Your New Year's Resolution: Read More

How dancers read. Photo by Jordan Matter, via dancersamongus.com

As a dancer, you're used to thinking kinetically, physically, actively. Your language is movement. But curling up with a good book after a long day of rehearsal may be just what you need to add balance to your in-motion lifestyle. Reading has more dancer-friendly benefits than you may realize.

Relieves stress. A study from the University of Sussex found that reading was the most effective stress reducer out of all those tested, beating out standbys like listening to music, drinking a cup of tea and going for a walk. Getting lost in the world of a book is believed to help ease tension in the muscles and heart.

Improves sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests spending the hour before bed winding down with a calming activity—like reading—to help you relax and transition into sleep mode. (Skip the e-readers at night, though. The type of light that emanates from their screens may make it harder to fall asleep.)

Expands your mind. Research shows that reading fiction may make people more empathetic. That broader perspective could come in handy the next time you're interpreting a difficult role or working with a demanding director or partner.

Looking for some great dance-related reads? Check out our list of 2015's best ballet books.

 

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

 

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Yonah Acosta in Sin La Habana, Courtesy Miami Film Festival

The Miami Film Festival Is Streaming 2 Films Spotlighting Cuban Ballet Dancers, Including Yonah Acosta

Many ballet companies are sharing digital productions these days, but if you want to get your ballet fix on the silver screen, the Miami Film Festival has something for you—and you don't have to fly to Miami to see it! Two ballet-centric films, the drama Sin La Habana (Without Havana) and documentary Cuban Dancer, will be featured in theaters and virtually at the 38th annual Miami Film Festival, running March 5 to 14.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks