Health & Body

Meet Your New Favorite Foam Rollers

Nathan Sayers

Dancers are well-known hoarders when it comes to massage balls and foam rollers. But how could we not be when there are so many great new options constantly coming out?

I've recently become obsessed with these three new options:

Hyperice's Vyper Vibrating Roller

At first, the intensity of all the motion under my hamstring felt almost unsettling. (When I let go of it for a second, it jumped away with its crazy vibrating power!)

But once you give into the movement, it makes for a fantastic massage, helping the muscles relax so you can dig in even deeper. Just beware the sticker shock that comes with fancy technology: $199, plus an extra $16 if you're looking for firm density.

RumbleRoller Gator

From the company that brought you the original torture-device looking rollers that unkink all your knots, this new style adds an extra trick to its arsenal: traction.

Rather than trying to get deeper into the muscle tissue by just pressing harder, this roller's bumps grip your skin to offer a cross-friction massage. By shifting back and forth, you can tug the muscle underneath whenever it isn't responding to traditional self-massage techniques. This strategy felt particularly delightful on my calves.

ROVE roller

Although it isn't technically available yet, I've been tracking the ROVE since it was in Kickstarter campaign mode. Why? Because it's a touring dancer's self-massage dream come true. The design comes apart to lie flat in your suitcase. It only takes up space when you want to use it.

I haven't tested it out yet (it's still in pre-orders until spring) but that kind of convenience is genius.

The Conversation
Dance Training
Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Alexandra Wells can always tell when a dancer hasn't read her summer intensive information packet. Sometimes, says Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's director of artist training, there's a quick fix for the lack of preparation. "You can go and buy a long-sleeve shirt after you burn your shoulder really badly in that first floorwork class," she says. But not bringing enough of your special-order pointe shoes? "That's really dire."

Between reading the fine print, shopping for necessities and ramping up physically, getting ready for a summer intensive takes more than just dancing a lot. We broke down a step-by-step timeline:

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Advice for Dancers
Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları, Courtesy Unsplash

Whenever I'm cast in a solo role, I'm consumed with thoughts of everything that could go wrong. Please help.

—Isabella, Philadelphia, PA

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