Rae-Ann Thomas’ first blog post for the Dean College Blog chronicles her first day back on campus for Spring semester…she welcomes IcyHot to use her as spokesperson…
Like most athletes, students and dancers getting back into a routine can be challenging, For example…waking up on time for class, packing your bag for the day, grabbing a snack, and even remembering to put on a fresh pair of underwear might be more difficult then you thought. As a dancer, the struggles of getting back into class after a long winter break is one of the hardest and most painful weeks of the semester. Like most dancers, I tried my best to continue my training throughout the winter break. My dancing was limited taking the occasional ballet and modern class, followed by an aggressive and killer cardio groove class at my local gym. But for some dancers, motivating themselves to give them there own class, or being obligated to work all break long and not dance was the only option. This unfortunately makes that first week back to dance THAT much harder and painful…but don’t stress, because on that first day of classes it doesn’t matter if you’ve danced all break or once; everyone will be sore from the first ballet class.
The first ballet class back after break will be the hardest and most terrifying thing ever. From start to finish you will be wishing for a hot shower, massage therapist and your mom. Just putting on a leotard and tights after a break where everybody of course “worked out and ate healthy,” wearing something that is painted on to you should be no problem at all right? (cue sarcasm) You must be brave and just laugh at yourself because everyone is going through the same thing. From the first plie’ you’ll feel your legs shake and tremble and this is supposed to be the easiest move. Throughout the class you’ll want to cry, and quit, and think to yourself “why do I suck?” But you don’t, you’re just out of practice and need a refresher course. This is what the first week is for, it is reassurance that you are talented and belong here, but might just need to work a little bit harder and think POSITIVELY!
Some at home remedies the famous Jill Silverman recommends for sore out of shape dancers are:
- Immediately after your class, stretch
- That night take a hot, ice, hot shower to relax and calm your aching muscles
- After your shower, stretch again
- Throughout that whole day drink lots of water, stay hydrated
- Eat lots of bananas for potassium and to prevent cramping in your muscles
- Go to bed early and rest your tired body, because tomorrow you have to do it all over again
As much as the first day back stinks for your body, you have to smile when you see all your friends again and catch up with each other about the break. Since you all will be sore, perhaps you all can stretch, roll out, and motivate each other that tomorrow will be a better and easier day at the ballet barre…because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and nobody has ever died from ballet.