look like a beautiful swan,” says Cavaco. “Let your arms be engaged, but not stiff.”

  • Stand hip-distance apart, with your hands by your hips.
  • Let your elbows lead your arms as they travel up above your head and then come back down.
  • Make sure not to let your shoulders creep up toward your ears, and avoid any tension in your head, neck, or chest.
  • Repeat this move for 30 seconds to one minute.

10 Best Lightweight Arm Exercises for Sculpted Muscles

Article Sources

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  1. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Safe exercise. Updated February 2018.

V.P.Dhananjayan "Dancer in dance" - Chapter VIII Kathakali on the modern stage

V.P.Dhananjayan "Dancer in dance" - Chapter VIII Kathakali on the modern stage

11th-Apr-2008 11:19 am

Chapter VIII Kathakali on the modern stage

The question of staging classical Indian dance on the modern stage is a subject of discussion. We do not want to enter into an argument, but we want to sensibly consider and discuss the most significant points that contribute to the successful development of classical, visual forms of art.

History says that India used to be a country of very rich culture, prosperous in terms of material wealth, a country of great intellectual achievements, and especially achievements in the field of art. This wealth attracted conquerors of various races, eventually India came under British rule. All these historical cataclysms affected the life of the country's population. But these changes were often just a blind copy of the charming English sophistication, without taking into account our social, cultural, religious and climatic features.

Our nation could well move forward with such a deep and vast cultural heritage that we can rightly be proud of, like China or Japan, which never sacrificed their cultural identity for the sake of modernization or industrialization. But we sometimes go the wrong way, trying to copy the West in every aspect of its life, including art. Therefore, the ways in which our classical dance is presented have changed significantly. The performance venue from Natya Mandapam and Natyashala has been mainly moved to Western theaters. Of course, changes are needed, inevitable, and taking into account the interests of our growing population is a requirement of the new time.

Temple arts
All the classical dance styles of India can be called temple arts, not because they were required attributes of temple rituals, but because their main purpose was to raise spirituality. Apart from the function of ritual, symbolic veneration of God as the supreme artist and supernatural power, the temples were sanctuaries of knowledge. They were centers of social life, places for theatrical performances and recreation. Almost everything revolved around the temple. The temple was not only the center of communication between man and God, but also was a link between people. Temple holidays and rituals brought joy to people, part of the rituals included music and dance. The place for holding dance and musical performances in the temple was called Natyashala - Mandapa or a similar word in the local dialect. All of these Mandapams have been specially designed and built for specific purposes and are ideal for the purposes of our classical dance performance.

Unlike Western forms, most of our classical dance concerts are designed for close contact with the audience or Rasika. As a performer myself, I can attest that very often this closeness of the audience is essential to a successful, much less excellent performance. Feedback, vibrations of feelings coming from the viewer serve as sources of inspiration for the artist, raise his spirit to new heights, help him or her to fully reveal his talent. Our traditional theaters provided the necessary intimacy with the audience. Holding a performance on the territory of the temple served as a prerequisite for turning a dance performance into an amazing, divine action. Can this be achieved on the modern stage? Yes, provided that it is designed and built by people who know the basics of our dance, who are able to apply modern technologies to achieve greater convenience and provide additional technical capabilities. All post-independence theaters in India are replicas of Western theaters and concert halls, with no hint of Indian origin. The architects who designed them, unfortunately, did not have the slightest idea about the Shilpashastra and the goals of our theatrical art. In honor of the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, a theater called Rabindra Kalashetra was built in the capital of every state of India, with the exception of Madras. But, with the exception of the name Kalashetra, there is nothing Indian about them. These Western theaters do not provide the proximity of the performer to the audience, which is necessary for our dance performances.

