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Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

8 Realistic Resolutions for Dancers

Unfortunately, many of us don’t bother with resolutions because they are too hard to keep.

The key to sticking with your goals in the new year is avoiding extreme resolutions and expecting magical transformations. Instead, take practical baby steps toward your goals and decide to make better choices.  

Here are eight simple and realistic resolutions that dancers can make to become better people and better dancers.   

Focus on your health.   

This just doesn’t mean stretching and exercising. It’s crucial to prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional health. Don’t let these things don’t take a back seat, especially as we embark on a fresh new year. Your health is everything, and it is your responsibility, so make self-care a priority in 2023.  

Invest in some “me time,” whether it’s physical therapy for that sore knee, massages, healthy food choices, more family time, getting more sleep, or investing in a foam roller – take care of your needs. You can’t give back if you don’t give to yourself first.  

Learn something new.   

As a dancer, we know your schedule is pretty full, but take some time to learn something new that will make you better at dancing.   

Some ideas include:  

  • Learning an instrument  
  • Yoga  
  • Mixing music  
  • Gymnastics  
  • Martial arts  

Be authentic.  

A round of “great jobs” is pretty routine in the studio, but how often are your kudos truly genuine? A round of applause is nice, but an authentic compliment means so much more.    

If you see a dancer working hard and improving, tell them in detail. If someone inspires you, let them know and thank them.    

Keep a dance journal.  

Take a few minutes to jot some things down in the evening. Note how you’re dancing, create a list of the classes you’ve taken, pieces you’ve been a part of, how you feel when you’re dancing, etc.     

Keeping a dance diary will provide an easy way to review your training, where you are succeeding, and where you need some extra help. It’s essential to take inventory and reflect once in a while. This gives you more clarity on where you want to go and how to get there.  

Make a new friend.  

You can’t be best friends with everyone, but you can make a conscious effort to make a genuine connection with someone new. Get to know someone in class by asking them questions about their life. Be open and chat with new teammates at competitions.   

You’ll never know the relationships you miss out on if you don’t take a chance.    

Know your body and mind.  

Understand when you need a break, and take it! The only thing worse than getting burnt out mentally or physically injured is to keep damaging yourself by continuing to dance when you need a moment.     

Your body and mind will know when to take a break. Don’t get anxious at the idea. Instead, enjoy your time off to rejuvenate your mind and body. Then you can come back fully ready to dance and learn.  

[Need tips for keeping that energy level high? Click here!]

Don’t compare.  

There’s so much talent in the dance community that it’s easy to feel envious. However, comparisons aren’t beneficial. They only dull your passion for the art of dance.   

Instead, if you develop a spirit of appreciation, you will find yourself being pushed by others’ successes instead of feeling threatened.   

Get out of your comfort zone.   

Say yes to more things that feel uncomfortable or scary. You don’t know what the future holds, and you’ll never know if you say no to things. Be open, and don’t be so quick to reject opportunities that come your way.     

Use your instincts to make sound judgments, but do not let the fear of failure hold you back. Give new and uncomfortable things a chance, and see where it takes you!  

These eight small, realistic resolutions will fuel your passion and work ethic as a dancer. This year, resolve to help you become a healthier, happier dancer. New Year’s resolutions should make you feel inspired and motivated, not anxious and overwhelmed. Start small and take realistic baby steps to help attain your goals.   

Are you or your child ready to try dance in the new year? Contact the dance experts at Evolution Dance Complex today! 

5 Tips for Keeping a Dancers’ Energy Levels High

Dancers are artists, but they’re also athletes who must support their busy schedules with long-lasting energy. 

From the foods you eat to how you eat and care for your mind and body, you can develop choices that impact your energy levels. Let’s discuss five key strategies for dancers seeking high energy to get them through their day and their performances. 

Functional fuel for your diet.  

Prioritizing healthy meal balance means incorporating a source of each nutrient within your food choices, especially your snack. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are all macronutrients that are essential to a busy dancer’s diet and each provide many benefits. 

  • Carbohydrates replenish muscle and help to fuel your movement. Carbohydrates come from many foods like bread, veggies, fruits, and sweets. Be careful about the sweets you consume, while you may get a quick burst of energy, you will crash. 
  • If you’re sluggish and tired midway through class, it may be time to add more balance to your snacks. Good sources of protein and fat will help. Protein provides the minerals and nutrients vital for muscle recovery and will keep you feeling full.  
  • Feeling hungry while dancing does not help your energy levels and will leave you feeling heavy. Healthy fats will help support feeling satisfied between meals. A balanced mixed that provides protein and fat with your carbohydrates is the goal. Excellent sources of both proteins and fats include string cheese, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, guacamole, and nut butters. 

Stay hydrated.  

Start hydrating early in the day and work to stay consistent. The first thing you should do when you wake it up is consume a large glass of water. Grab a reusable water bottle and attempt actively hydrate throughout your day.

PRO TIP: Don’t love water? Add some lemon, lime, or orange slices for flavor. This can also help with energy levels.

