Summer is upon us! Who doesn’t love warm Summer days and a little time to rest our bodies and our minds? As dancers, rest is so important because it gives our muscles time to recover, and it helps us avoid injuries. However, did you know that an athlete starts to lose significant strength after only ten days of rest?
Here are some ways to keep yourself in dance shape even when you are not in class:
- Theraband work – theraband work is a fantastic way to work your dance muscles while staying low impact. The theraband is a long stretchy band that can be used to add resistance to certain exercises. For example, by stretching the band tight around your foot and pointing your foot against the band, you can get a great ankle workout. Here are some more exercises that you can do using the theraband: https://www.energetiksblog.com.au/blog/2020/4/27/thera-band-exercises-for-dancers
- At home Ballet barre – I know you’re thinking, “why would I spend my Summer vacation at the Ballet barre?”, but you would be surprised how quickly your Ballet technique can fall by the wayside. Set aside 30 minutes every other day to do a quick Ballet barre, and avoid the back-to-dance soreness you’ll inevitably get after your first Ballet class back.
- Improvisation exercises – Improvisation is a fun way to keep your body moving and to activate your creative energy! Pick your favorite song, pick an improvisation task, and enjoy it!
- Pilates – Maybe this Summer is a time for you to try something new! Typically performed on a mat, similar to yoga, pilates is a form of exercise which focuses on mindful repetitive movement and core strengthening. It is a great way to keep your dance muscles strong and to avoid injury when you head back to class.
We look forward to Summer as a time to relax and unwind. As athletes, resting our bodies is essential for longevity. But sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves and know when the best form of self-care is to get up and move!