As dancers, we are always looking for new tools that can help improve our natural dance ability. However, these tools can sometimes be really expensive and difficult to find. But fear not, there are many items right within your home that can function as great dance tools. Here are MTD’s favorites:

1. Dish Towels

There are many functions that dish towels can serve to dancers. Not only are they great for wiping off all the sweat after a tough class, but also they can help in stretching and strengthening. Here are some of our favorite exercises:
  • Lay on your back and raise one leg vertically into the air and flex your foot.
    Taking a dish towel, drape it over your foot creating almost a stir-up. Grabbing both sides of the towel, you can pull your leg closer to you, open it to the side, or cross it over the body for a deep stretch.
  • Begin by sitting on your knees. Roll up the dish towel so it creates almost a
    cinnamon-roll shape. Place the towel underneath one foot and gently sit back onto the foot. This will stretch the foot and ankle.
  • Lay the dish towel flat on the floor and stand at one end of the towel with just your toes on the towel. Begin scrunching up your toes to curl the towel toward you. Continue to flex and curl the toes to gather in the towel. This exercise will help strengthen the feet and is great for pointe work.

2. Water Bottles

Water bottles not only keep dancers hydrated, but did you know that they also can be rollers for your feet?!?! After class, fill up a water bottle with really warm water (make sure that the water won’t melt the bottle). Once the bottle is warm, begin slowly rolling your foot over the bottle. This will help to stretch the foot muscles and also soothe any after-class soreness.

3. Tennis Balls

If you don’t already use a tennis ball as one of your dance tools, we would like to introduce you to your new best friend! Tennis balls, like water bottles, are great for rolling out your feet. Additionally, they can be used to roll out your muscles or target a pressure point.

4. Bicycle Tire Tube

You have seen those stretchers that help assist with extension training, but do you really want to spend your money on one? Bicycle tire tubes are a great alternative as they allow you to wrap one end around the foot while placing the remaining tubing on your shoulder or around your waist. Our favorite is to place the tubing around our feet in straddle which helps open up the position and add more resistance.

5. Rubber Bands/Hair Ties

Yeah, you use a hair tie every day for putting up your bun, but did you know that it is also a great strengthening tool too? Place a rubber band around your toes and work on expanding your toes outward as far as they go. The rubber band makes a little thera-band for your toes and helps to strengthen those fine muscles.