Ahhh, the relaxation that comes with the end of Nutcracker Season. Typically this is a time when your company may have a lay off or your school may be closed for a break.


Depending on where you are geographically and personally you may or may not be in a forced state of relaxation which can actually be very stressful! So why do dancers get stressed by breaks?

Well, for me, I had teachers saying, “however long you take off, it will take you at least twice as long to get back to where you were before the break.” I think lots of dancers have heard a similar variation of that warning.

It certainly instills a belief that taking no time off is the best option. 

I want you to give yourself a break.

It doesn’t have to be a totally lazy time with absolutely no movement (although I don’t think that is always the worst idea either) but allow yourself the space to explore other things.

Consider the following list and commit try one new practice. This way you get some r + r AND enhance your life at the same time!

  1. Go to a yoga class. The movement is different and that variety is beneficial. I felt a new and different strength as a dancer after incorporating yoga into my life!
  2. Swim. It’s great cardio and a super gentle way to keep moving your body after the intensity of performing so much.
  3. Have a trainer assess your physical weaknesses and create a cross – training plan around those discoveries. A trainer who is not familiar with dance may need some help as to what sorts of things you need strength for. As a non – dancer they may provide totally new insight – stay open.
  4. Try out new, healthy recipes.
  5. Go back to the basics. Sometimes when we’re taking advanced classes we don’t have the opportunity to work on the small details. Work on your own on the things you know could use some attention.
  6. Meditate – the headspace app provides a beautiful 10 – day challenge if you’re new to meditation.
  7. Find inspiration: go to the theater or a museum and experience some other arts.
  8. Read a book. If you typically stick to fiction try non – fiction and vice versa.
  9. Start a blog. Need inspiration? Check out Kirsten Evans blog Setting the Barre! Yesterday she wrote a beautiful post about The Whole Dancer Program!
  10. Do some planning! This is the perfect time to create a plan to take serious action in 2016. Are you into resolutions? A resolution is defined as:

the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.

Resolutions are great BUT don’t forget the step where you actually map out your course of action!


Post a comment below and let me know what new practice you’re going to try or what your go – to lay off activities are! 

And, since we’re on the subject of action, don’t forget to sign up for The Whole Dancer January 16′ no – cost workshop on Fearless Auditioning! This workshop is now available as an audio training in The Whole Dancer Foundations Course!

Finding Space
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Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach for high level dancers. She founded The Whole Dancer in 2015 after identifying a greater need for balance, wellness and support in the dance world. Since The Whole Dancer was founded, Jess has worked with 100's of dancers worldwide at top companies and schools. She has been featured in or written for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Spirit Magazine.

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