top of page

The Role of Mustard Oil in Traditional Dance Practices

On the occasion of International Dance Day, we wanted to highlight the use of mustard oil to improve dancers' agility and vitality. Mustard Oil has been a staple in various cultural practices due to its remarkable properties that benefit dancers. This blog explores how mustard oil is used by dancers to enhance performance, maintain flexibility, and reduce muscle stiffness across different cultural landscapes.

The Role of Mustard Oil in Traditional Dance Practices
The Role of Mustard Oil in Traditional Dance Practices

Historical Usage of Mustard Oil in Dance

Historically, mustard oil has been prominently used in South Asian dance forms, including classical dances like Bharatanatyam and Kathak. In these traditions, dancers massage their limbs with the oil before performances to stimulate blood flow and loosen the muscles. This pre-performance ritual not only prepares the body for the strenuous activity ahead but also integrates the oil's health benefits with spiritual and physical preparation.

Benefits of Mustard Oil for Dancers

  • Muscle Relaxation: Mustard oil acts as a natural relaxant. It helps in easing muscle tension and soreness, which are frequent in dancers due to their rigorous routines.

  • Enhanced Flexibility: Regular application of mustard oil can enhance skin elasticity and joint flexibility, essential for dancers who need to perform complex movements and maintain poses.

  • Injury Prevention: By improving circulation and relaxing muscles, mustard oil can help prevent injuries that are common during intense dance sessions.

Cultural Significance in Dance Practices

Mustard oil plays a significant role in culture, through dances performed as a part of traditional ceremonies. For example, in Indian folk dances, performers often use mustard oil not just for its physical benefits, but also for its supposed properties to ward off evil spirits, integrating a layer of cultural spirituality into its use.

Modern Application in Dance Routines

Today, the use of mustard oil has crossed cultural boundaries and is adopted by dancers worldwide for its undeniable benefits. Contemporary dancers and ballet performers have also started incorporating mustard oil massages into their preparation routines to take advantage of its natural healing and energizing properties.


Mustard oil remains a timeless remedy for enhancing dance performance and care. Its role in traditional and modern dance practices underscores the oil's enduring relevance in cultural and health practices. As we continue to explore and adopt ancient remedies, mustard oil's significance in dance is a testament to the blend of tradition and science.

To learn more about mustard's significance in Indian dance forms this international dance day, you can see our post on various traditional dances that are set against the stunning mustard fields, such as the Nati in Himachal Pradesh.

12 views0 comments


bottom of page