Should dancers run?-The Truth Exposed

So should dancers run as part of their fitness routine?

I have been asked this question a lot by my dancer students and followers overall.should dancers run

This is very interesting because I had a time when I did not know whether this running was good for me or not as a dancer.

After learning through trial and error and looking at what other top world dancers do I finally found the answer.

In this article I will be answering whether running is good for dancing and whether dancers should run for fitness.

Types of running

First and foremost to answer this question “should dancers run?” I would like to address one important fact that there are different types of running and each will determine whether it will be a good fit for dancers.

You see the type of running will determine whether dancers should run or not.

Let me highlight the general benefits of running below:

  • Gives you stamina
  • Build your leg muscles
  • Gives you stamina
  • Gives you overall health

Given all these benefits we can all see that running is a good activity to have in your fitness.

However if you do the wrong type of running as a dancer it can literally jeopardize your dancing career.


I have faced a similar problem myself in 2014 when I ran to try build my stamina but unfortunately it lead to me nearly not competing in a major competition.

This was because I neglected the fact that running can be harmful depending on the type you partake in.

You see in dancing you are generally on flexible floors which tends to be soft on the ankles and knees while in running it is exactly the opposite.

This is what leads to a lot of complications when you running.

I have since resorted to dance workouts instead and only do running on a small scale.

Having said that let’s look at the types of running and their pros and cons for dancers.

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Cross-country running (or similar)

should dancers run

So should dancers run the cross country or the outside long distance run?

Well let’s see..

This type of running is very hard core and and requires a lot of muscles in your legs to be working.

Running also requires a lot of energy to be put back into your body since most of the time it leaves you exhausted and drained.


  • Gives stamina over time
  • Calf muscle strength


  • Hard on the knees and ankles
  • Weather dependent


  • 4/10

Treadmill running

This is another type of running, except it is indoors and on a machine.

This type of running I would highly recommend for dancers because it does not use to much of a hard floor.

This will help you escape from the harsh impacts you would get by regularly running outside.


  • Gives stamina over time
  • Generally soft on the knees and ankles
  • Can do it any time of the day
  • Weather independent


  • Can be electricity dependent


  • 9/10

Beach running

should dancers run

Here is another type of running I would personally recommend if you are looking to running to get stamina and calf muscle strength and development.


  • Good on the knees and ankles
  • Develops great calf muscles
  • Gives stamina over time


  • Can be limited to time of the day
  • Can be limited by weather


  • 8/10

Best tips for running

The best advice I can give you for running as a dancer is that you should always wear the best shoes.

This will help a lot in giving you comfort and better care of your knees and ankles.

I would recommend focusing on running shoes like Nike or Adidas.

Whenever you are engage in running or dancing make sure to fuel your body with the right foods.

I have done an article on the type of foods dancers should eat. You can read it here.

Final thoughts

Answering this question: should dancers run, is a very complicated aspect because many things come into play.

It all depends on what type of running you want to do, bare in mind there are many times of running.

Some like treadmill and beach running are good while others like cross-country can be bad for your body.

Remember as dancers we are to use our bodies fully so having a cramped leg can affect your dancing career.

I hope this article was helpful in answering this question. If you have any comments or questions you can put them below.

I will be more the happy to respond to you and the community here.



10 thoughts on “Should dancers run?-The Truth Exposed”

  1. Your article is good and informative. I will say Like me Teresa I do have a way of repeating my self and I see that you have done the same in which we have to learn how not to this. Even tho I am not a professional dancer in my days of dancing I did exercise doing light stretching an hour before going on the dance floor to boogie, it does help. But I I have noticed over the years that it is not the exercise that can do the damage it is the dancing itself. Well as time go on you will see what I am talking about. good article keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you for constructive feedback. Ha ha hopefully I will never see what you are talking about ha ha (hides)

      I am glad you found the article useful

  2. Fascinating piece. I am, among other things, a fitness instructor, and so this could be really helpful when I get that question.

    Fitness studios use impact absorbent floors as well. They look like hardwood, but there’s no comparison. I’ve taught fitness classes on floors not designed for them and you can really tell the difference on your joints. I think you did a real service here in making people aware of that.

    Thanks for the post, excellent topic.

    1. What I great insight from a personal fitness trainer. I think I should also invest on a fitness studio since you are saying it absorbs the impact on your joints. Thank you for this advice.

      I am also glad my article was useful to you.

  3. I used to dance when I was younger but now a days I only dance in dance themed workouts. I do however enjoy running and I can see how it can actually cause harm to you has a dancer. The impact when hitting the ground can really have an effect on your body.
    I agree with the rating on treadmill running. I love running outdoors but due to the ground I more often than not end up with twisted ankles etc. On a treadmill I have the security of speed adjustment and also level ground.

    1. Nice to hear you were a dancer too Alexandra, yeah indeed I do advised treadmill running always to all dancers.
      I do this because I do not want dancers to suffer the pain I suffered from running in an effort to improve my performance.

  4. What a very insightful article! I am a beginning dancer myself. I would lean towards running being beneficial. Maybe not so intense right off the bat because of what you mentioned. However, I think that if I ran a little more perhaps my leg muscles wouldn’t be so sore. What a good read. Thank you!

    1. Wow Randi, I am so happy to hear that you are a beginner dancer.
      Indeed I you do need to build leg muscles but what is best is to rather do exercises at the gym which focuses on legs as this will assist improve your leg muscles better.
      I am glad you enjoyed the article and that it was helpful

  5. Interesting read….you caught me off guard with the beach running because I had concluded it was a no no for me….some aspects I wish you had covered are uphill VS level ground and sprinting VS jogging….Personally I prefer outdoors when training but I’ll try anything once, so will consider the indoors too …thank you

    1. Hey Kele

      THank you for the feedback I will consider that for my future post in regards to sprinting.

      Yeah beach running is a good outside running exercise. So if you prefer outside this can be the best one.
      However if you are doing the running on tar road I would advice taking it easy because over time it can effect your joints as a dancer.
      But if you still are insisting on engaging on this path I suggest putting knee pads rather.

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