#5 Core stability and strength for dancers

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Last in my series on how to be a strong, healthy and happy dancer is all about flexing those abdominal muscles! Core stability and strength are absolutely crucial in order to hit your peak as a dancer.

The biggest weakness I personally see in young dancers is the lack of core stability whilst they move. Kicks, port de bras, movements through the spine all seem to somehow lift shoulders up to the ears and stick rib cages out in front! Developing control and strength in this area will align and lengthen your posture which not only gives you a better silhouette but create freedom of movement in your body.

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Halo Wipes

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As you may guess, I tend to get quite sweaty throughout the day – one of the few downfalls of having a job which revolves around exercise! I know I am not alone. I know many of you who have non exercise related jobs get a little clammy walking to the bus stop, sprinting to push yourself onto the Tube or after a hard day’s work feel tired and not very ‘fresh’ for your night ahead. With this in mind, when the lovely Halo Wipes team asked me to try out their handbag essentials, I jumped at the chance!

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#4 get a hobby and explore your interests

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Top tip number 4 of how to be a healthy, happy dancer is all about getting s hobby.

Immersing yourself in a hobby with no or little connection to performing is an incredibly healthy habit for any performer. Taking you out of the dance world for a little time on a regular basis cannot just give you a mental and physical break, but also give you a wider appreciation and perspective. In a highly pressurised industry, this can be very important. The ability to step back and take yourself out of the situation is an incredibly useful skill to have.

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Tara Stiles Yoga Rebel on all things Yoga, health and beauty!

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Photo: We chat to founder of Strala Yoga and Reebok ambassador Tara Stiles about yoga, nutrition and her top beauty tips... http://www.hipandhealthy.co.uk/tara-stiles-yoga-rebel/Go on and take 10 minutes out to read my latest blog for Hip and Healthy magazine where I chat to the amazing Tara Stiles on how she got into Yoga, her mantra on health and beauty plus what inspires her.

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#3 Time to focus and meditate

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Top tip number 3 helping you to become a strong, healthy and happy dancer is meditation.

Meditation is having a bit of a face lift at the moment. More people are understanding what it actually is and reaping the benefits by daily practise. Meditation has been practised by people since since time began. Meditation or what I like to call it, quiet time, allows you to stop and connect with yourself. What you choose to meditate on is up to you, but I find that focussing on your breath quietens your thoughts and gives deep relaxation benefits.

No one can conitnue to give out and perform if they do not have time to fill up and restore. Scientific research has found that the brain actually changes and is better able to cope with the pressures of life through daily meditation. Our brains begin to re-wire by this practise and over time can dramatically change your outlook effecting your whole life for the better.

Why would you not do it then?!?

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#2 Replenish with Protein – Top 5 tips for being a strong, healthy, happy dancer!

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Last week I gave my first top tip on being a strong, healthy and happy dancer which was all about body massage. This week it is all about how to restore your body with wholesome nutrition. It may be tempting to grab a Mars bar or a high cafeine sports drink inbetween rehearsals and when you only have the local cafe to hand, options are limited. The problem with grabbing a sugary or cafeiene based drink/food, is that the boost only lasts a very short time i.e. 30 minutes average if that. It also gives you alot of other E numbers (which are nasty chemicals) and excess sugar which you probably do not need. The sugar you do not use is stored and eventually converted into Fat if your body does not need it. So excess weight can be put on just down to what you snack on in those 5 minutes.

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Top 5 tips for being a strong, healthy, happy dancer!

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If you are a dancer, life can be an exciting whirlwind full of travelling, performing, auditions and rehearsals. The perks of the job are incredible and to everyone watching you perform, life seems to be one big ‘high’. The truth is thought that there are low points to this profession which are made even more complex by the nature of the art form and the current performing arts and entertainment industry.

The psychological and physiological strains on a dancer are acute and should not be ignored. If you are a dancer, work with them or have family/friends who are, action should be taken in managing these pressures in order to have a strong, balanced mind and body.  This in turn will produce happy, more fulfilled performers who have the energy to reach their full potential and at the same time give enjoyment to their audiences for longer.

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Blast off body fat in 10 minutes

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With the sunshine finally here, it has probably got you thinking about finally having to strip off our jumpers and jeans. With the sun and the warmer weather (which is great!), for some of us wearing fewer clothes is daunting. Whether it is your arms, tummy or legs, most of us have an area or two where we feel conscious and if truth be told, we would rather not reveal in the public!Holidays are also on our minds as we all know the feeling when on your first day at the beach or next to the pool, you reveal your white wobbly bits and you think everyone around you is looking and being blinded by the sun bouncing off your backside!

The other thing in the summer is that no one really wants to exercise for long periods of time indoors unless the air conditioning is really good. Shorter workouts are more appealing as lets face it, when the sun is out in England, we want to be too as it does not last long!

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Role models, inspiration and dreams

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This is slightly different to what I usually write about, but I have been thinking a lot recently about role models in Society and who we aspire to be like. In today’s Society, we are bombarded with certain images and ways of life which are the ‘norm’ and we are subtly told what we should look, act or be like. On top of this, much of the western media is centred around the rich and famous who are held up on a pedestal, whether they like it or not. The problem is this can influence and shape our dreams which can become shallow, unrealistic and meaningfulness.

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Fitness training for dancers

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Dance is an art form that at it’s highest level, demands extraordinary levels of both athleticism and technical skill. For the amateur dancer, the condition of the body is central to the level of performance it is capable of achieving. At all levels, from the first-time dancer to the seasoned professional, the individual’s physical fitness plays a key role in their ability to perform.

Dance training has a tendency to follow a pretty strict pattern; there’s technique, repertoire, rehearsal. Perhaps there’s a conditioning class thrown in once a week in the form of Pilates or Gyrotechnics, but for the most part it’s dance, dance and more dance.

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