When I tell young fighters that they should take dance lessons, they look at me like I’m crazy. However, whenever I take to the FightCamp stage to film a workout, I rely on many things that I learned as a professional dancer. I’ve been dancing, specifically breaking as a BBoy, for decades. I’ve been on stage with Usher, Ciara, and Will Smith. For me, dancing and mixed martial arts go hand in hand.
Here are three (3) ways that dancing influenced my style as a fighter:
Footwork is one of the essential skills a fighter can learn. Dancing helped me to learn and understand timing, rhythm, and speed. As a professional dancer, I learned that you need to perform the steps smoothly and effortlessly. Timing, rhythm, speed can all be applied to a fighter in the ring as they move or “dance” around their opponent. If the fighter can make it look smooth and effortless, it can affect their opponent’s confidence. Just like Muhammed Ali said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…” Butterflies fly smoothly and effortlessly.
Looking for some inspiration to improve your footwork? Freestyle it and join the dance battle with me! Check out my video.
2. Full-Body Strength
Some styles of mixed martial arts, like Jiu-Jitsu, can bring the fight onto the mat. As a BBoy, you are dancing on your feet, on your hips, and even on your head. You rely on the strength of your legs to get you up and down off of the floor. You need that same type of leg strength to take down opponents and get right back up in MMA.
Anytime I get on the stage to perform a dance number, I have to feel confident and at ease in front of an audience. Part of it comes from knowing the choreography I’m supposed to do, and the other part is being able to stay calm so that I can perform gracefully and with fluidity. We often say in our FightCamp boxing and kickboxing workouts to relax. A relaxed fighter is going to do better in the ring than an anxious one. The ability to relax before a fight is one of the most important things that I’ve carried over from dancing.
You've got what it takes--just believe in yourself. I love to just let it all go--like this!
As you can tell, dancing is a big part of my style, training, and philosophy as a fighter. At the minimum, a fighter can improve their footwork by learning how to dance. It just might be the edge they need to win their next fight--or take their at-home boxing training to the next level.
Are you a fighter that has a dance background? How has it helped you? Shoot me a message on Instagram @flomaster73. I’d love to hear your story!
And if you’re ready to dance your way through a boxing, kickboxing, or MMA workout, check out our YouTube Channel, Blog, and App for all the at-home workouts you could want, led by me and the other FightCamp Trainers. Don’t wait any longer--get started boxing (and dancing!) today!
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