Winter is here! Tis the season for hot chocolates by the fireplace, early nights in, flannelette pajamas and electric blankets. Tis’ also the season when typically our enthusiasm for dance class, exercise and commitments in general begin to falter. To ensure you get the most out of your dancing this year it is important to stay on top of things, even when a night in under the heater with mum’s best soup recipe is calling your name.
Here are 10 simple and easy life hacks to help dance students and dance parents stay motivated about coming to class during winter.
- CAR POOL: Just like having a gym buddy, if you’ve got a friend relying on you and keeping you accountable you’re less likely to be tempted to stay home under the blankets. Take it in turns with your trusted dance parent friend so that every second week you get the night off but your dancer still makes it to class.
- DON’T GO HOME: Pack all of your dancing clothes and shoes in the morning and leave them in the car. Head straight to dancing after school. This cuts out some travel time too!
- HOT FOOD: Snacks before and after dancing (or during if you’ve got a long night of classes) are important to fuel our bodies. Hot food like steamed veggies and soup are great ways to warm you up from the inside out and are super healthy. Cook up a big batch, label it “dancing food” and pop in the freezer, ready to heat up each dancing night. This is great for students and parents and siblings that might be waiting around at the studio.
- HOT DRINKS: Probably not suitable for during class but great for before and after. Herbal tea or hot water with lemon will warm you up, keep you hydrated and give you a natural energy boost before class. Mums and dads who wait around, treat yourself to a take away coffee or hot chocolate, fill up a thermos from home OR help yourself to the tea and coffee at the studio. Re-fills are encouraged!!!
- LAYERS: You can wear lots of layers and still be dressed appropriately for dance class. Fitted is best for ballet, contemporary and jazz AND it being close-fitting to your body, is actually warmer. EG: ballet stockings, leotard (long sleeve leo if you can!) leggings, ballet crossover or fitted long sleeve top, woolly ballet shrug, leg warmers! You can always remove layers as you warm up in class AND why not wear your track pants, ug boots and Main St Funk hoodie over the top for to and from class!? Little people, could even bring their pajamas to pop on after class. Then you can jump straight into your nice warm bed when you get home.
- BLANKETS: Dance studios are typically pretty cold if you are not the one dancing and working up a sweat. Mums, dads and kids that wait around, leave a little blanket or rug in the car to pop over your knees while you’re sitting at dancing.
- HOT SHOWERS: Yes, before class!! It will refresh your body and mind after a long day at school or work and warm and relax your muscles. Put your dancing gear on as soon as you get out of the shower.
- HEAT PACKS/WATER BOTTLES: Keep your hands, feet or wherever warm with a heat pack or hot water bottle while you are sitting around the studio. These are also great for relieving sore muscles and joints.
- DON’T BE LATE, BE EARLY!: Warming up at the start of class is always important but particularly during winter when our muscles have tightened in the cold and our bodies take a little longer to warm up. If you can get to class early, start your own warm up. Star jumps and jogging on the spot are great ways to get to the blood pumping and spinal rolls to mobilise the spine.
- THINK AHEAD: Think about what missing a class might mean for you and your team. Typically, when a dance student starts to fall behind on choreography or work they start to become even less motivated to come to class and eventually it all becomes too much to try to catch up. Dancing is a team sport!!! Encourage each other, hold each other accountable and be a team player that your team mates can count on. We are all in this (crazy Melbourne weather) together!
Looking forward to seeing you all in class, dancing away the winter blues. Do you have a life hack that keeps you motivated during winter? We would love to hear it and I’m sure our dancing family would too!
By Chloe Jobson – Chronically “feels the cold” but has danced through many winters.