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Should You Still Go to the Studio If You're Feeling Sick?

I caught a bug that's going around and have a runny nose, cough, sore throat and no energy. Is this a cold or the flu? I want to dance but wonder if performing is a smart idea. Any advice?

—Achoo!, Brooklyn, NY


Please don't dance if you're sick! Besides spreading germs to your colleagues, it will take longer for your body to recover, regardless of whether you have the common cold or the flu. While it isn't necessary to see a doctor for a cold, the best remedy is rest, lots of fluids and possibly over-the-counter cough medicines or nasal sprays to help you sleep.

The flu can result in more serious health problems, such as ear infections, or even hospitalization. Red flags include a high fever, chills, extreme fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. Tylenol can relieve a fever, and prescription antivirals like Tamiflu may shorten the intensity and duration of symptoms.

In the studio, you can reduce your risk of catching or spreading respiratory problems by practicing good hygiene: Wash your hands regularly, especially if you're touching the barre frequently; sneeze into clean tissues, handkerchiefs or your elbow to reduce airborne germs; and remember to get a flu shot once a year.

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Charlene Gehm MacDougal as Lead Nursemaid in Petrushka. Photo by Herbert Migdoll, courtesy the MacDougal family.

In Memoriam: Joffrey Dancer Charlene Gehm MacDougal, 69

Former lead dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Charlene Gehm MacDougal died of ovarian cancer on January 10 at her home in New York City, age 69.

Gehm illuminated the inner life of each of the varied characters in her extensive repertoire. Whether she was the gracious hostess in George Balanchine's Cotillon, the riveting Lady Capulet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, or in the tumult of William Forsythe's Love Songs, she drew the viewer's eye and heart to the essence of the role.

As Forsythe puts it: "Charlene was certainly one of the most elegant dancers I have had the privilege to work with. Her striking countenance flowed into her work and, joined with her wicked sense of humor and intelligence, created thoughtful, mesmerizing and memorable art."

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
February 2021