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Football Players: Should You Be Looking into Dance Classes?

Camps Football Dance Classes

Did you know that generations of football players have been taking ballet classes to improve their athletic performance? That’s right, ballet is a proven beneficial cross training activity for football players looking to improve balance, agility, strength and coordination. Even highly successful NFL players include ballet as part of their training regimen. 

So, should you be looking for a dance study near you? Check out the benefits of taking dance classes to decide if this is the right form of cross training for you.

Do dance classes help improve athletic performance?

The following is a list of advantages dance can bring to a well-rounded athlete:

Four benefits of dance classes for football athletes

What types of dance classes should football players look for?

While most dance classes offer benefits for athletes, football players should look for ballet classes specifically. Ballet improves flexibility, agility, and coordination, which are three major necessities for football players. But the right dance class for you may also depend on your position. For example, Alex Collins, a running back for the Seattle Seahawks has found value in Irish Dance classes. The best thing for any athlete to do is to identify what you want to improve on and search for classes that focus on those areas.

NFL athletes that have taken dance classes

Below are just a few of the many NFL players who have added dance classes to their training regimen. 

Steve McLendon Tampa Bay Buccaneers D – Ballet 

“It’s harder than anything else I do,” McLendon told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  

Kyler Gordon Chicago Bears CB – Ballet, Hip Hop 

“Honestly it just takes a lot of consistency, a lot of dedication. Not only do you go there and do the practicing and all that, but as far as going home and stretching and being that flexible and having that core strength and how strict, honestly, a lot of teachers are […],” Gordon told Sports Chicago 

Lynn Swann Pittsburgh Steelers WR – Ballet 

“I took several years of dance lessons that included ballet, tap and jazz. They helped a great deal with body control, balance, a sense of rhythm, and timing.” Herschel Walker 

Herschel Walker Dallas Cowboys RB – Ballet 

”Just like football, you have to have a high concentration level in ballet,” Walker told the New York Times. 

Alex Collins Seattle Seahawks RB – Irish Dance 

“I am more explosive on the field. As a running back, you want to have that lower body strength and that footwork—and this is the perfect place to get it,” Collins told Irish Central. 

Check out this dance competition among high school football players from NFL Films Presents.