self care for dancers

Self-care tips from ALMA NYC

On January 14, ALMA NYC hosted a wellness seminar at Broadway Dance Center. The seminar featured a five-person panel of nutrition, fitness, life-coaching and holistic living specialists. The afternoon focused on the meaning of self-care, a concept that has become a very trendy topic in today’s society.   

Foods for Winter Health

4 ways to boost winter nutrition and immune function

During winter months, it’s more important than ever to maximize your nutrient intake to strengthen your protective immune defenses. You don’t have to go buy a bunch of expensive products to be your best. 

Here are some tried and tested immune boosters perfect for a dancer’s budget.  

Photo by Belinda Strodder.

Get warm and stay warm for healthy and stretchy dancing

Brrrr… baby, it’s cold outside! You’ve still got to get warm and stay warm before you really get moving, but it feels so much harder when it’s like Frosty and the elves had a little too much fun outside. Fortunately, it’s easy with a few tips, and you’ll be ready to burn up the studio! 

First, though, what does it even mean to warm up? Is it just a few stretches and go? Nope. You need to literally warm up your body from the core out to your fingers and toes, and the way to do this is to move around enough to get your heart rate and your breathing rate to increase. If you’ve broken a sweat, you’ve hit gold. Here are some of our tips for getting warm and preventing injury. 

Winter: A good time to start your dance journal

Winter is a time when nature becomes dormant. Although the human world buzzes on, in alignment with the nature all around us, we are drawn to rest and reflect. How might this apply to artists, with reflection (on both inner and outer) fruitful for creative output and personal growth?

Might winter be a good time to begin journaling as a dancer? How, practically, are some ways to start doing that? Here, we speak with Betsy Miller, Assistant Professor of Dance at Salem State University, and Boston-based dance artist; and Karen Klein, founder and artistic director of teXtmoVes, to learn more about beginning to journal for creative processes in winter.

Tap into your bone density!

Bones are dynamic! Even though they are hard, bones are living and continually changing parts of your body that have cells working on them that are designed specifically to either make new bone or break it down. While it may sound strange that our body would want to break down our own bones, it’s a really important process for keeping the whole entire body healthy! There are a couple of reasons for this, and one is that minerals such as calcium are stored in your bones. Of course, you’ve probably heard this a lot, and heard that calcium is really important for healthy bones. What you may not have heard is that calcium is critically important for many functions taking place in the body, including nervous system activity and muscle contractions, and when your body needs calcium for all of these important things, it is going to have to get it from somewhere. That somewhere is your bones.

“Developing peak bone mass (the most bone mineral possible) in the teenage years through the 30s is the cornerstone of optimal bone health,” says Dr. Dorothy Fink, an endocrinologist and internist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where she often treats dancers. “There are cells in the body that build bone (osteoblasts) and cells that break it down (osteoclasts). These cells work together every day to keep your bones in the best shape possible.” 

BDC's Wellness Weekend.

BDC’s inaugural Wellness Weekend

There is a slow but steady shift happening in the dance world, and we like it. A lot. This shift recognizes that physical and mental health are incredibly important, and both studios and companies should be adopting a culture to support the health and wellbeing of their dancers. At BDC, faculty and staff know that your body is your instrument, and your mind the composer. And BDC is taking steps to help you keep your symphony in full force.

One of the steps BDC took recently was to initiate the BDC Wellness Weekend. The inaugural event took place at BDC’s bright new 65thStreet location, right near Lincoln Center. The weekend brought together the local community of professional dancers, recreational dancers, children, families and wellness business providers.