Thursday, December 22, 2011


As dancers we spend most of the year giving- we give our time, talent and energy all year round to students and to audiences. We spend our non- dancing time mending costumes, creating choreographies, developing lesson plans, taking classes, rehearsing, and doing our own administrative work. Throughout the year, many of our gigs are in honor of specific holidays, or for parties or special events marking milestones in other people’s lives.

By our very nature, we dancers are the gift that keeps on giving!

Dancers are always “on”, whether or not we are actually onstage. Though we may try to rest up and prepare for this constant out-pouring of energy, we always seem to put ourselves and our own needs last. We usually don’t get enough sleep, we eat on the go, and we rarely allow our bodies to fully heal, even though we think we do. There’s always another important gig, mandatory rehearsal or class to teach or attend.

If, like most dancers, this is your year-round modus operandi, by the time the holidays hit, you may develop an energy deficit that can sap you emotionally and mentally as well as physically. I know I am pretty depleted by this time of mid-December, I've finished all of my travel and my out-of-town workshops and local classes for the year, but I can never seem to make the time to rest and recover, no matter how hard I try! This year, I'm concentrating on doing just that.

During the frenetic holiday season, really try to take some much-needed quality time to recharge your batteries and give back to yourself… even if it’s just a few moments of quiet each day.

Say no to your phone for a few hours....the world will survive without you sending constant texts or making and taking calls. Try to get enough sleep to enable your body heal naturally and become refreshed. Even an extra hour here and there can help. Don’t give in to all those glasses of champagne and yummy holiday treats- the sugar rush and crash will play havoc with your already-exhausted body.

If you don’t have children in your life, try spending some time with someone else’s kids. Even though this may sound trite( and even if you say children annoy you and that’s why you don’t have them!) hanging out with little ones will allow you to see the beauty of the holidays through their innocent eyes, not through the constant force-feeding and barrage of retail ads and blatant consumerism.

Be sure to make time for a private date with your spouse or significant other… remember that our (supportive and oh-so-patient) partners are usually casualties of our careers, too!

Now’s the time you need some pampering- especially if you don’t pamper yourself on a regular basis. This is the perfect time for you to indulge in a massage, a mani-pedi, a nice hot bath with Epsom salts, experiment with baking or some other hobby or craft you’ve always wanted to try. Spend a quiet hour alone writing in your journal, enjoying a good book…or a trashy tabloid! These little escapes are great year round, but it’s a particular a necessity at this hectic time of year.

Treat yourself to some “you time” because it will enable you to keep giving others the gift of your dancing!

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