With respect to Kathakali
Kathakali, more than any other, needs close contact with the viewer, the viewer's participation in the production greatly enriches the performance itself, helps the actors and creates the right atmosphere. From the open-air stage, where the darkness of the night itself served as a natural background and curtain, the performance was transferred to a closed hall and lost some of its expressiveness. The leaves of the coconut palms no longer caress the audience, carrying the coolness of a fresh breeze at dusk and during sunset. Kathakali was created for the open space, the dance itself, music and costumes - everything is designed for this. Ask any Kathakali dancer what they prefer: a modern theater stage or an open platform? - he would rather have an ordinary platform with an oil lamp and the opportunity to inhale fresh air than a closed and suffocating hall with scorching electric lamps and ear-piercing echoes from the sound of drums rushing from loudspeakers. Several factors must be taken into account.

First, heavy clothing and heavy make-up means dancers need fresh air to feel comfortable and maintain a good supply of vitality. Even a very experienced Kathakali dancer feels exhausted after an hour or two of playing in a closed theater, but he can dance all night easily and without feeling tired on an open platform. Kathakali has to be watched closely, there is a silent dialogue between the actors and the rasika. A slightly raised platform, people sitting closely around it - an ideal view for the performance is provided, the audience can move back and forth, depending on what is happening on the stage. A large oil lamp, glowing with natural soft light, does not cast shadows on the faces of the actors, the lighting it creates harmonizes with the color of the make-up and costumes without changing them. On the contemporary stage, this same lamp is preserved only as a tribute to tradition, without any practical purpose. She even distracts the attention of the audience, who are locked within the confines of her hard and uncomfortable chair. Most modern scenes are raised above eye level, which often leads to the fact that the dancer's figure is often not fully visible, and the actor's face is also indistinguishable, with all its enhanced and peculiar facial expressions. Too much distance between the actors on the stage and the rows of seats in the auditorium breaks the direct connection between the performer and the audience. Added to all the other inconveniences are the cone-shaped floor lamps at the forefront of the stage. All this destroys the special spirit of the performance, deprives it of artistic value, and creates a heavy feeling of unnaturalness of the characters. As we know, the make-up and costume of Kathakali are abstract in their meaning, they do not reflect the appearance of the objects of the physical world, but rather some mystical ideas and images. Therefore, modern theaters and props are very poorly adapted for holding Kathakali dance performances.

I have recently come across several articles in newspapers and magazines about the declining interest in Kathakali in Kerala, and suggestions to rectify the situation by using modern stage venues such as theaters or cinema halls that can be adapted for display, as well as modern stage effects - complete blackouts, electrically driven curtains, flickering lights during battle scenes, etc. Can you imagine what such a performance of Kathakali would look like? Draw your own conclusions. ..! But this is not an exaggeration, all these technical innovations were applied in Kerala, among the actors it is called Bale (not ballet, as it is pronounced in English). I wouldn't recommend this very Bale so popular in Kerala, it's just crazy to have such a miserable and spoiled dance performance in a temple festival, on an impromptu stage.

I am not opposed to Kathakali or other Indian classical dance performances being performed in modern venues and using modern technology. You can adapt them very well and achieve a real, highly artistic Indian performance. As far as my modest knowledge allows, Shmt. Rukmini Devi was the first to propose the idea of ​​using modern means to enhance the aesthetic impact of the Indian tetra, and to hold performances while maintaining the Indian spirit of dance.

Better late than never - this idea was gradually adopted and the first experimental and modern Koothambalam was built to stage Kathakali and related forms in Kerala Kalamandalam. It was not designed by a fashionable architect, but by a retired engineer named Apukutan Nair. He also designed a similar building Natyashala for Kalakshetra, Madras, this project was the fruit of the joint intellectual efforts of him and Rukmini Devi. Both are followers and masters of the traditional forms of the theater arts of India, with a precise knowledge of classical dance and theatrical art, so these two theaters can be ideal for a classical dance performance. Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan's latest publication on traditional Indian theater can serve as a detailed guide to modern architecture and serve to better understand the essence of our performance and the fundamentals of Indian dance in general. Suffice it to say that modern Indian theaters are not designed to show classical dance, but the lack of other facilities forces us to stage performances on modern stages, and sometimes put up with the disadvantages of the environment. Organizers, cultural foundations and commercial organizations should keep in mind that it is necessary to build theaters for our dance styles, as I wrote above. To some extent, other classical dances, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, look good on the modern stage (with good decorations, of course), but the performance of Kathakali and similar outdoor styles leaves an unpleasant feeling after viewing. I hope that theaters like the halls in Kalakshetra and Kalamandalam will be built in the major cities of India. The cultural department of the Sangeet Natak Academy could build economical outdoor stage venues with all modern facilities in small towns and villages.

