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.
Over the next five weeks I will share my 5 top tips. These tips although simple can make a world of difference.
Self massage is cheap and effective. All you need is either reflexology ball/tennis ball or a Foam/Pilates roller. If you can afford both get them as they can be used slightly differently to get into all your tight spots.
Strictly speaking this is classed a myofascial release. It is where you manipulate your fascia (the type we work on during this release is the deep fascia which is connective tissue that coats your muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons and bones). The deep fascia is loaded with nerve endings and pressure points. By applying pressure on the fascia, it relaxes and triggers other parts of your body to relax and release tension. It also oxygenates the area which you are manipulating and therefore can also be used as part of a warm-up. (You may even find your technique and physical ability is improved as it wakes up your muscles ready for action, including areas which are weaker/inactive).
Regular myofascial release which is commonly reffered to as ‘rolling out’, will release tension and help to restore your muscles from aches and pains. Sports massages are great but who can afford them on a regular basis? Rolling out with a foam roller or using a ball is just as effective and a fraction of the price. Other bonuses are that it helps to reduce the appearance and prevent cellulite whilst giving your larger muscles (i.e. legs) a lovely tone and shape. What are you waiting for?
You can roll out tight areas using the floor or wall, but I would recomend staying out on the floor. You get to relax the rest of your body and be more creative! The best guide for rolling out is by far Ashley Borden. She has a free downloadable guide which should become your Bible. Follow these exercises 2/3 times a week for say 10 mins and you will absolutly notice and FEEL the difference. Try this video from Ashley and read her guide it is one of the very best things you can do for you and potentially your performing career! These are big claims, but I am serious – do it.
Please share, and discuss any other tips or recommendations you have too!