(written by Nefeli Tsiouti)
What is stamina? Stamina, or more commonly used within science, ‘endurance’, can be improved in several ways. There are many types of endurance which can be produced with the development of certain energy production systems of the human body. Endurance basically means that the body can exercise over a prolonged period of time and successfully transfer oxygen to the muscles, in order for them to keep working, without fatigue. There are always aspects of fitness in which some people are better than others naturally, or maybe their activity over time has helped them progress in one specific fitness aspect. However, by applying certain training principles and methods, the stamina of a person can, and will improve. These principles are part of sport and exercise science, and nowadays, as dance medicine and science is evolving, the advanced information from sports science is applied to dance science, to improve the sector in a more dance-specific way.
Applications of stamina within dance: In Breaking, by performing a battle round, many types of endurance are necessary in the body, in order to perform the movement with speed and clarity. In other dance genres, where a choreography is usually performed, the body still needs endurance for the dancer to be able to last as long as the demands of the choreography need them to, and to avoid fatigue, which can also lead to injury. In practice, the more we train endurance, the more likely we will avoid fatigue, and also overuse of certain muscle groups, and we will stay away from injury incidence.
What is the Breakalign Method? The Breakalign Method is a conditioning programme, based on the physiological and biomechanical analysis of the demands in the artform of Breaking (or ‘Breakdance’, as known by the media). Project Breakalign received funding to create the Breakalign Method from the Centre National de la Danse (2015-2016), which was researched and put together by a team of specialists that double major between dance (mostly Breaking) and a scientific discipline such as medicine, physiotherapy, sports science, dance science, human performance and more.
Endurance within the Breakalign Method: The Breakalign Method suggests that by using interval training (Tabata style) – which was firstly introduced to the Breakalign team by DJ Renegade – the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems of the dancer improve, which leads to a prolonged result of continuous exercise without fatigue. The Method includes intervals of 20 seconds of work, with 10 seconds of rest, but it also includes 30 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, which resemble the timeframe of a battle/competition round of a breaker, which is usually approximately 30-40 seconds. These are also applied under high intensity interval training (HIIT) types of exercise, where the intensity of the exercises is higher. The Breakalign Method also works with exercises of 1 continuous minute, followed by 30 seconds of rest. In the instance of training powermoves, the intervals change and the rest period becomes almost double the time of the work period (example: 30 seconds of work and 1 minute of rest, and so on).
As dancers, you can train with the Breakalign Method, to gain the knowledge for safe dance practice, for yourselves, as well as to train others. In order to teach the Method, as an investment to yourself and your future, you can become a Breakalign Method ambassador, by completing the Breakalign Method training programme, which will give you all the necessary tools to be able to not only help others, but also help yourself stay injury-free with a conditioned body. The programme will be available from September 2019.
Subscribe to Project Breakalign to keep you updated for any new practices and news from the Dance Science industry.