You can find your hydration from other sources too! While water contributes to a good portion of our fluid intake, specific foods can boost your hydration levels. Make a yummy salad or pack some snacks to munch on throug the day. Some things to include: 

  • Tomatoes 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Celery 
  • Apples 
  • Watermelon 
  • Peaches 
  • Grapes 

Focus on meal timing.  

Dancers often know what foods are best for fueling their busy day, but many need help with timing, especially when it comes to snacking. When someone eats is just as important as what they eat. Going for long periods without properly fueling can affect energy levels and performance, and can leave dancers susceptible to injury. 

Regular meals and snacks will help to keep your energy up without causing you to feel sluggish while dancing. Create a plan to scatter your meals and snacks into five or six eating times through the day.

Get quality rest.  

Research shows that when athletes and dancers aren’t getting adequate sleep, coordination and balance suffer, leading to an increased potential for injury. In addition, your immune system is weakened, increasing your chances of getting sick. In a recent study, lack of sleep was shown to adversely affect reaction time and the ability to make quick decisions.  

It can be challenging to get adequate sleep as a busy dancer. Especially when working around a rigorous training and competition schedule. Some ways dancers can improve sleep quality include:  

  • Optimizing your sleep environment – Your bedroom should be a peaceful sanctuary, especially after a long day of school and dance. Keep it uncluttered and ensure it’s dark and cool; studies show optimal sleep temperatures are between 62 and 68 degrees.  
  • Stick to a schedule – Maintaining a consistent agenda can be challenging. However, finding consistency in sleep times can lead to a better night’s sleep.  
  • Create a relaxing nighttime routine – A soothing bedtime routine can help you relax and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Some things you can do include meditation-style breathing techniques, reading, journaling, or soaking in a warm bath.  
  • Limit electronics – Electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops emit blue light, interfering with our natural circadian rhythm. Avoiding screens before bed can help active dancers fall asleep faster and rest deeper.

Reevaluate your caffeine intake.

Too much caffeine can impact sleep and leave you feeling anxious and jittery. Aim for no more than two cups of coffee per day. Since caffeine is present in other foods and drinks, be mindful of caffeinated teas, sodas, and even chocolate intake.

Like warming up, proper nutrition and health management are vital to mastering your craft and keeping your energy high. Educating our dancers on how to improve their energy and longevity will set everyone up for success! Keeping our dancers mentally and physically healthy is extremely important at EDC. For more dance tips and essential class information, follow our informative blog and social media. 

4 Ways That Dancing Helps Your Mental Health

When you move, you feel good, and it feels good to dance!

Of course, we know the physical benefits of dance, but there is more to it than that. Dancing has obvious positive effects on our physical well-being, but how about our mental health?

Dancing and movement are excellent for your body, mind, and soul, and there’s science to prove it! Keep reading for four ways that dancing helps your mental health.

Dancing can improve your self-esteem.

According to Very Well Mind, self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall subjective sense of worth or value. In other words, self-esteem may be defined as how much you appreciate and like yourself. Self-esteem can be determined by factors including:

  • Feeling of security
  • Self-confidence
  • Identity
  • Sense of belonging

Learning a new skill, like dance, is hard work that can deliver some big-time mental rewards. Taking dance classes and rising to the challenge will encourage self-confidence and increase self-esteem. A strong presence on the dance floor can translate into other aspects of a dancer’s life and will start a cycle of positivity and confidence.

When you prove that you can learn new choreography and develop new skills through dance, you’ll find that your self-esteem will grow.

Dancing can expand your social circle.

Socialization is crucial for good mental health, and dance is great for expanding your social circle. Dance classes are typically conducted in groups, which pushes you to interact with people who share your same love of dance. Many of these people will become your closest friends.

A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive social relationships is just as crucial to your health as physical activity or healthy eating. Studies show that being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.

[Need to grow your child’s social circle this summer? Check out our 2022 dance camps!]

Dancing can have positive effects on your mood. 

Research shows that music and movement help enhance a person’s mood. It is why when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, you just want to listen to some music and move. Dancing instantly uplifts your mood and can help improve your attitude and outlook on life.

An in-depth analysis of several different studies on the effects of dancing concludes that dancing has a positive impact on the treatment of depression.

Dancing can lower stress and anxiety.

Like any other form of cardio exercise, dancing has significant mood-enhancing benefits. Dancing causes your body to release powerful chemicals and hormones that can help your brain develop better sleep patterns and reduce stress.

In addition, scientists have been conducting research on dances’ ability to reduce anxiety for many years because of dances’ ability to “loosen up” participants, allowing them to dance in front of an audience of strangers. For decades, therapists have prescribed dance to patients suffering from social anxiety and a fear of public speaking. The idea behind this recommendation is that dance allows people to feel less self-conscious when interacting with people or when “speaking in front of an audience.”

Staying mentally and physically healthy is very important at Evolution Dance Complex. We consistently work with you or your child through our conditioning courses and rigorous dance technique classes to encourage fitness and fun!

Are you or your child ready to give dance a try in the new year? Contact the dance experts at Evolution Dance Complex today!

01 Jan

8 Tips for Helping You Find Your Own Dance Style

01 Dec

8 Realistic Resolutions for Dancers

01 Nov

5 Tips for Keeping a Dancers’ Energy Levels High