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Hot dancers, including freelancer and Seán Curran Company apprentice Joey Kipp, rely on hours of daily practice to stay in top shape. But other activities, such as swimming, help boost dance’s benefits and develop long, lean muscles without bulking up any one area.
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How has dancing helped you stay fit?
During my senior year in college, I had a severe injury from a car accident, and I would do lots of back exercises originated by [Merce] Cunningham in my wheelchair. When I was finally able to dance again, I enrolled in a full Cunningham class. It’s very structural and linear, so it was great for focusing on developing my strength and large muscle groups. Once I got stronger, I started doing more master classes at Peridance and Steps—anything to help me get used to having different parts of my body initiate the movement.
How else do you stay in shape?
After my injury, I started swimming a lot because it’s low impact. It helped lengthen my muscles, similar to how dance does, and it allowed me to engage my body in a way that was easy on my joints. Swimming also works my back, my internal and external obliques, and my arms.
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