How Dancers Perform At Their Peak in High Elevation

NYCB phenom Roman Mejia at Vail Dance Festival. Photo by Erin Baiano, via Instagram

Touring always comes with challenges, but traveling to a higher elevation is particularly difficult. When there is less oxygen available, it can affect your endurance and make your muscles tire faster. Some performers even suffer from dizziness, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue.


What can you do? Dr. Marc Philippon, an orthopedic surgeon who works with dancers at the Vail Dance Festival—which is 8000 feet above sea level—offers these tips.

• Before you leave, increase your cardio cross-training to boost your endurance.

• Arrive early, if possible. Spend at least one day avoiding exercise and getting as much sleep as possible.

• Drink lots of fluids. Coconut water or sports drinks are particularly helpful to replace lost electrolytes.

• Avoid alcohol—it slows down the acclimatization process.

• Don't smoke.

• Eat a high-carb, low-salt diet to keep your fluids at optimal levels.

• If you've experienced mountain sickness before or have anemia, ask your doctor for medication.

• Use the oxygen tanks whenever you're backstage.

• If you feel dizzy, have a hard time catching your breath or experience headaches that won't go away, see a doctor

Broadway
Courtesy Macy's, Inc.

As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?

This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three New York City dance institutions.

Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:

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Sponsored by NYCDA
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

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Rant & Rave
Sergei Polunin. Photo by British Broadcasting Corporation and Polunin Ltd., Courtesy Sundance Selects.

Last week, Variety reported that Sergei Polunin would reunite with the team behind Dancer for another documentary. "Where 'Dancer' looked at his whole life, family and influences," director Steven Cantor said, " 'Satori' will focus more squarely on his creative process as performer and, for the first time ever, choreographer." The title references a poorly received evening of work by the same name first presented by Polunin in 2017. (It recently toured to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)

I cannot be the only person wondering why we should care.

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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