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

How Dancers Perform At Their Peak in High Elevation

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

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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