The following is a listing of dance tips, written by us, that may be of interest to you. If you have a tip of your own that you'd like to contribute, targeted towards a dance audience, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
Dance Tip: Pointe Shoe Care - A dry shoe is a long-lasting shoe!
A few months into your season's dance year, your pointe shoes are likely showing signs of wear. And as one of the more expensive items in your dance bag, you certainly want to make them last as long as possible.
For the average user, the #1 cause of pointe shoe deterioration is moisture. Although when you first buy your shoes the moisture (from sweat and humidity) is actually a good thing as it helps mold the shoe to your foot, very quickly it causes more harm than good. The glue inside your point shoe will break down with excessive moisture, and soon the overall box strength and foot support declines.
There are a few simple things you can do to help your shoes last longer. Store your shoes in a mesh bag, separate from your regular bag, so they can more easily dry out. Especially in warm months, don't store your shoes in your car (cold temperatures of the coming months are also to be avoided). And finally, if you wear your shoes often consider purchasing a second pair and alternating their usage; doing so will give them twice as long to dry out.
Dance Tip: Warmups and Stretching
A major cause of dance injuries is the failure to properly warm your body up and stretch your muscles before beginning your dance activity. During the winter months this risk becomes even greater with the cold weather outside (and sometimes even getting to class late due to road conditions).
To minimize the risk of injury, there are several things you can do to help ensure your body is protected. First, give yourself extra time to warm up, arriving to class a few minutes earlier than usual. Wear extra clothing, such as a light sweater, jacket, or leg warmers that can be removed after you've warmed up.
Some studios include stretching as part of the class routine, while others expect that students stretch before class begins. Whatever the process, don't skip your stretches! There are an endless number of stretches you can do, and seek advice from your teacher as to the types that are appropriate for the class you are taking.
Dance Tip: Snack Right! Best Bets for Dance Class Munchies
Life is busy, and there's rarely enough time to eat properly. However, as they say, "We are what we eat", and if you're not careful the types of foods you put into your body can definitely effect your dancing. Following good nutrition habits all the time is difficult, but there are at least a few easy things you can do when it comes time for class.
One of the most important things you should remember is to always stay hydrated. The goal is not to quench thirst, but rather to prevent it. Sports drinks are of course popular and do offer benefits, but nothing beats water, so drink plenty of it throughout the day and pack some extra bottles in your dance bag. Water boosts mental and physical endurance, prevents muscle cramps and headaches, and even helps us breath. At all costs, avoid sodas!
You also need to eat right. With class often after a long day at school but before dinner, it's easy to find yourself with an empty stomach. Watch yourself here, and avoid that convenient junk food! The last thing you want is an upset stomach. Instead, steer yourself towards fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. When you're "on the go", don't let that be an excuse, as you can always keep packets of trail mix, dried fruits, etc. in your bag (try these - they actually taste really good!).