Relaxation Tips for Your Busiest Rehearsal Days

 

Photo by Philippe Teston

In today's world, we talk a lot about stress relief. And it's true that taking time to relax and unwind is a necessary part of taking care of yourself as a dancer. But sometimes figuring out how to fit in that relaxation timeon top of all your classes, rehearsals and a fast-approaching Nutcracker seasononly seems to add stress. On your busiest days, you may have just a few minutes in between activities—not enough time for a soothing bath or rejuvenating yoga session. When you're in a pinch, here are a few research-backed strategies to help you relax fast:

Snack smarter. Make sure to bring snacks in your dance bag so you aren't rushing to find something to eat on top of everything else. And what should those snacks be? Not surprisingly, one study found that people tend to crave sweet, crunchy and salty foods more when they feel stressed out. But that doesn't mean reaching for a candy bar or bag of chips will make you feel better. Get in the habit of packing homemade trail mix, or munch on some baby carrots or a piece of fruit to satisfy those urges in a more nutritious way.


Look at something cute. Turns out watching cat videos on YouTube or scrolling through a slideshow of baby animal photos may do more than just cheer you up. It might help you focus when your break is over, too. One study found that participants were able to better perform tasks that required focused attention after looking at cute images.

Focus on your breath. It's been said before, but taking a moment to connect to your breathing may be the easiest and fastest way to relieve anxiety. And it doesn't have to be a full-on meditation session to have positive effects. Research has shown that practicing slow, deep breathing could help lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

 

 

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

What's Ahead for Ballet Companies in the Age of COVID-19?

Let's be frank: No one knows what's ahead for the performing arts in the U.S. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of nearly a year of performances so far, including many Nutcrackers, ballet companies face a daunting path ahead with no roadmap for how to survive. While schools can offer classes online or in small groups, what does the future hold for companies when it's not safe to gather large audiences or corps de ballet?

"We are in for a very hard set of months," says Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. "Nothing will change until there's a vaccine."

Pointe set out to find out what the new normal looks like while the virus is with us.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

7 Tips for Improving Your Piqué Turns, Plus Advice for Practicing at Home

A string of piqué turns en dedans, says Erica Fischbach, director of Colorado Ballet Academy, should appear powerful yet effortless. "The effect you want to create is that you're flying." Here are her tips to achieve this as you whirl through the ends of your variations. Plus, don't miss the video below for Fischbach's advice on how to practice piqué turns while training at home.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
BalletMet costume shop manager Erin Rollins in a costume fitting with Leiland Charles. Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet

A Costume Shop Manager's Expert Advice for Making Your Dancewear Last Longer

What's the best way to extend the life of your favorite leotard or piece of workout wear? Aside from fabric quality, it largely comes down to what you do on laundry day.

We spoke with Erin Rollins, costume shop manager at BalletMet, for her top tips on keeping your beloved dancewear in rotation for years to come. (Spoiler alert: No, washing and drying everything on the same setting isn't advised.)

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks