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Dance and Performing Arts Training

Cross Fit Class

In the sports and fitness world, training follows certain ideas and principles such as individualization of programming, specificity of exercises, and progressive overload. These principles have not carried over as strongly into the performing arts world. For example, in the ballet dance world most of the training comes from ballet classes prior to rehearsals. These classes generally follow the same format and use the same muscles and patterns over and over. Then dancers are asked to move in different ways for different choreography and use muscles/patterns they have not specifically trained. This is opening the door for potential injury.

TriHealth uses the principles of individualized programming, variety in movement, specificity of exercise, progressive overload and recovery to assist performing artists to develop their unique skillsets and movement patterns in order to improve performance and decrease injury risk.


Individualized programming:

Not everyone responds to training in the same way and not everyone responds to training the same way throughout their lives. TriHealth understands the importance of an individualized training plan that takes into consideration the individual’s physical capabilities and response to training as well as any other personal factors (performance demands, physical and mental health, past injuries, family obligations, etc.) that could influence their training and goals.

Variety in Movement:

Performing Artists have very specific movements to master in order to excel in their careers. Performing artists also need to be strong in everyday movement patterns to be able to excel in their day to day lives. Cross training and incorporating a variety of pedestrian movements as well as performance specific movements are important to help artist continue to perform with minimal injury risk.

Specificity of Exercise:

TriHealth uses the SAID (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands) principle to develop training programs. This means training for your performance using the same movement patterns, speeds, and energy systems that will be utilized during the performance. For example, if you are an aerialist performing on silks, you would not train just in hand balancing, and if you are a hip hop dancer, you would not  train just by going to ballet class. Training programs must be specific to the performance task of the individual.


Progressive Overload:

In order to improve performance and learn increasingly more challenging skills, you must push your body just past its comfort zone to build more strength or endurance. Overload must be controlled in order to prevent injury, but it’s a necessary experience in order to grow and improve.



The body cannot heal, recover, or repair itself without proper rest. TriHealth incorporates recovery into all training programming to allow ample time for the body to rest and heal. Recovery times will change based on exercise intensity, training volume, performance times and demands of the performances. Often, performing artists don’t get an “off season” and recovery is often neglected, which can lead to fatigue or injury. Learning to manage recovery within a performance season will assist with performance quality and decrease injury risk.

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