  • Tags:dancer on dance, dhananjayan, kalakshetra, kalamandalam, kathakali, theater

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Conflicts in a dance couple: how to live on?

To those who think that this topic is nonsense, "we never quarrel, I have the most kind-smart-good-patient-attentive , we can immediately diagnose:

- you have not been training together for a long time a time when you feel absolute happiness, inspiration, complementarity and just delight!Don't worry, the turn will come to curlers, unshaven legs, snoring and an unopened toilet bowl)
- you do not train often enough or effectively (the fact that lovers are at a distance or via the Internet, the candy-bouquet period is much longer, they do not have time to get bored with each other, and also rarely side by side in severe stressful situations, which reduces the likelihood of a quarrel)
- you are lying to us or to yourself;)
- you are saints (we haven't met such yet)

interests of everyone, but in general, situations of conflicts, disagreements and contradictions are inevitable sooner or later for any two people who pair up for regular training and competition.

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We were prompted to write an article about relationships in a couple, both by numerous questions from different people and students, and by our great interest in this topic. During our joint dance career, we went through fire and water together, as it seems to us (copper pipes, perhaps, are still ahead :)). We are both emotional passionate people, in love with our work, burning for it, and dreaming of making our dance better at all costs, ready to fight for this to the last drop of blood. It is a pity that we often had to fight and still often have to fight not together, but against each other ... Thousands of disputes, hundreds of conflict situations, insults, sometimes tears. There were doors slamming loudly, thoughts of leaving everything, but what can I say, even reached the broken walls of the hall (later I had to pay for repairs).

When the very first contradictions arose between us and quarrels broke out, we were shocked and upset, we thought that this was only with us, which meant that we did not fit together, which meant that nothing would work out, everything is bad and we need to quit . .. It seemed to us that it was in our couple that everything was wrong, while for others everything was fine and cloudless. What was our surprise when, in response to our timid questions, various senior comrades began to tell stories, how they also argued, shouted, cried, slammed doors, and once we even broke a mirror, and once he tore my suit, and once he threw my sneakers out the window, etc! Then we gradually learned that all couples, even the world top ones, conflict to one degree or another. But this, of course, does not mean that you need to strive for this, it just means that you do not need to quit, and you can cope with everything. Fuuuuuh)) We have a chance to cope with everything and figure everything out, believe me, you have it too - this is the first important conclusion. And the second, no less important: quarrels and conflicts greatly interfere with the training process and the achievement of goals, you need to get rid of them .

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There are many advantages and disadvantages to partner dancing. The advantage is the ability to interact and communicate with another person. And of course, this refers to the interaction not only physical, but also spiritual, emotional. Yes, and the dance itself, at least boogie-woogie, is a variety of relationships between people: you can dance frankly and passionately, you can be touching and in love, you can be merry people who make fun of each other, or you can compete and fight among themselves for the attention of the public, you can even be offended and reconciled... an infinite number of different interactions, relationships, situations, characters, contrasts that can and should be included in your dance, and which inevitably enter there.
This is especially true for boogie-woogie, because we consider our dance to be one of the most sincere even in competitive manifestation. Boogie-woogie is good because it can be danced with any mood and with any stage image and character. This is not, for example, a waltz, where you must be prim and decent, or salsa, where you need to be a "hot thing" at all costs - in boogie everyone can do whatever they like: if you want, put on a tuxedo and go on pathos , but if you want - show everyone your tongue and jump so that you can see your panties! Therefore, a person can play less in it and act according to a given pattern, correspond to the image laid down by the history and tradition of dance and not deviate from it, but reveal himself more, express himself in the direction that is close to him. But at the same time, this adds complexity, because you are not dancing alone, and it is necessary not only to express your personality, but also to build harmonious relationships with another equally bright and full-fledged personality who also strives to express himself.

