January. The coldness of winter that comes with the new year reminds us that hibernation is an option. Less walking outdoors, more sitting on the couch by a warm fire, less light in our day, more comfort in the foods that bring us warmth–when holiday and winter unite they tend to create an equation for being sedentary.
For a dancer, hibernation should never be an option. With dance, all muscles are on call. Although breaks can bring rejuvenation and refreshment, inactivity tells your muscle memory to go on vacation. Dance Spirit magazine quotes Kay Sedal, (assistant professor of ballet, anatomy and dance at Oklahoma City University) that “the biggest danger in those first few classes is injuring the back, knees or ankles when landing big jumps. Even if you’ve practiced yoga or Pilates through the break, your body likely hasn’t experienced the pressure of gravity in grand allégro–meaning your leg muscles might not be ready to catch you like they usually do.” Sedal also recommends giving yourself enough time to slowly come back as you did take off.
Choosing to be the healthiest version of themselves is work. There comes a point in every dancer’s life that they make a choice; to pursue dance as an extension of being or maintain it as a source of creative expression and exercise. Both choices are the gift of movement that is dance.
What to read: Hope In a Ballet Shoe
What to listen to: Winter Song