Getty Images

3 Tips For a Stress-Free Nutcracker Season

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but with the marathon of Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, the holiday season can also be one of the most stressful times for dancers. It's important to carve out some downtime for yourself, but for those days that are just too hectic, try these quirky research-backed tricks for some instant relief.


Pressure Points

Getty Images

According to researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, applying pressure to the flesh between your index finger and thumb (called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine) for 30 seconds could reduce upper-body tension and stress. Try it backstage if you're feeling stressed before your next performance.

Citrus Boost

Getty Images

Certain citrus scents are thought to increase feelings of well-being and reduce stress. One study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that the smell of lemon oil boosted positive mood in participants by upping their levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that impacts mood.

Music

Getty Images

Researchers at the University of Maryland found that listening to music you like may help blood vessels to relax, increasing blood flow and calming you down. This is also good for your heart. Put your headphones in when you have a few minutes, and listen to a song that makes you feel good.

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