I know, I know. It’s the last thing that you want to hear. You’ve completed your dance recital and have an entire month off. Soon school will also be out and you will have that much more free time. The idea of sitting on the couch all day watching tv, laying in bed for hours, reading books all day, is incredibly appealing. In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts about being done with a show.
But here’s the thing.
If you don’t do something then all of your hard work from the past four months starts to shrivel up. If you don’t spend a little bit of time conditioning, stretching, or just plain working your muscles then that first month of dance is going to be extremely hard. You will have lost flexibility, lost strength, lost core work, and lost the mental ability to remember combinations. The amount of time that you spend not being active is about how much time you will need to spend to regain what you lost. So say you took two weeks off. It will take two weeks of work to get back to where you were before you stopped dancing.
Now I am not saying that you can’t enjoy some of your time off. That would just be cruel. Your body (and your mind) definitely needs rest. Just don’t let yourself slip too far into the comfort of not doing anything.
You also don’t need to try to find every online class or workout video out there to try to stay on top of things either.
So what can you do?
1. Stretching. Even if it’s only for a few minutes every day or if you only focus on one aspect of stretching, say, your middle splits, then that will help keep your muscles limber.
2. Walking/running. It's a fun family activity to go on a walk, or a run. If you have a furbaby it's even more fun! Dogs get so many benefits from activity as well so why not help each other out?
3. Family Games. If you have siblings you can do something together like play soccer, or tag, or so many countless activities that can get your heart rate up.
4. Technology. Some of you use apps like TikTok and they have a lot of dances you can learn or workout challenges that you can do. YouTube and FaceBook also have a lot of different videos for all sorts of fun activities. There are a lot that are dance related but it's fun to do something different at times too. Find something that seems fun!
5. Acro Conditioning. For those who are in our acro classes you already have the handbook which has some great things you can work on. Keep up the strength in your arms and core that you have been honing throughout the semester.
There are so many more ways in which you can be active. You just need to find something that works for YOU and motivates you to try harder and push further. Sometimes it’s internal; sometimes it’s a parent or a sibling asking you to do it; sometimes it’s meeting up with a friend or doing workouts through Google Meets so that you are keeping each other accountable.
Whatever it is that you need, do it. Your body will will thank you for it when you come back to dance in January!