Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To Break or not to Break, that is the question:

Hello all, I hope you had a lovely spring break- well, first I hope you had a spring break at all. I promised a while back to let you know how my performances went, and they went really well! For both me individually, and overall. The first performance was a bit shaky, but everyone pulled it together in the end and we were all ready for a well-deserved rest afterwards. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to rest.

Normally after the spring shows my studio has a short week-length hiatus from classes, but this year we had to make up so many snow days that we danced all through break. Now, this is really nice usually; even going a week without dancing and especially stretching can set you back. But I had just come back from an overnight stay in New York City (where I had a peek at the inner workings of Pointe magazine!) which involved two god-awful bus rides, each four hours long. I have absolutely no idea why the people who design bus seats make the seats concave so your back is rounded, but then put the head rest forward. It forces you to sit like a slouching caveman/cavewoman!

An aching back can make this hard! Photo from Kodama Ballet. 

Anyways, that really threw me off during Wednesday's class, in addition to not being able to see because my contact had somehow fallen out of my eye and dried up... it was embarrassing because we had a guest teacher whom I usually work hard to impress. Then the next day, my teacher was ill so I was asked to sub last minute. Again, normally I would be absolutely cool with it, but I had to drive to my university to grab my spare contacts and I had made plans with a friend, so I didn't have much time to prepare... ahhhhhh! It worked out in the end, but I never like to feel unrehearsed.

I guess my point is, sometimes it's nice to have a little break from what you love. And there are ways to keep your body in good form whilst away from the barre, a few being:

  1. Stretch! This may be the most important, and you don't have to limit yourself to when you're on break. The Ballet Blog has great tips for staying limber over the holidays. 
  2. Cross-train. The old school of ballet was against cross-training in areas like yoga, pilates, or even kickboxing, but new studies have found that cross-training keeps a dancer healthy and strong. Take a loot at Pointe's article and MindBodyBallet's post before hitting the aerobics room or the pool for a nice workout! 
  3. Keep healthy eating habits. Many times I've let myself overindulge when I'm not dancing and gone kind of crazy with the cake, candy, and chocolate. It's alright to each sweets you like in small doses and on occasion, but if you're like me and you don't have the iron will to push them away once you've had a little, I'd say just stick to your regular healthy diet. 
  4. Go see a ballet! Nothing can inspire you like seeing a well-put together, professional performance. In the DC area, the Kennedy Center always has upcoming performances by great companies. 
Natalia Osipova in ABT's Le Corsaire at the Kennedy Center. I saw this last year and was awed! Photo from NYTimes.
What do you think? Other than dance, do you need to take an occasional break from your passions, or can you never get enough?

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