Welcome back to a new year. Today I want to touch on safe dance practice in warm weather. It's not the most enthralling topic but it's super important, especially in this hot weather. So here are our top tips for being the best dancer you can be in this warm weather:
Make sure that the clothing you are wearing to class is suitable for the style you are taking. For instance, it can be really tempting to wear bikeshorts on a hot day but if you are headed to contemporary class, you are putting your skin at risk. Contemporary utilises the floor a lot and hot, sweaty skin doesn't slide easily on the floor, putting you at risk for floor burn. Ouch! Leggings or skin coloured tights to the knee will product your skin in contemporary classes and are an absolute must. In other classes, such as ballet, floorwork isn't such an issue so on really hot days skip the tights and wear bike shorts with your leotard to stay cool. Make sure you know the requirements of your class and try to wear the lightest clothing you can in the hottest weather to avoid overheating.
Similar to clothing, not having the appropriate footwear for dance can put your feet at risk - and they're pretty important for a dancer. Check out what footwear you will need for class and make sure to have it with you. Footwear can also get quite damp and sweaty in the summer so it's important to dry out it. Don't leave your shoes in the bottom of your dance bag in hot weather - take them out and air them. Foot undies can even go on the washing machine (not the dryer though!).
Even though it's hot it's important to make sure you still warm up. Take some time to class to move around and get your body warm, and make sure you are on time to class so you don't miss the beginning warm up exercises.
We're having unusually hot weather this summer, so make sure you have a water bottle with you for class. After class make sure to go home and drink water, especially if it's been a particularly intense class or you've stretched lots. Drinking water helps to flush the lactic acid from your muscles and reduce soreness the next day.
It's just as important to cool down as it is to warm up. A cool down is a slower exercise or series of movements that helps to lower your heart rate. Usually this will be part of your class but if you feel like you haven't cooled down enough get in a couple of quick stretches at the end of class to help your heart rate return to normal.
Treating Soreness, Floorburn or Injury
Sometimes it happens, we push just a little too hard and we end up sore the next day. If this is the case, remember the good old RICE and if it doesn't start to improve in 3 days consider seeing a physio. Floorburn can be pretty nasty and often we don't realise we've done it until it's too late. Floor burn is a lot like carpet burn and comes from hot, sweaty skin sliding against the floor creating too much friction. It's not a major issue but it can hurt. Prevention is best, but if you do get floor burn, clean it with a damp cloth and keep it covered for a few days to avoid ripping the skin further.
Everyone wants to the be the best dancer they can, and it's important to help your body out in that endeavor by making sure you are the healthiest you can be.
Here are a few of our tips for staying healthy as a dancer:
1. Replenish Fuel - dancing burns energy and you need to make sure you replace it. Dance is physically demanding and your body needs refueling after dance. There are lots of tasty snacks you can eat after dance, but nutritionists recommend that you have something that combines complex carbs like bread, pasta or rice and some kind of protein like nuts, diary products or meat. These help your body to repair muscles as well as refuel your body.
2. Drink Water - it's so easy to forget but it really is the best thing for your body.
3. Warm Up - it's important to warm up your muscles before dance. Our classes always include a warm up or barre - both of which are designed to get your muscles warm, but it never hurts to warm up a little before class as well. Plies, tendus or sun salutations are great ways to do that.
4. Take Time to Relax - Life is busy - especially as a teenager, take time to relax and rest your body and mind too.
5. Listen to Your Body - Dancers are used to the odd ache and pain - especially if we go hard in class and work some new muscles a bit harder than usual - but if something hurts for longer than a week or gets worse see a physio or talk to your teacher about it. It's important to listen to your body - if it's tired make some time during the week to rest.
Congratulations to all our award Winners!
Most Versatile Dancer (Senior) - Brooke Newman
Most Versatile Dancer (Intermediate) - Aryaa Subedi
Most Improved (Senior) - Ria Hermans
Most Improved (Intermediate) - Tamiel Pua
Most Improved (Junior) - Amy Harrison
Performance Skill - Ria Hermans
Stage Presence - Mikaela Debela
Most Supportive Classmate - Abbie Bartlett
Commitment Awards - Chloe Faulkner-Ball, Dani Steel, Chelsea Laing, Caitlin Geerts