Why It's Important to Rest As A Dancer
Dancers are going back and forth between classes, balancing out school, and practicing their choreography outside of class. Incorporating some rest throughout the week is vital for the mind and body.
1. Muscle recovery
Pirouette. Reverse turn. Chassé. Coupé. Repeat.
Over time your muscles get tight from dancing all day. Your jumps will get lower and shorter. Your turns will get stiffer. It’s going to feel like you’re body is getting heavier. This is around the time your body is susceptible to an injury.
Giving your body time to relax and stretching out your muscles will give your body a break from the everyday grind. For example, the Suffolk Foot Roller and the Toe Tantra are some of the many tools we have to help with muscle recovery. It will help improve your performance, give your muscles time to heal, and prevent injury.
2. Mental rejuvenation
Dance can have a mental toll. Sleep deprivation affects your memory and your body’s way of memorizing certain movements. Without a healthy amount of sleep and mental rest, you'll have difficulty retaining more information.
As a dancer, it is important to memorize and learn new choreography and dance techniques. Allowing your mind to rest will help boost your productivity and mental health. Prioritizing rest in your daily routine will allow you to be more productive, you’ll be able to get more out of your dance classes, and work through your choreography efficiently.
3. Avoiding burnt out
When you’re running from one dance class to another, have homework to get done, memorize choreography, be part of the dance team at school, etc. Adding a lot to your plate or feeling like you have a lot going on can feel overwhelming. It feels like you’re on overdrive, it adds a lot of stress, and it’ll begin to affect your day-to-day life. If you aren’t allowing yourself a mental pause, give your body time, and give yourself that self-care, you’ll reach a point where you crash.
The moment you feel burnt out, you don’t want to physically, emotionally, or mentally do anything; this is your body’s way of telling you it’s stressed and at its limit. Your body is going to have a difficult time meeting your needs until it gets the rest it needs. Preventing yourself from getting to this state is so important, which is why listening to your body before it gets to that point is vital.
It's important to rest as a dancer because it will help you recover from muscle fatigue, mental burnout, and allowing that rest overall. Our brains never stop working, even when we’re sleeping. So we need to give our body time to repaid itself. So we can be more productive during dance.
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