The Summer Dancer: How to survive the off-season and come back feeling good

We've all been there before: a summer of relaxing and free time when all of a sudden, it’s dance time again! You come back feeling tired, weaker, and not as flexible as when you left. Wouldn’t it be great to come back feeling good? Here are some ways to stay happy and healthy on the off-season:

1. Never stop dancing

Summer is a great time to relax and allow our bodies to rest after a grueling season, but we can't stop all together. Our bodies are fine-tuned machines and if we stop using them, they break. The best way to keep your body in dancer mode is to dance! Whether it's at a summer intensive or in your room, keep moving!

2. Switch up your routine

We all have our go-to workouts that we can fit in here and there during our busy lives, but summer is a great time to explore! With more free time and better weather we can get outside and have a longer sweat-sesh. Grab a friend and go on a run, bike ride, swim, or yoga class. If you can’t get to a friend, explore the internet to find a new routine that suits you! (we love http://blog.codyapp.com/exercises-for-dancers/ )

3. Stay connected

We could all say that our teammates are some of our closest friends! So it’s kind of a bummer when we have to say goodbye for a couple months. Intensives and master classes are a good way to catch up, but that is a time to be focused. In order to keep up with your friends, make sure to get together every once in a while! Even if a couple members are across the country dancing, arrange a group video chat! (the app oovoo allows more than two people to talk at once)

4. Take some down time

Especially for injury prone dancers, summer is a great time to recoup. That being said, don’t just sit and allow your injuries to go unattended! Ice, physical therapy, and chiropractic therapy are great ways to get your bodies back into peak condition. Once you're feeling better, make sure to keep your body strong by exercising and stretching often. 

5. Get back into the swing of things

Summer is the time for late nights, sleeping in, and eating not so well. This is all great, until you form a habit of it that you carry with you when the season starts. But don't worry! There's a solution for this problem. Get all of your partying done before the last week or two of summer. During that time, slowly start to work your way back to going to sleep and getting up at a normal time (dancers need anywhere from 8-10 hours of sleep and often don’t even get 7!). Make sure you're eating at about the same times everyday also, as this can affect your sleep patterns.

Summer is a great time to get away from the hectic world of dance, but it is sometimes an unpleasant surprise when the season starts up again! Don’t let it catch you by staying shape and staying happy in your few months of free time!

by Ashton Titus
Hawkins Contemporary Jazz Company Elite dancer

Photo of Meagan Patterson, Hawkins Contemporary Jazz Company Elite and Hawkins Ballet Company Apprentice dancer, photo taken by Baylee Ferrerra ,Hawkins Contemporary Jazz Company Elite dancer