The minutes after curtain comes down can be the trickiest of a dancer's day: Despite your adrenaline high and the impulse to celebrate the night's achievements, you need to jumpstart your body's recovery so that you can take the stage again the very next day.
Smart dancers like Parisa Khobdeh follow a carefully calibrated routine during busy performance weeks, whether they're at home or on the road. The 14-year Paul Taylor Dance Company veteran shares her tried-and-true post-show rituals.
Stretch: "While I'm still warm, I have a 10-minute routine with a friend in the company, where I actively stretch and she passively stretches me, then vice versa."
Ice: "I'll fill a bucket or trash can with ice, add water and stand in it for at least a minute. Bringing down any inflammation helps me feel better the next day."
Eat: "I eat my biggest meal of the day after the show. I always have protein and vegetables. I try to avoid sugary foods during show weeks, and that includes vegetables that are higher in sugars."
Hydrate: "I add electrolytes to refuel while I'm hydrating. I love coconut water. I also avoid alcohol when I'm performing."
Sleep: "I prefer eight hours a night, though that can be a luxury. To relax before bed, I read a book or meditate. I'll forfeit staying out late—I can save that for after the season."