There are some days when it feels like things just aren't going your way: Maybe your train is late on the way to class, you forgot to pack lunch in your dance bag or the new variation you're learning just isn't sticking.

But what if there was a quick fix for the frustration that builds up? One recent study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that a brief nap could help you tolerate frustration and reduce impulsive behavior. As a way to measure frustration, researchers had 40 people attempt to complete an impossible task. Next, they had half the participants take a nap while the other half watched a video. Afterward, everyone was asked to complete the task again. The results showed that people who had taken a nap were less likely to give up on the tricky task, spending more time on it than those who hadn't slept. They also described their behavior as less impulsive. 

It makes sense, considering the many benefits we already know naps can have. Next time a tough day is getting you down, a few minutes of rest between rehearsals could be the boost you need to power through with a positive attitude. And when you're less frustrated, it'll be easier to approach difficult choreography with patience and a clear mind.

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During one of Charlotte Nash's first few weeks with Houston Ballet II, she was thrown into a run-through of Balanchine's Theme and Variations. "I had never really understudied before and I didn't know what I was doing," she says. "I fell right away and was quickly replaced." For Nash, now a dancer with Festival Ballet Providence, the episode was a tough lesson. "I was mortified, but then I said to myself, 'Okay, I need to figure out how to learn things more quickly.'"

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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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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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