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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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.