From this follow the shortcomings and difficulties of pair dances : many problems and obstacles that must be overcome in order to achieve mutual understanding, unity and harmony, in order to learn together to express their personalities, interact in various ways and successfully show them in public. And this is very difficult to achieve. The problem is precisely that each dancer is the only one in the world, a unique person, a personality with an individual set of certain qualities. He has his own tastes, his desires, goals, requirements. And of course, when two such unique personalities pair up, there are a lot of discrepancies between them in various parameters and, as a result, claims against each other, which in the future can develop into conflicts.
And conflicts in a couple not only take away precious training time, reduce the productivity of work, the development of a couple, but also charge the dancers with negative emotions, which gradually color their attitude to each other, to the training process and the dance as a whole, into black. Boogie-woogie, as we said above, is an open and emotional dance, very much related to the personal qualities and relationships of the dancers, it does not have a ready-made template: masks that you need to put on yourself and behind which you can hide in order to dance. Therefore, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to open up to each other (and to the viewer), to improvise, listen and understand each other when you are in a state of conflict with a person, when you do not rejoice at him, when you do not want to smile, there is no feeling of unity and understanding.

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Let's list some common causes of conflicts :

1. The difference (real or imaginary) in the dance level of the partners.
We recommend finding a partner as early as possible in order to develop in parallel and in the same style and direction, to acquire common habits and patterns of movement - this will be very useful to you in the future. But this is not always the case.
In couples with different dance levels, a situation may arise that a more experienced dancer or one who considers himself to be such begins to behave arrogantly, command, teach a weaker partner. At every opportunity, remind him of the shortcomings, blame him if something does not work out. The main danger here is that this "more experienced" dancer, getting used to focusing on the shortcomings of the other, completely stops paying attention to himself, to his mistakes, and also completely crushes the independence and adequacy of the other dancer. And such a situation may arise that something does not work out precisely because of the “more experienced” dancer, but accusations and criticism pour on another, the problem cannot be solved in any way, a conflict arises.

Unfortunately, it is very rare that both people in a couple consider themselves equal in level and this is a much more common situation than it seems at first glance. Moreover, it often even happens that objectively better than a dancing person in a pair scores an allegedly better one, because he is psychologically stronger or more self-confident. We ourselves went through different stages of this conflict, although in a rather mild form, but it also affected us: in boogie-woogie, at different stages, it becomes harder for the partner, then for the partner, and at some periods it seems that one is lagging behind, then another. In fact, the partners do not lag behind each other, it’s just that quantitative and qualitative leaps do not occur simultaneously, even when working in parallel, and the illusion may well be created that one is far ahead of the other, even if in reality this is not the case. Therefore, be very attentive to this reason, it can manifest itself even if you started exercising on the same day and your level is really very close.
Dancers with actually different backgrounds should be especially careful. Be very attentive and adequate to each other, try to follow each other during training, and not for others! Nobody forced you to pair up with a person of a different level, it's your choice, you yourself wanted it and went for it, you don't need to search for motes in someone else's eye, look for logs in your own! Controversial issues are best resolved with the involvement of a third party whom both of you trust%: a coach, teacher, favorite dancer. If you cannot meet in person - record yourself on video and write messages, in our environment even high-level couples are very friendly and open and try to help younger comrades. If it’s not possible to ask, take a detailed look at how your favorite couple you want to be equal to does it, watch the video, arrange it in frames, find the differences between yourself and them and try to do the same.

