6 Things Dancers Can Always Be Grateful For

As you gather around the table with friends and family for today's Thanksgiving meal (or maybe you're at the theater prepping for a Nutcracker performance), it's tradition to take stock of what you're thankful for. Don't forget about these dancer-specific kernels of gratitude. It's the little things like these that we often take for granted.

1. When your rehearsal director says "Take five" or gives everyone a water break.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Julia Erickson in the studio. Photo by Aimee DiAndrea, Courtesy PBT.

2. Better yet, when you're physically drained and you hear these sweet words: "Let's just mark it this time."

Hannah Bettes rehearses at Boston Ballet. Photo by Liza Voll.

3. The feeling when you nail your fouettés, pirouettes or any tricky move. Two words: Crushed. It.

Tyler Hanes as Rum Tum Tugger in CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy CATS.

4. The personal satisfaction of a nearly perfect performance—and soaking up the applause of a loud curtain call.

Former American Ballet Theatre star Paloma Herrera. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, Courtesy ABT.

5.  Indulging in a massage after you finish a production.


6. Having dance friends around who will always cry or laugh with you, because they just get it.

From left: Ailey dancers Collin Heyward, Belen Pereyra, Jacqueline Green, Jamar Roberts and Yannick Lebrun. Photo by Jayme Thornton.


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Dance Magazine.

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.