Are dancers athletes? Yes. Dancers are elite athletes as well as artists. They follow a rigorous training regime and must stay in top condition, just like professional athletes such as basketball or hockey players. Dancers have extraordinary flexibility, muscular strength and both physical and mental endurance. Professional dancers train and practice every day for an average of six hours. Many also cross-train with cardio, weight lifting, yoga and/or Pilates to improve their physical fitness and technique.