New Here?

If you found this page, then you’re probably new to      The Dance Training Project

Welcome 🙂


You’ll fit right in with the DTP community if:

    • You’re interested in learning more about how strength training can help improve your dancing.
    • You’ve come to realize that maintaining movement quality is kind of important.
    • You’re a dancer/teacher/parent interested in injury prevention
    • You like lifting heavy things (or want to learn how)
    • You are a dancer who already cross-trains
    • You’re looking for a guide to strength training specifically for dancers
    • You’re a dance teacher who wants to be on the cutting edge of dance training
    • You enjoy anatomy related nerding
    • You wish you were Svetlana Zhakarova as much as I do.

Just kidding… Kind of.


What is strength training?


Anything that makes your body stronger! This includes things like lifting weights, body weight exercises, yoga, pilates, and somatic techniques that enhance neuromuscular connections. My experiences and training have taught me that dancing is way easier, more enjoyable, and more sustainable in the long term when your body is STRONG. And these dancers agree.

The Dance Training Project is dedicated to educating dancers, of all genres, on the importance of strength training for injury prevention, improved physical performance, and health and well-being.


What are the benefits of strength training for dancers?

  • Increased core strength
  • Reduction of chronic overuse injuries from repetitive movements
  • Improved technical elements such as balancing, turning, jumping and lifts.
  • Improved understanding of alignment
  • Improved mobility
  • Improved stamina
  • Stronger neural connection to muscles
  • Improved confidence and ability to take risks (that’s when the fun starts)

According to THIS STUDY88% of ballet dancers suffer from discomfort in the lumbar spine. In addition, according to THIS ARTICLE, the injury rate for ballet dancers over an eight-month study- period was 61 percent (and those are only the ones that were reported). This is comparable to rates found in other studies for athletes in collision sports such as football and wrestling.

How to navigate around the site:

 Recommended resources list:

Check out this free recommended reading PDF download. It lists my top 13 resources that ALL dancers should read. These books and resource papers will help you make informed choices that will add years of enjoyment to your dance career.


Recommended Reading (most popular from the DTP blog):

10 Training Rules For A Longer Stronger Dance Career

A Core Workout Program for Dancers That Works

Let’s Change How We Speak to Dancers About Injury Prevention

Is Holding Your Breath While You Dance Really So Bad?

3 Mindsets You Must Adopt to Succeed in Dance

Stop Stretching Your Hamstrings So Much

5 Productive Stretches for Dancers

5 Characteristics of a Great Rehabilitation Speialist

Dance Cross-Training Myths De-Bunked

Your Burning Turnout Questions Answered 

Dance Fitness: No, I’m Not Talking About “Zumba”  


 Test your knowledge: Take the Dance Stronger Quiz

dance stronger quiz So you think you know all about dance training?

The Dance Stronger quiz will test your knowledge in several categories related to improving dance performance safely and preventing injuries. See how much you know about becoming a well-rounded, healthy, kick-a$$ dancer. Do you really know what it takes? Click >>HERE<< to take the quiz.




Start Training: Join Dance Stronger

Click the image to get the first 2 chapters of Dance Stronger FREE!

  Dance Stronger is a multimedia resource for dancers- A book and online 4 week training program that teaches the why-to and how-to of strength training to support your dancing.

You can choose to train at home or at the gym, and you’ll get access to the private Dance Stronger forum on Facebook, which is full of amazing, strong dancers who have completed the program and are eager to help you on your own strength journey!

Read more about Dance Stronger




Friends of The DTP

People I collaborate and consult with regularly in Toronto:

Dr. Brock Easter DC, NKT- Change the Way You Move: Chiropractic, acupuncture, NeuroKinetic Therapy, injury rehabilitation, Anatomy in Motion (AiM)

Wensy Wong RMT, NKT- Change The Way You Move: Massage, yoga, Neurokinetic Therapy, acupuncture, Anatomy in Motion

David Wu- Student of Movement:  HKC Kettlebell coach, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach (HLC), NeuroKinetic Therapy, awesome movement coach

Dr. Blessyl Buan DC: Chiropractic, acupuncture, pilates

And a few of my international friends:

 Abby Hoffman-Embodied Dancer Yoga

Joel Minden CSCS

Miguel Aragoncillo CSCS

 Marissa Joseph CSCS- Mindful Practice

Khyle Eccles CSCS- The Athletic Artist


Live in  Toronto/GTA?

Learn more about what I do in real life HERE.

Stay Connected:

Like the official DTP Facebook Page I often post interesting/hilarious/mindblowingly awesome things.

Twitter: @monikavolkmar

Instagram: @monvolkmar

Want to know more about me and my story?

Sure you do… It’s super interesting! But I’ll refer you back to the Dance Stronger subtitle above. You can read my full story and why I care so much about helping dancers with their fitness when you download the first 2 chapters of Dance Stronger free. Or just click the yellow button below:

Click here to read more about me 🙂


You can also check out these interview and features:

How a Dysfunctional Relationship with Dance Led to Freedom and Success

On Deadlifts and Dance- Interview with Khalida Bech

Elephant Journal feature: Why I Don’t Do Yoga

Guest article for Where Are Your Glutes, Really?

Interview on Irish Central, with Christy Dorrity

Summer Strength Training for Dancers- Article for Dance Advantage

And if you have any questions, contact me via email. I do my very best to reply to everyone, and am always thrilled to hear from you.