Public Health for the Theatre. . . What a Concept?

It’s that time of year, apart from Nutcracker, that most ballet companies are once again in the theatre.  Marketing ploys containing catch lines like, “romance on stage,” “bring your valentine,” “he will love it just as much as you,” and “tell your love story for a chance to win free tickets,” are hitting the headlines, busying the box office phone lines and filling up the seats.  Mixed reps, full lengths and ballets of all sorts open this weekend, if they haven’t already. Merde to all!

Behind the curtain are of course the dancers, staff, production, and stage crew all making the show happen.  But this time of year can sometimes be tough, with the vulnerability of sickness on the rise.  Theatre time can be a tricky time to stay healthy, especially in these winter months.  So dancehealthier, along with the trusted KCB seamstress, came up with a few ways to battle the inevitabilities of health risks inside the theatre.

  1. Lack of Windows – The theatre is much like a basement in the sense that it’s  enclosed with no trace of sunlight. On your breaks, try to get outside to catch a breath of fresh air and a few rays of sunlight.
  2. Change of Schedule – The work span tends to be longer while in the theatre, and the typical rehearsal schedule of 9 – 6 is a no go! Make sure you pack enough food, drink lots of water, and plan to bring fruits and veggies (and healthy food options) which give you more nutrients.
  3. Dry Theater Air – Theaters are large, open and let’s face it. . . Dry!  Drink lots of water as well as electrolytes to replenish, recover and refuel.
  4. Hair, Makeup, Costumes, Lights, Action – Sometimes this can be a lot all at once.  Hopefully the week is planned accordingly, but if gets to be too much stay calm and take one step at a time.
  5. Rehearsal Unpredictability – As all dancers know, things in the theatre can go wrong, which can more or less make dancers dance unexpectedly, late, and when not warm.  Try to stretch and work smart.
  6. Defeat Germs – With children, staff, dancers and crew all together in closed and small spaces (dressing room, backstage, quick changes) be sure to wash your hands and use sanitizer frequently.  If your company doesn’t have sanitizer at hand, it might not be a bad idea to make a request from your stage manager.  Be sure to tell your friends if you are sick too, so they can wash their hands after sharing a barre.

Hopefully these tips help in preventing sickness.  It’s only fair that dancers are both happy and HEALTHY while on stage.  Enjoy!


**Thanks to all dancehealthier readers and subscribers for all of your support so far. If interested, you may subscribe to dancehealthier at the right hand side of the homepage.  You will only be e-mailed when new posts are published. Dancehealthier also has a facebook page.  To check it out, and like it, click HERE!  Feel free to make a comment or contact me via e-mail at




4 thoughts on “Public Health for the Theatre. . . What a Concept?

  1. This might be helpful too: I recommended to a couple of my students who were stressing over auditions and rehearsals to download a meditation or relaxation CD onto their iPods and listen to this while stretching, warming up, and during all those in-between times when you just have to sit around and wait. This can be a better discipline than listening to your familiar favorite music, because you focus on someone’s calming and authoritative voice telling you to slow down your breathing, empty your mind of anxiety-causing thoughts, etc.

  2. Thanks for your input. You don’t hear these kind of things from many teachers so I’m sure your students are very thankful!

    Sent from my iPhone

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