2. Star disease in one of the dancers.
Similar in all respects to the previous item. When in a couple someone considers himself just an ideal dancer, better than others, does not even allow the thought that he can do something wrong, does not accept any criticism. He considers his dance partner much worse than himself and often threatens to find someone better. Nothing good will come of this attitude. And this type of relationship will certainly manifest itself in a competitive dance, which will look like a dance of one person. Surely, each of you has watched formulaic Hollywood films about the best player in a football or basketball team who tries to play alone and his team inevitably loses against even an average opponent. Do you remember how these films always end? That's right, by the fact that the "star" player understands the need for a team game - passes, passes, interaction, asks everyone for forgiveness and starts playing together with everyone (hooray-hooray victory!). Do not try to repeat the mistakes of similar films, learn from their example: in team events, no matter how cool one is, this is not so important when faced with a close-knit team. Boogie-woogie is a team sport, although you always have two people on your team. Remember this and remind your partner. Personal development is very important, everyone should strive to be the best for their role, but this will never be enough, what is needed is a team, a couple.

3. Star fever for both dancers.
When everyone considers himself right in everything and everyone insists on his own, everyone wants to do something of their own, pleasing only to him. Thus, most of the training time is usually spent arguing and cursing. It is very difficult to come to a compromise, because someone has to make concessions, and no one wants to do this, because everyone considers himself the best.
Don't forget, you are not playing against each other, but on the same side of the field. And it is not necessary to show which of you is cooler, to compete with each other, to prove something to each other. Direct these efforts to prove that you are a great match for each other, complement each other cool, you can do something cool together - because the power is not in each of you, but in your community and the ability to build it. If both of you are cool, this should be good for both of you, benefit from this by teaming up with your partner, and not fighting him.

4. Misogyny or "sexist" problems.
In general, this is more of a special case of problem 2, but quite common. Often there is an opinion that the partner “does the dance”, that “everything depends on him”, that he is the “leader” and he alone deserves praise, attention, and what hangs in the dance next to him can only, at most, not interfere.
In addition to the fact that this point of view is very ignorant and inherent only to dancers who are superficially familiar with boogie-woogie, it is also barbarously unfair and creates quite a few conflicts in a couple, especially with the makings of a "star fever" in a partner who could quietly and peacefully remain makings, but because of such statements developed.

All experienced dancers know that despite the fact that the partner is the leader in the pair and he has the responsibility of composing the dance and he is responsible for global musicality, and outwardly it seems that this is a more difficult or more responsible job, it is worth paying attention to that all this is not taken from the ceiling and is the result of training. And if the partner does this well, then the couple was able to build their training together so that the partner could learn it, that they did enough right exercises, both of them had the patience and diligence to achieve this! And it is not known whose merit is greater here.

In general, we have heard more than once from European dancer friends, and we ourselves believe that separating a couple and saying that one partner was good and the other was bad, that you won or lost thanks to only one member of the couple is a very stupid wrong position . Often, from the outside, everything looks far from what it actually is in a couple, and such reasoning and accusations or praise against one as opposed to the other never contributes to the development of a couple. Remember, if you saw that in the dance the partner did not go for the figure, it is not known whether she was led badly, whether the partner led badly, do not rush to draw conclusions and condemn someone, because one thing is known - the figure was undertrained, unworked, uncleaned, poorly designed and so on, but both are to blame for this!
The only thing where there can be some kind of individual weight is as the main move, only here the judges can look separately at the legs of one and the other, but even then, in the end, you still get an average score - this is one, but two - the lack of symmetry and harmony, which is trained only in pairs and for which both are responsible, will always lower the mark.

Another problem is that it is more difficult to look good in a dance and to deserve a positive assessment often with a partner. Because it is she who does not know what will happen next, it is for her that it is a surprise what will happen in the next moment, it is she who has to adapt to those sudden ideas and thoughts that a partner has, while he acts in accordance with his plan and therefore, she often looks more calm and confident, has more opportunities to move beautifully and technically - that is why she is visually more vulnerable, it is easier for her to seem confused or make a mistake to the public, so that later she will receive "stupid", "he did everything cool, but she screwed up ". Do not rush to such conclusions, especially if your role in the pair is leading, and you have never participated in competitions. Be careful and balanced in your statements. And if you are a partner in a competitive pair, then rather get rid of the illusion that your partner interferes with you - the partner only interferes with a bad dancer!

