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Kanses City Ballet's Tempe Ostegren

Kansas City Ballet's Tempe Ostergren, Photo by Kenny Johnson

 

This winter, as you juggle busy rehearsal schedules, Nutcracker performances and New Year's plans, it's important to stay health-conscious to fight off those nasty seasonal colds that can slow you down. Try these foods to give your immune system a boost, so you'll head to the studio feeling your best: 

 

After a particularly rough day in the studio, or a long and tiring performance, last-minute holiday shopping might be the furthest thing from your mind. But a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that shopping can actually boost your mood. 
The research showed that when people were feeling down, shopping was 40 times more likely to cheer them up than other activities.

For ballet dancers, Christmastime means The Nutcracker—and endless weeks of rehearsals and performances. By the time the New Year arrives, we can stand to wait 10 more months for the next round to begin. But despite its relentless repetition, The Nutcracker remains near and dear to many dancers' hearts, with familiar moments sparking memories of childhood. 

 

BalletMet Nutty Nutcracker

 Lewis in The Nutcracker. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet.

What's better than the Nutcracker? The Nutcracker with puppies and kittens, naturally. This year, Sacramento Ballet has partnered with the Front Street Animal Shelter to feature adoptable pets in each of their 13 Nutcracker performances. The critters will have roles in the opening scene—a busy street—and in the party scene at Clara's house.

 

When winter hits (especially if you live in the north), the shorter days and chilly temperatures can start to get you down. But there are simple things you can do to cheer yourself up as you go through your day. Try these tips the next time you're longing for spring:

Nothing provides more comfort than catching your best friend’s eye during a performance, or realizing that someone familiar is dancing by your side. And when a ballet’s choreography caters to friendship, the most intimate dance arises from the stage.

 

Without the dedication of dozens of technical crew members at each and every performance, ballet companies would be performing on bare, empty stages under flourescent lighting. Creating props, scenery, lighting and costumes for a performance is a huge undertaking, but the tech crew's work isn't done once the lighting is designed and the costumes are sewn. All of those materials have to be carefully transported to the theater, and the process of loading-in—setting everything up in the space—can take hours.