It’s 2018, so #NewYearNewMe—or so your Instagram caption claims. But “new me” is a vague goal, and goals without plans don’t help you in the long run.
This year, make a resolution that will help you become a healthier, happier dancer. From easy workout habits to guilt-free cheat days, here are our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for dancers:
Nothing is better for your body than a good soak at the end of an intense week. (Pro tip: add Epsom salts and Netflix).
Don’t have a bathtub? Find a gym with a hot tub or a steam room, or treat yourself to a spa day at the end of each month.
Foam roller, marshmallow stick, or tennis ball. Give yourself ten minutes after class or rehearsal to break up the fascia in your body. Your muscles will thank you!
Dancers’ bodies are sensitive to inflammation, so it’s a good idea to incorporate some anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
The chances are that some of these foods are already familiar to you: almonds, green tea, and blueberries, for example. You can find out more here.
We all binge watch combinations and routines danced by our idols. There’s a lot to learn from watching, but you can also learn a lot by doing! Give yourself a few hours to try the dances you see on the internet.
Be smart, and don’t do a crazy move you’re not ready for. But try to pick up the footwork, and film yourself! Who knows? Someday you could be someone else’s idol.
If you regularly watch what you eat, remember that you don’t have to starve yourself of the foods that make you happy. Pick a day of the week when you can eat whatever you want. It doesn’t hurt you, and it tastes great!
There are some incredible people in this industry. Pick someone you admire—living or dead—and do a bit of research. You can learn a lot about dance and your own path by studying others.
Not sure where to start? We recommend reading Blood Memory by Martha Graham. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/83588.Blood_Memory)
With competition season fast approaching, it’s easy to get consumed by all dance, all the time. Make sure you block off a day to explore your other interests. See a movie, take a hike, go shopping!
If you don’t already, cross-training can make a big difference in your dancing. Popular regimes for dancers include pilates, yoga and swimming. Find an instructor who can help you get started, and make it a weekly habit!
Get out of the studio and into the theater (once a month, if possible).
If there aren’t any dance or theater companies in your city, check for touring shows.
This might be the most important resolution, and probably the easiest. Set a bedtime and stick to it! Your body thrives with regular rest, and it’s a great way to ensure that you’ll always walk into the studio feeling refreshed.
Elizabeth Shew is a Portland, OR native and a New York-based dancer, writer, and creator. She is a graduate of The Ailey School and Fordham University and holds BFAs in Dance and English/Creative Writing. She has danced for choreographers Cindy Salgado, Jae Man Joo, Brice Mousset, Christopher Huggins and Taryn Kaschock Russell, among others. Recently, she participated in Cherice and Charissa Barton’s summer program, Axis Connect, and performed alongside the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in their annual piece *Memoria. *She is a current apprentice with BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance.
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Broadway Dance Dreams