As the dance season is beginning to slow down and wrap up for many of us, it is important that we take advantage of this time off to increase our mental and physical health.


Congrats, you accomplished another season in the studio and on stage! It’s not a negative to slow down, rest and recovery are recognized as part of the athletes performance requirements.


How can you dive into this ‘slow down’ period? First and for most, take some extra time to SLEEP! Yes, sleep, and no not dance. Lack of sleep effects weight, muscle recovery, food cravings, the brains motor skills, and cognitive functions. This is crucial time for your muscles to recover and to get yourself back to a healthy place. Once you start to get your sleep back on schedule, you can focus on training your body. Without the proper sleep, our bodies are more prone to injury. 


New research for dancers or any athlete encourages breaks, proper recovery time, and highlights cross training (Russell. PMC: 2013).


Kick off your rest time with, foam rolling. Focus points: gluteus, hips, hamstrings, thighs, feet, and the back. Down time is a good time to release muscle tension.


Tender love and care is not only meant for your significant other. Treat yourself to a massage to work out those leftover kinks! What you can do in the bulk of the summer to keep your muscle tone and activity up, is to take core strengthen classes such as Pilates.


Strengthen your muscles with heavier lifting in multiple planes of motion, and challenge your balance with stability work. This mix will help load, unload, recover, and strengthen your body system. Take the time to do what feels good for you with the mindset of rest/recovery as your objective.


As you approach dance season again, getting yourself into a class 1-2x a week is necessary as it’s a good time to re-work those muscles, tune back into what’s about to come, and regain some inspiration for the new season. During this time, it’s important to reflect on your past dance season as you go into the next to learn from your failures and success, Think of what to do differently to keep your body safe and healthy. Now, enjoy your rest and active recovery period, remember it doesn’t happen again until next summer! 


Here are some tips on how to get to sleep faster and rest heavier: 


• Develop a nightly routine and stick to it. Carry into the next season.

• Turn your phones brightness down up to 3 hours before bed. 

• Cut back on caffeine, especially in the afternoon. Instead,          enjoy a chamomile herbal tea before bed. 

• Adjust your schedule to make life demands more reasonable.

• Do not eat sugary foods right before bed.

• Take 5 minutes to close your eyes, focus on your breathing for a mini meditation that will calm your mind.


By. Marissa Siewert