5. Personal relationship interference.
A very complex issue that everyone decides individually. Personally, we believe that it is difficult to dance such a kind, sincere and open dance as boogie-woogie, being completely strangers to each other, without intersecting in life in any interests, without knowing anything about each other, rarely and little communicating. Because for our dance, it seems to us, in addition to professionalism and high technical performance, it is important to be "on the same wavelength", to be friends, to know what is in each other's heads, although we know examples of the opposite: purely business cooperation within the framework of training and competitions, too. can lead to success and give good results.

The main problem is that it is almost impossible to separate the process of training, work, collaboration, and personal relationships. And if you have some kind of quarrel at home, this will certainly affect your training. Well, or the big danger lies in the fact that an unexpected break in personal relationships can lead to a dance break, even if the couple was very successful and promising. Or there are cases of unrequited love in a couple, when, for example, a partner is in love with his partner and is motivated to train and dance because of her, but she does not feel any sympathy for him, she is only interested in dancing and training. As a result, if a partner finds a boyfriend for a personal relationship, this can be a disappointment for the dance partner and lead to the breakup of the dance couple. Therefore, if you have any personal relationships and feelings in your dancing couple, it is very important to learn how to manage them, work with them and be sure to think about them and take them into account when thinking about your dancing career.

There is an endless supply of crazy theories and idiotic ideas in this area. For example, one friend told us that dance partners should never sleep with each other, otherwise their “sparkle” from the dance disappears and they become boring. Another, for example, said that dancers must be in a relationship, otherwise their dance is "immature". In general, there is enough nonsense on this topic. Our opinion is only that each couple is free to choose the path they like and not listen to anyone's advice , especially since the dance community, both Russian and European, is full of successful examples of personal relationships in dance couples of all stripes and varieties: a guy and a girl, former boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, brother and sister, best friends, business partners without personal relationships, etc. We can say that we ourselves broke many copies along the way, and in order to become best friends, we had to go through a lot and go through a lot, including thoughts about breaking up and ending our joint dance activity. But we were able to overcome it, although even now there are various personal difficulties. Our only advice: don't let it take its course. Think ahead and discuss it if possible. What will happen to your dancing career if you have this or that relationship? And if they stop, will you disband as a dancing couple or will you survive? What do you want from your partner personally? What does he want from you? Think and talk more, this will allow you to avoid a huge number of problems and misunderstandings.

6. Different degrees of desire to train and grow.
It is quite a real situation when partners seem to have a common goal, but one is not as active as the other, often lazy, can be late and generally treat training quite irresponsibly. This is especially true for inexperienced debutant couples who are just trying themselves on this path.
We were lucky in this sense, and, despite the fact that initially Zhenya (as is usually the case with partners) was more motivated, active, energetic, purposeful, it was she who initiated the fact that we got into a pair, started to train, performed in the first two competitions, we both quickly lit up and leveled off. Plus, both of us have always had such concepts as obligations to another person (as my mother said, “you called yourself a load - climb into the back”) and if we agree on something, then we don’t let each other down, we’re not late and we don’t skip. But people with similar problems came to us for help and advice. And our advice here is this: never need to do a common thing with a person who needs something less than you. Otherwise, you will have to constantly persuade him, make some concessions, constantly endure the condescending "so be it, I agree, because you need it, not me." If your partner is not motivated like you, if everything suits him and he does not want to develop, we advise you to leave, because nothing good will come of it. Even a different dance level is not terrible if the partner is torn and plows, works recklessly and constantly grows, how terrible is the unwillingness to change and become better with each training session is the worst thing you can think of!

