The Best Way to Avoid Muscle Cramps

Cramps can be debilitating, and seem to come on when you're least expecting them. Common knowledge attributes cramps to hydration levels, so many dancers carefully consider how much to drink and eat before moving. I've of heard other measures that haven't worked in my experience, from drinking pickle juice to vigorously rubbing the cramped area. It turns out, none of these are quite right—cramps are caused by fatigued muscles.

Don't let muscle cramps sideline you.

A new series of studies on runners shows that cramps emerge if runners over-exert themselves at the beginning of their run. The key to avoiding cramps? Rest up, pace yourself and stretch thoroughly before and after dancing. If you are plagued by cramps, The New York Times even suggests keeping a cramp diary, where you record what you were doing when the cramp came on, how much you were exerting yourself, how tired you were, etc. Look for patterns and try to avoid them so that you're not caught off guard mid-petite allegro!

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AMDA students learn how to present their best selves on camera. Photo by Trae Patton, Courtesy AMDA

AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

July 2021