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

Even the most veteran of performers can suffer from nerves before hitting the stage. While most of us feel most at home in front of a crowd once we're there, sometimes the wait to go on can be uneasy.

Breathing with intention is a simple way to calm this stage fright. According to Psychology Today, deep breathing, specifically through the diaphragm, can activate the vagus nerve, and trigger the "relaxation response" of your parasympathetic nervous system and lessen anger, anxiety, stress and even inflammation.

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Health & Body
Photo by Matthew Murphy for Pointe

In technique classes, dancers are often told to work from a neutral spine and pelvis. The concept should be simple enough for a somatically-conscious person like a dancer, but it can end up being a confusing challenge.

Because, really, what is neutral?

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Health & Body
Jim Lafferty

When a muscle is tight, most dancers' natural response is to stretch it. But when it comes to your hip flexors, stretching won't provide a long-term cure, and it could even make the problem worse if the muscle is inflamed.

Often, a more effective fix is building strength in the stabilizing muscles. As a Pilates instructor who specializes in working with dancers, here are five of my favorite exercises to relieve hip tightness—and increase mobility.

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