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11+ Dance

What is it?

Developed at Elmhurst Ballet School and in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, this is a 25-30 minute injury prevention intervention created for dancers. Based on best practice and scientific evidence on injuries in dance, this program focuses on:



  • Ankle, knee and hip stability

  • Muscular endurance

  • Jumping and landing control 

Research evidence suggests that this combination of exercises has a prophylactic effect on injuries and in particular lower-body injuries. 

What should I expect?

At first you might feel that your legs are a little bit heavy and shaky, especially if you go straight into barre. Don't panic, this is normal, your legs need time to adapt to the new type of exercise. 

Also, your calf muscles might feel "tight" when you start skipping and a warm sensation. Your muscles will not get shorter, this tightness is more related to tiredness than the length of the muscle.

As time goes by, and especially if you consider that you will be doing this type of training minimum twice a week, it won't be long before you feel light again and your body will be ready for a new challenge!

Equipment needed

You will need a skipping rope and mini bands (or thera-bands tied in a loop). Start with low resistance and focus on the quality of the movement.

mini bands


The benefits of this type of training do not happen overnight. One needs to train between 4 and 6 months, and for at least 21 sessions, in order for the protective effects to kick in.

Be mindful, injuries cannot be eliminated from dance. Risks can be minimized, however, through smart training.


Both Sessions are demonstrated through videos. The videos include progressions and common errors. 


The program is based on the concept Raise-Activate-Mobilise-Potentiate and is split into three parts:

  1. Muscle activation

  2. Balance and proprioception 

  3. Jumping and landing technique

As part of muscle activation, you need to skip for 1 minute x 3 times with a few seconds rest between (15-20 sec). If you are not experienced in skipping, try to focus on landing with both of your feet at the same time, and in control, at the start (watch the video below for demonstration). Once you are better at it, you can progress to alternate skips and then to single leg serial skips (2-3 skips on one leg, then change).

11+Dance - Session 1


Watch the videos carefully and look at the common errors. Aim for quality of movement, and correct alignment at all times. Progress to a more difficult level when you feel confident you can maintain the quality and the alignment.