Your Body Tips
Unnecessary tension can disrupt your line and make your dancing look stiff. The best way to release it? Do the opposite of what you might think: Tighten up even more—and then let go. Our muscles are able to release further immediately after they’ve been contracted.
To try this trick, breathe in and contract the muscles where you hold tension as much as possible for two or three seconds, then let everything relax on an exhale. You can do it in the wings, and anytime you notice yourself tensing up in class or rehearsal.
Go ahead, have an extra snack: A recent study of 2,385 people found that those who ate more frequently had a lower body mass index than those who ate less
often. The snackers also drank less alcohol and had more fruits and vegetables, so their diets typically contained fewer calories and more nutrients.
Hold the Tylenol?
When you pop a painkiller before rehearsal, it could affect more than just your sore hamstrings. A new study on Tylenol found that it blunts not only pain, but also both positive and negative emotions. This side effect possibly occurs because the active ingredient, acetaminophen, affects a part of the brain that influences social emotions, among other things. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid acetaminophen altogether—but if you find yourself popping it on a daily basis, know that it could be affecting your body and mind in more ways than you might think.
The Royal D
Due to the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in dancers, The Royal Ballet is now regularly testing its company members and offering them supplements when necessary, according to The Telegraph. The troupe is also encouraging company members to get outside in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes every day during the summer. Research has shown that increasing vitamin D levels can significantly improve muscle function and reduce injuries. Greg Retter, clinical director of the company’s health-care program, told the paper that researchers are currently looking into whether increased vitamin D can also lead to higher jumps, fewer colds, faster recovery times from injury and improved bone health.