Eat This, Not That! Competition Nutrition for Dancers

Posted by Katie Peyton on Nov 15, 2018

Totino Grace 2A Jazz (2)

The day of competition is one of nerves, excitement, and so. much. hairspray.

Throughout the chaos of running your dances, stretching, warming up and doing your makeup, it can be hard to remember to eat. When you do remember, it’s usually something quick, high in carbs and high in sugar.

When you take the time to make healthier food choices around dance competitions, you’ll find that you have more energy for the day and you'll recover quicker. Try some of these healthier swaps and see if your performance, endurance and recovery increase at your next dance competition.

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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

Increase Dancers' Ankle Strength and Balance with These Three Moves

Posted by Katie Peyton on Sep 20, 2018


So many dancers and teachers focus on core strength when it comes to turns, balance and stability, but not much attention is paid to the ankles until dancers start pointe or have an injury. Increasing ankle strength is essential when a dancer keeps dropping their heel, hopping in their turns or have a low relevé.

The health of your dancer’s feet and ankles effects the health of their knees, hips and everything else moving upward so I encourage you to take the time to work on these smaller areas as they can greatly improve larger muscles and structures of the body.

Try these three moves to increase ankle strength in your next practice and have your dancers try these at home while brushing their teeth or chatting at the kitchen counter.

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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

Increase Dancer Hip Flexibility and Strength With These 5 Moves

Posted by Katie Peyton on Aug 10, 2018

Dancer hip flexibility

I get asked a lot as a personal trainer for dancers about hip flexibility and strength. It seems to be an area of concern for coaches and dancers striving for flat splits, high kicks and extended leaps. The biggest issue however isn’t really a lack of flexibility, but a lack of movement in our every day lives. The increased time we spend sitting at work, school, in cars or buses causes our hip muscles to become tighter and shorter. This pulls on our low back and even our hamstrings. With these 5 movements, you’ll see a drastic change in hip flexibility but you can also enjoy some more movement in the back and legs.

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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

Increase Your Flexibility With These 4 Stretches for Dance

Posted by Katie Peyton on Feb 8, 2018

increase flexibility for dancers with these stretches


Flexibility is a fundamental skill for dancers and athletes. The ability to move your body freely will make the execution of skills and exercise much easier. Many dancers struggle with flexibility in their hamstrings and hips, but what they don’t know is that tightness in their hamstrings is directly related to a tight back and tight glutes (buttock region).

These four moves are going to pay special attention to hips, back, glutes, and hamstrings. Put all four moves together to increase your dance flexibility for a lower split, longer extensions, and more open hips.

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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

5 Best Exercises for Dancers to Increase Jump Height and Power!

Posted by Katie Peyton on Jan 19, 2018


increase dancers jump height and power


As athletes, dancers have the ability to focus their strength and power in many different ways. Being aware of which muscles will be best for a variety of skills will help build strength and level of skill, beyond just technique. These exercises will not only increase jump height and power, but also build long lean muscles in your dancer’s legs!


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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

The Best Pre and Post Competition Nutrition for Dancers

Posted by Katie Peyton on Dec 11, 2017

 Nutrition for Dancers

A day or weekend of competition is mentally and physically exhausting for dancers, but they can prepare their body days, weeks and even months before competition to improve their strength, balance, performance, endurance, recovery and injury prevention.

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Topics: Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

Your Complete Guide to the USFSA Synchronized Skating Costume Guidelines

Posted by Trista on Jul 13, 2016

Synchronized skate dresses with rhinestones

Hockettes Junior (left)  and Team Delaware Junior (right) teams went all out on rhinestones for their custom skate dresses - something only Junior, Senior, and Collegiate teams can do!

Last November 2015, the USFSA updated the official Synchronized Skating costume guidelines.  If you’ve taken a look at the guidelines, you know that they tend to be vague.  For good reason too - it allows for artistic interpretations by teams based on their region and performance choices.   Here's guiding principle:

"The costumes of the competitors must be modest, dignified and appropriate for athletic competition, not garish or theatrical in design. Costumes may, however, reflect character of the music chosen."
We know with this vague statement, other guiding rules can get a bit confusing, especially since Junior, Senior, and Collegiate levels are excluded from many. So as you start to design for your next synchronized skating dress, here's a look at a few different costume elements, and what the guidelines dictate about each!  

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Topics: Synchronized skating, Coaching Tips, Competition Resources

Make It Rule Compliant Part 2: 3 Easy Ways to Modify a Catalog Dance Costume for Competition

Posted by Trista on Jun 28, 2016

high kick dance costumesStyles that could easily be modified to be competition rule compliant: Styles Sage, SoleneGleason Unitard, and Cleopatra Biketard

This week on the blog we're digging into competition rules and how they can impact your choice of dance costume.  Now that we’ve gone over the “dos and don’ts” for dance team costumes for those competing in the Minnesota State High School League, let’s talk more about how you can make your 2017 costume concepts a reality, in Minnesota or elsewhere!

There are so many stunning costumes that you probably love but aren't able to use do to competition rules. But don't eliminate those favorites completely!  Instead of moving on to a new costume idea, try modifying an existing costume to make it rule compliant.  Read on to check out 3 easy ways you can modify your costume to make it competition ready.

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Topics: Costume Design Resources, Competition Resources

Make it Rule Compliant Part 1: Minnesota State High School League Dance Costume Rules Summary

Posted by Karen on Jun 20, 2016

Totino_Grace_Awards_Kick-cropped.jpgTotino Grace Dance Team in a custom costume at the 2016 MSHSL Dance Tournament

Come on... admit it... you are already starting to plan for next year’s Winter Dance Team Season! Coaches and dancers alike are gearing up for summer camps and clinics, but thoughts of the Winter Season are always looming as teams brainstorm ideas for the upcoming year.

The check list of items for the competition season is a long one.  One major item on every team’s list?  Costumes, of course!  Wondering how to navigate the sea of rules and regulations as they apply to your dance costume design?  Here's a summary of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Dance costume official rules.  

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Topics: Dance, Costume Design Resources, Competition Resources

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