For most dance schools, we are right in the middle of performance season, so here are a few tips to help you perform at your best.
First of all, although you should be eating well-balanced meals all year round, it's particularly important to do so in the lead up to a concert. Include all of the essential vitamins and nutrients in your meals and should avoid anything that is processed or full of artificial sugars.
Along with well-balanced meals, you should make sure you are well hydrated as most performances are held close to summer. The weather is warm and you need to make sure you’re replacing any fluid you're losing whilst dancing. Be conscious about drinking enough water in the week leading up to a performance. During the performance have a water bottle easily accessible, especially if you have to change costumes quickly.
On the day of the performance make sure that you warm up fully. i know it's a lot easier to just go on stage, but if you don't warm up, the risk of injury is significantly higher. Proper warm ups should consist of 5-10 mins of cardio activity such as jogging, jumping jacks, skipping etc. Then 5-10 mins of dynamic stretching such as leg swings. Never sit still in a stretch before class or a performance as it lengthens the muscles without strengthening them. The final part of a warm up should be 5-10 mins spent on strengthening of the muscles, particularly through the core. The most important thing to remember is to warm up the whole body, with extra attention given to warming up parts of the body that will be used more specifically in your performance.
Remember to rest in-between each performance and before you return to class. Ideally 1-2 days rest between performances is ideal, but since most concerts are run two days in a row, make sure you go home and get plenty of rest in-between. Then try and take a two day break before returning to class fully.
And finally, enjoy this special time of year!! Celebrate all of the hard work that you have put in throughout the year, enjoy the audience's reactions... and the special friendships formed with your dance buddies :)
Written by Teaghan Spiers, Myotherapist and Dance Teacher