Ever notice how many of those on the show have been football players? Let us just name the ones who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Emmitt Smith (Season 3 champion), Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, Jason Taylor. Among the others: Warren Sapp, Doug Flutie, Hines Ward, Calvin Johnson and Chad Johnson.
Impressive. Very impressive. So what does this tell the high school, college and professional football player? You should be dancing. And for many, many reasons.
Part of dance’s appeal to football players is its emphasis on footwork and precision, rather than the brute strength and power we associate with the game. Football requires an ability to tippy-toe near the sideline while making a tough catch – hence the successes on the show enjoyed by Rice, Irvin, Ward and Calvin and Chad Johnson (not related). The position they played require an ability to be tough while also balancing precariously near the sideline and dragging a foot or even a toe to make sure they have both feet inbounds on a catch. Dancing helps the footwork.
Dancing also adds to conditioning. Sure, players run and lift weights, but dancing provides a different sort of cardio workout. It has starts and stops, requires proper form and posture and the steps must be learned, practiced and mastered. That brings in a mental component not required in simply taking a few laps around the field.
And speaking of that mental component …
Every football player knows that constant improvement is required to keep his job. And every dancer knows that getting better and adding to one’s repertoire is a critical aspect of progressing through the Fred Astaire Trophy System. So dancing becomes yet another exercise – physical and mental – in continuing to grow as an athlete. A famous TV commercial used this exact metaphor. The coach critiques his team harshly and a player asks: “Didn’t we win?” And the coach replies: “When you’re satisfied as a football player, we’re through as a football team.” Ok, so life need not be that harsh. But continuously seeking to be better in football means endless drills and repetition, and they can be boring. Dancing never is, yet offers many of the same benefits (and to musical accompaniment and with a partner).
So pass this along to the football players in your life, and consider bringing them with you to Fred Astaire Dance Studios. They can improve their skills on the field with some time on the floor – the dance floor. And they will have a great time doing it!