7. Different purposes.
If both dancers do not clearly understand why they are dancing together and what they are training for, then sooner or later this will lead to conflicts or a break. At first, people who have recently joined a couple can be very fun and cool to train together, their workouts are like fun and entertainment, they hang out and enjoy each other and dance. But sooner or later it passes! And because growth is gradually slowing down: between a person who could not do a triple step at all and a person who dances decently at a party is a few months difference, but between 25th and 20th place in the world cup or 3rd and 1st place in the main class can be several years ! The farther, the more monotonous hellish work and the less visible radical results, not to mention the famous "plateau effect" inherent in any business: when it seems to you that you are marking time, nothing changes at all, nothing shines for you and better quit everything. Yes, the effect of novelty and neophyteness passes, and then it will become harder and harder to motivate yourself to get up for self-training, for example, at 6 in the morning, to work out before work, or it’s a pity to give hard-earned money for renting a hall or a camp, because you can go to the cinema or go go skiing, but training may cease to bring pleasure at all for some period, and the partner’s face will become terribly sick)).

In such a situation, one of the partners may break down... And only one thing will help to avoid this: a clear common goal clearly formulated for both! It is she who will give strength and motivation in difficult moments. I strongly advise you to decide at the very beginning of your cooperation with a partner what you want and what you are ready to do for this. For example, one of you may want to win the C-class to show off the cup to your grandmother, and the other is ready to fight at all costs until he wins Torbjorn by knockouts. Or one just wants to perform to try what it is, and the other wants to achieve heights. Be sure to discuss this so as not to waste time and be disappointed!
But do not rush to conclusions or break up, be careful and delicate, monitor the situation, be psychologists: it often happens that a person who just wanted to try gets a taste, or someone who wanted to be a world champion breaks down at the first difficulties and gives up. Be sure to talk about your goals, try to bring them to a common denominator, discuss changes in your views and thoughts, try to come to the most similar or general conclusions - this will make your work easier and will be the key to overall success.

8. "Domestic" conflicts.
In fact, in addition to dancing, partners intersect a lot on everyday grounds. Buy tickets to competitions, go to the camp, eat between runs, prepare costumes... It requires a high degree of organization and responsibility, which is not always available for both. Well, or very common conflicts arise when the tastes of partners collide. One, for example, believes that it is necessary to wear red shirts to the performance, and the other - that green ones. Or one comes to training and says: "I found such a cool figure, just fire, let's do it," shows, and the other answers "yes, it sucks completely, old school, corny, ugly, uncomfortable and generally shit" - this can also be attributed to typical "domestic non-cancerous" problems. It’s good when these are just creative disputes that bring people to some ideal solution and the next step becomes: “maybe we’ll try to wear red-green shirts or let’s add such an element to this figure and it will become better”, but often such disputes can cause the usual quarrel. We usually have such disputes (especially because of the figures) the sharpest and most heated, because we believe that modern boogie-woogie is in many ways creative unusual figures and complex tricks, and so far we have not always dealt with them reasonably, although in part they have learned to compromise and find common solutions.

A very convenient way is to share household chores. For example, one is responsible for renting the halls or buying tickets and organizing travel arrangements, while the other is responsible for inventing the costumes and bringing them to life. This means that if you entrusted your partner with buying tickets and think that he can handle it, you don’t need to pull him, remind him, or be indignant that you don’t like the train or plane - no one forced you to trust, know how to rely on another or do themselves. And in turn, if you have taken responsibility for doing something, then do it as well as possible and to the end! If you don’t trust another and don’t do things yourself - you slow down the development of the couple, you don’t go towards your common goal, you spoil everything - learn these simple things.
In the case of figures it is more difficult, especially when both of them think that they know better. Here you can be advised to try everything that each side offers, record on video and watch from the side, or show it to those you trust. There is also an option to separate spheres of influence: for example, one comes up with a track, looking for rhythm, movement and geometry for it, and the other chooses or comes up with a cool trick.

