All-State Dance Education Summit

Thank you for learning and sharing with me at the Dance Education Summit at The Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN this weekend.

In follow up to the presentation on Fitness and Nutrition Strategies to Optimize Performance, here are a few case studies. Please feel free to reply with thoughts, questions, and ideas on these cases. Also reply with any real life questions you may have on applying these concepts! If it is more of an individual question, please email Meredith at

Case 1: 
You are teaching a school-based course for 9th-12th grade dancers. Most of them also compete with a studio. It is currently February. The studios in your area compete from mid-March through early May.


  • What phase of periodization would be optimal for your lesson plans at this time?
  • How does this influence your lesson plan?

Suggestions/Ideas for Answers:

  • Most of your dancers would benefit form late pre-season training right now. This would mean there is a moderate-heavy focus on skills, rehearsals, choreography, and flexibility. 
  • Resistance training would utilize strength variables at this point. That would be (2-6) x (1-6) with a heavy load and 2-5 min rests between sets
  • Cardiovascular training would have an emphasis on both anaerobic and aerobic training. Consider using a 1:2 ratio. For example, do something full out for 1 minute and then lower the heart rate back below the anerobic threshold for 2 minutes to recover. 


  •  How would your plans change if you have the same group of dancers, but it is now April?


  • Moving to in-season guidelines would be suggested. This includes a decreased emphasis on resistance training and minimizing the long-duration low-intensity cardiovascular conditioning. 
  • This is a great time to focus on technique and choreography. 
  • If you are working on high intensity moves like leaps, tricks, and lifts, observe the guidelines of low sets x reps and offer 2-5 minute rest periods if you are going to dedicate a lot of time to this area in a practice/rehearsal. For example, perform the challenging move 3 times. Rest for 2 minutes. Repeat the process 3 times. After that, move onto working on something else.

Share your questions and ideas on this case or others! I look forward to reading your posts and seeing what thoughts we generate in return. Allow a few days to see your post show up on the blog, as all posts are monitored through email first.