Ballet Training
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Houston Ballet principal Jessica Collado recalls dancing Giselle's Myrtha on an outdoor stage in the thick of a Texan summer. "At the beginning of the act my shoes still had some life in them, but when I bourréed off to go to my grave at the end, there was literally nothing left of them," she says. "They completely died."

While some pointe shoe brands are built with synthetic materials (making them longer lasting), most shoes are still made out of organic components like burlap and paper, which are incredibly susceptible to humidity. "The more moisture there is, either in the air or from your foot sweating, the faster your shoes will break down," says ThePointeShop founder Josephine Lee. Whether you're spending your summer performing outdoors or training in a crowded studio, muggy weather will have a huge impact on your shoes. Here are some tips to make it through.

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Health & Body
Jayme Thornton (modeled by Nicole Larson of Marymount Manhattan College)

As a dancer, you know you should drink plenty of water, but do you know why? It keeps nearly all of the body's major systems in working order. And if they're not functioning properly, your dancing could suffer.

  • The body uses water to help you regulate your core temperature via perspiration. When you're running back-to-back variations in rehearsal, water keeps you from getting overheated. Sweat is a good thing.
  • Want a better battement? All of your joints, including the hips, knees and ankles, need water to stay lubricated. Drink up to use your full range of motion.
  • Out of breath? Blood—which is about 80 percent water—carries oxygen and vital nutrients through the circulatory system to your cells. Plus, water moistens the air you breathe.
  • If you're dehydrated, your balance is likely to suffer. That's because the inner ear needs to maintain a fluid balance to function properly.
  • Feeling sore? Dehydration could be a culprit. Getting enough water can reduce muscle soreness and hasten recovery time.
  • Without enough water, a dancer's healthy diet would be for naught. H2O helps dissolve minerals from food so the body can use them.
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