Photography: Darren Hendrix | Posted In: Move | June 2017
With a background in ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop, Bellevue Club trainer Katie Milne complements most of her classes and training with dance-inspired movements. She explains why you should turn the music up and get moving, wherever you are.
“The most important thing I learned from dance is how to really connect with my body on a deeper level. It taught me an incredible sense of awareness as to what’s going on at all times when I move. This often allows me make on-the-spot adjustments in my alignment to help avoid injury or perform a movement more effectively. Overall, I think a lot people lack a connection with their body. For example, many people struggle with how to engage a certain part of their body while keeping other parts still. It’s all about getting to know your body.”
“Dance is very efficient at addressing agility, mobility, flexibility and taking them to the next level. I’ve noticed a lot of young kids these days are good at their specific sports, but struggle with simple stretches and have super tight muscles, especially in the hamstrings and hips. It’s great to be good at sports, but a balance can be so huge in creating a well-balanced, healthy body.”
“In modern, jazz and hip-hop you get low to the ground, so it works the quads, hamstrings and glutes—the large muscle groups—and naturally makes you strong. Because of how grounded you have to be to move from one side to the other, it can build a lot strength using just body weight, not to mention the jumping and other big movements.”
“Dancing can be a great cardio workout. I think it’s helpful that it’s fun and by nature varies greatly. It’s a lot of very explosive movements—you move slow and then fast, you might jump or slide. In my classes, I use the dance-based movements to go in and out of plyometric exercises and create different, fun transitions.”
“It’s really important to not be hard on yourself. For me, dancing is the best way to just let myself go. Because in the end, who cares what it looks like. It’s just about moving and getting lost in the movement. The objective is to be set free in that hour instead of being like, ‘Oh shoot, I didn’t do that step perfectly.’ It just feels good to move, and the other stuff comes with practice.”