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.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.