Health & Body
Jay Sullivan Photography, courtesy Julie Granger

Dancers crossing over into the fitness realm may be increasingly popular, but it was never part of French-born Julie Granger's plan. Though Granger grew up a serious ballet student, taking yoga classes on the side eventually led to a whole new career. Creating her own rules along the way, Granger shares how combining the skills she learned in ballet with certifications in yoga, barre and personal training allowed her to become her own boss (and a rising fitness influencer).

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Health & Body
Give your partner space to process their own emotions about the injury. Photo via Thinkstock

Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers Chris­topher McDaniel and Crystal Serrano were working on Nacho Duato's Coming Together in rehearsal when McDaniel's foot hit a slippery spot on the marley. As they attempted a swinging lift, both dancers went tumbling, injuring Serrano as they fell. She ended up being out for a week with a badly bruised knee.

"I immediately felt, This is my fault," says McDaniel. "I broke my friend."

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Health & Body

With dancers' busy schedules, it's easy to forget about how much waste we're creating, or how our daily routines might be contributing to pollution or climate change. But the fact is that everything we do—from getting ready for a show backstage to fueling up for a rehearsal—has an impact on the environment.

Start small by swapping out these six everyday items for eco-friendly versions. Don't worry, they aren't overly expensive: In fact some of them may save you money.

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Health & Body
Make an active recovery plan for your time off from dance. Photo by Unsplash

Have two or more months off from dance this summer?

With a little planning, your body can reap the full benefits of your layoff—and transition back into the studio with ease.

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Health & Body
Time away from dance lets your body and brain reset. Photo by Thinkstock

It's the end of a long season: Your body is exhausted, you're emotionally drained from back-to-back performances and you're feeling ready for some serious time on the couch.

But as soon as you start to relax, the doubts creep in. What will happen to my physique if I'm not in class? Will I lose muscle, flexibility or stamina if I'm not dancing?

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Health & Body

Dancers know they need to cross-train. But sometimes the last thing you want to do is trek to the gym, or throw down 30 bucks for another Pilates class.

That's where YouTube comes to the rescue. Of course, an online video can't offer the specialized guidance of an in-person instructor. But with virtually no equipment needed, these seven dancer-approved options are a super convenient way to fit in a workout right in your living room—for free.

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Health & Body

Sore arches may be one of the peskiest pain spots dancers deal with. This small area on the bottom of your feet may seem minor, but it actually does a lot of work: Your arches are what allow your feet to support the weight of your entire body.

While any sharp, unbearable pain should always be checked out by a doctor, a dull ache after a particularly long rehearsal can usually be alleviated by giving your feet the extra care they need. Here, two podiatrists weigh in on what causes arch pain and how you can manage it.

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Health & Body
Your mindset can make all the difference. Photo via Unsplash

You're standing backstage, and your mind won't stop racing.

What if, after weeks of rehearsal, you suddenly forget the choreography? What if that terrible critic gives you yet another embarrassing review? Did you remember to sew your pointe shoes correctly? Why won't your partner stop cracking his darn hip joint? Why can't you stop freaking out?

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Health & Body
Wozniak says running helps balance out her body. Photo by Cheryl Mann, courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Running is many things to Joffrey Ballet dancer Joanna Wozniak: It's a way she stays in shape during summer layoff, it's a way she builds strength after injury, and it's a way she balances out her body.

"Even though class has motions that are repeated on both sides, when you're dancing in a performance, that's not always the case," says Wozniak, who's been a runner for more than 10 years. "So it's nice to go for a quick run when you have a day off."

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Health & Body
image via Foodiesfeed

The way you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. Establishing a productive and mindful morning routine can leave you feeling relaxed, grounded, and ready to take on the day ahead, no matter how busy.

We asked five professional dancers to share what they like to do each morning to prepare themselves for the happiest and healthiest day possible.

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Health & Body
Open up the small muscles before you move on to the bigger ones during a stretching session. Photo by Justyn Warner/Unsplash

Dancers are always trying to find more flexibility in their bodies. But what's the best way to do it?

We asked former dancers Ann and Chris Frederick, creators of Fascial Stretch Therapy, which targets connective tissue rather than isolating individual muscles. They recommend following these five principles to find the greatest range of motion within your body:

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