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This is just a small list of typical causes of conflicts, which are actually very many, we will be glad if you supplement it or write about your own experience in this area. Moreover, there is usually no one problem in its pure form, they often mix up or take bizarre forms, and most often a couple of the above items are common at once, or a little bit of everything at once (like our couple, for example).

Half of conflicts and problems can be avoided if you remember and come to terms with one important rule: both dancers in a pair are equal and equivalent! If you agreed to dance with a person, then you must respect him, treat with patience and understanding everything that he says and does. This may seem strange to someone, because in a pair, as it were, the partner leads, the partner decides which figure or combination to make, in general, the partner should think more during the dance, and, in the end, dancing is a simplified model of the relationship between a man and a woman in life, where the mass consciousness is most often dominated by a man, and a woman, as it were, in the background (although in fact, we all understand that it is not known who is more important, Bulgakov, who wrote The White Guard, or Tatyana Nikolaevna, who brought him a basin with hot water so that he could warm his hands and continue to write, Dali, who created a new painting, or Gala, who inspired him all his life and motivated him to create, etc.). But in fact, even at a performance (not to mention training or in everyday matters), a partner performs other, but no less important and complex functions: to behave, to feel a partner, to instantly respond to everything he does, to know music well and in comfortable moments to reflect it and stuff, and if you don’t understand how difficult it is cool and important, most likely you just never tried to do it.

Competitive performance is just the tip of the iceberg, its miserable one-tenth or even less. Behind one and a half minutes of competitive dance there are one and a half thousand hours of training, communication, solving everyday problems, discussions and other interactions, and what happens to you on the site is only a small, noticeable to everyone and to no one but you, a truly incomprehensible consequence of a lot of work. Think and work, do this great work well, and then good results will not be long in coming! Don't try to jump out of your pants in a minute and a half, it won't help you unless there's a solid, solid, long-term quality foundation behind it all.
Well, if you are a spectator or express your opinion about a couple - do not rush to slash and reason (and especially condemn or criticize someone, divide the couple, provoke it into a conflict) based on only that small part of the dance life, be attentive and delicate .

It is important to understand the nature of conflicts, to be able to listen to each other, to make compromises and concessions, to be patient and strong. Not infrequently, there are situations when someone came to a workout having a bad night's sleep, a hangover, with a sore leg or PMS, excessive irritability is noticeable, he may not like everything and he is only looking for an opportunity to start a conflict. The task of the other partner in such a situation is to be calm, balanced and patient, and, of course, the task of both is to reduce the number of such situations.

Many conflicts arise from inexperience, from a lack of understanding of how to do it right, from the lack of a unified school and boogie-woogie system, from a lack of an outside perspective on the problem. Believe me, we all understand this, we also go through all this, just like other couples dancing at a high level in Russia. In other countries, dancers train together in teams that have their own coaches and sports psychologists. Moreover, the coaches are often former top dancers who follow the development of boogie-woogie very closely and have vast dancing and coaching experience, such as the legendary Aina, Henrik and Johanna, Michael Grimm. Unfortunately, in Russia today a different situation has developed, couples are forced to train mostly on their own, on their own and only under their own supervision, but this does not mean that you need to give up.
Throughout our dancing career and until now, we have acutely felt the need for a coach, a person who could help in technical or choreographic issues, provide moral support before the competition. If there were such a person, we could grow and develop much faster, we could avoid thousands of stupid conflicts and problems. Sometimes it seems that the situation is hopeless, we are all doomed to quarrels, suffering, breaks, but in fact, this is not at all the case, there are many ways invented by us and before us to prevent and avoid quarrels and conflicts and establish good relations in a couple!

The main thing to remember is that you are always together and always at the same time, you always have common goals, common victories and common defeats. You will always have only a common result, you are connected, and your business is not only to work well yourself and fulfill your role in the dance by 100%, but also to help your partner, doing everything to ensure that the fulfillment of his role by 100% is for it is convenient and enjoyable, because you need it, both of you, your team and your overall result.

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