November’s theme: Stress Management for the dancer

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.  ~Spanish Proverb

A pic from Blakely Island, 2009

To do nothing?  An impossible act for a dancer?  If I were to ask any dancer that question, most likely the answer would be, “impossible!” In actuality, it’s an inevitable fact that dancers are subject to intense physical and psychological stress, stemming from the daily routine, constant subjective opinions and criticism, rigorous rehearsals, and frequent performances.

Rest, however, is vital to our jobs.  So are the other ways in which we as dancers handle our stress.  Due to the nature of the job, finding ways to manage stress becomes a crucial and necessary part of the job.  Like most things in life, “your way” may or may not work for others, yet it’s important that it’s right for you.

On the educational side of things, I took a college class called Practical Stress Management, and after popping open the book I thought I would share a few stress management techniques that may sound appealing.  I will focus the month of November on these techniques (exploring them in detail) as well as sharing direct feedback from dancers.  Feel free to comment/share additional ideas, or confidentially contact with “your way” that may be helpful for other dancers to try, or simply just hear about.

Stress Management Techniques:

  • Yogic Breathing, or Pranayama
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Visual Imagery
Stay tuned for this month’s Stress Management themed Movement Wednesdays.


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