Think Strong

If you've ever needed to take time off from dance due to injury, then you know how frustrating it can be to rebuild muscle strength after a long period of inactivity. But a recent study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that the mind—not just the body—may play a key role in maintaining strength.

Researchers from the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute at Ohio University asked 29 people to wear casts that immobilized the hand and wrist for four weeks. During this period, half the participants were regularly guided through an exercise using imagery, where they pictured themselves contracting and releasing the wrist several times. The other half did not do the exercise.

The result? At the end of four weeks, the group that had performed mental imagery exercises had lost 50 percent less strength in their wrists than the non-imagery group, providing significant evidence for the power of mind over matter. So even if you're recovering, or resting between seasons, keep picturing the strong, powerful movement you plan to get back to. It may have more of an effect than you think.

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks