When you're a busy dancer, taking a vacation might sound like something you just don't have the time for. Maybe you're worried about falling behind in your technique or getting out of shape. But sometimes taking a few days for yourself (even if it's a "staycation" in your own neighborhood) is the best thing you can do for your dancing. Here are three benefits to take note of:

1. Get happy. Research shows that the benefits of vacation start before you even leave. Simply planning your getaway can help boost your mood. A study published in Applied Research in Quality of Life found that vacationers had the largest increase in happiness during the planning stages, when they were anticipating the trip.

2. Renew your focus. According to one study, taking short breaks while completing a task can greatly improve your ability to focus on that task for longer periods. The thought is that your brain is meant to respond to change, and when you focus on the same thing for a prolonged period, your performance can suffer. Breaking out of your normal training routine for a couple days may help you recharge, and see your ballet goals from a new perspective.

3. Boost creativity. Have you been struggling with choreographer's block lately, or with interpreting your next role? A Dutch study found that exploring a new place and having new experiences while you're there may help get your creativity flowing.

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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