Picture this: You're a dancer about to step onto the stage. Would you ever rush out in your costume without any rehearsal or preparation? Sure, there are rare moments when emergencies call for it, but for your own sanity and confidence, you'd likely rehearse your variation, pas de deux, or corps dance countless times before that moment arrives.
So why should preparing for your dance season be any different? Dancers are skilled at improvising, but what does that do to our central nervous system and innate stress management over time? Constantly 'flying by the seat of your pants' might not be your best approach in the long run. We're not just asking our bodies to dance; we're juggling jobs, cross-training, sleep, and maintaining habits that keep us grounded and energized all season long. In this blog post, let's create a smooth strategy for your season ahead.
Assess Your Starting Point: A Necessary Self-Evaluation
A self-evaluation can feel silly - trust me, I get it. It serves a great purpose, though, especially at the top of your season. Ask yourself:
What strengths am I proud of and currently empowering me?
What areas could use improvement or better attention?
Crafting Season Goals: The Road to Achievement
Take time to sit with yourself and define what you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months. Consider:
What are your goals for the season?
How can you address areas that need improvement, like meal planning or schedule balance?
Nurturing Your Body: Nutrition and Hydration Strategies
You're familiar with how balanced nutrition enhances your performance, both on and off the stage. Reflect on:
Are you enjoying the foods that make you feel great?
How's your macronutrient balance? Are you eating a variety of nutrients?
Is your schedule supporting your food and nutrition habits?
If you would like additional support in this area, you know what to do!
Mental Preparedness: The Mind Matters
This is, of course, not my area of expertise and I would certainly refer you to any number of the mental wellness + mindset coaches in my network. I, personally, find visualization helpful as well as time with loved ones outside of the studio to avoid becoming overwhelmed with ballet brain. Consider:
Do you have a plan to manage pre-performance nerves?
How's your mental outlook when you're in the studio?
Fostering Creativity: Beyond Dance
Yes, dance is a creative outlet - it’s a major one for me! Do you have any, though, that can help your brain be fully creative while your body rests? I used to draw and use my hands. Recently, you’re more likely to find me reading or listening to audiobooks/podcasts. Try:
Reading, drawing, or listening to podcasts to foster creativity.
In speaking about a resting body…
Prioritizing Injury Prevention and Self-Care
Invest in your well-being with effective routines: (and remember, investment doesn’t have to mean money, time and energy can also be invested.)
How's your warm-up routine? Does it need adjustments based on recent injuries?
Are you making time for foam rolling and gentle stretching?
Building Support Systems: Inside and Outside the Studio
Surround yourself with supportive people:
Who can you lean on outside the studio for encouragement?
Do you have colleagues inside the studio who provide valuable support?
Embrace the Journey
Relish your upcoming season with an open heart and mind. It's an exciting time to gear up for and be open to all the opportunities that await!
Remember, nutrition plays a pivotal role in your journey. Explore my Online Meal Guide Programs to empower your performance. More guides are coming, and I'd love to hear your feedback. Ready to address nutrition and performance? Schedule a free Strategy Session with me.
Merde as you embark on this thrilling season!