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4 Ways to Boost Your Body Image in the Studio

Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist who works with dancers at Atlanta Ballet, offers tips for creating a more body-positive studio experience:


1. Ditch the Mirrors.

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Kaslow recommends that teachers lead class with the mirrors covered once in a while. If this isn't possible, try taking a break from constantly assessing your reflection throughout class. Think of the mirror as a tool to rehearse your relationship with the audience rather than as an outlet to scrutinize your shape.

2. Drown Out the Noise.

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"Dancers will hear comments their teachers make, what their parents say, what someone else's parents say, and every little comment can grow into a big picture," says Kaslow. But no one's opinion is as valuable as your own. Your own self-encouragement is more significant than the chatter on the periphery.

3. Don't Forget Your Strengths.

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Remember that the best dancers aren't lauded for how much they weigh. "Appreciate what your body brings to the table," Kaslow says.

4. Talk About It.

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Acknowledge that everyone needs a little help with their confidence, and that you aren't alone when it comes to insecurities about your body. "Oftentimes, people don't come for help until they have an outright eating disorder," Kaslow warns. If you normalize healthy conversations about self-image with your peers and colleagues, it can help stop an insecurity from turning into something more harmful.

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Topical Pain Relievers Are the Next Item on Your Dancer Self-Care Supply List

With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

Dancers have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to treating minor ailments like soreness, swelling and bruising. One that's quickly gaining popularity are topical pain relievers, which provide targeted, temporary relief of minor pain. These days, there's more than just your tried-and-true Tiger Balm on the shelves. From CBD lotions to warming gels and patches, finding the product that's right for you can be as difficult as finding the perfect Rockette-red shade of lipstick…but even more beneficial to your dance career.

Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

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July 2021