Photo by Nathan Sayers, modeled by Jane Anthony.

Why Are Dancers More Flexible on Some Days Than Others?

I've noticed that my flexibility, which is pretty good, varies throughout the company's season. Why does this happen, and what can I do about it?

—Jillian, Brooklyn, NY


Several factors affect flexibility. A busy dance season can lead to tighter muscles due to fatigue. In this case, restorative therapies like weekly massages, sufficient sleep and intermittent breaks during the day can help. Overstretching also causes stiffness by tearing muscle fibers. If you're less limber the day after some strenuous stretching, let your body recover by doing gentle stretches with a smaller range of motion. Finally, female hormones have a subtle effect on range of motion. Women often become more supple when estrogen peaks right before their period.

To stay flexible throughout the season, engage in a regular stretching routine: After you warm up and during your cool down, lengthen each muscle group for 20 seconds, while keeping the rest of your body stable. It's not about how hard you stretch but how often you do it that helps you stay limber.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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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.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
July 2021