Hello dancers! It is starting to get chilly all over the northern hemisphere. This post is about getting and staying warm to avoid injury, and navigating all the treats and feasts that are surly coming your way.

The biggest challenge with getting warm can happen in programs where no warm ups are allowed, even if the studio space hasn’t quite heated up yet. But even if you are allowed warm ups till the second or third barre combination, you need to take charge and make sure your body is ready to go before the first combination is given. Here are a few quick favorites that take a total of 3 minutes:

1. One minutes plank. Watch the clock or count to yourself. This move never fails!
2. Slow releve in first position, focusing on keeping your legs as close together as possible, starting with your heels. Keep your calves, knees, then thighs together as long as possible till you reach your full demi pointe. Reverse by only allowing the tops of the thighs to touch, then the knee bones, then calves, then heels. Even if you are hyper extended put your heels together! This will engage more muscles from your deep rotators to your calves. Spend one minutes doing ONLY three or four cycles total. The slower and more deliberately you do it, the fewer times you’ll need. And only use one minute!
3. Hip rolls: Sit up tall, extend one foot either flexed or pointed as if you were standing on it. Pull the other foot in passe up to your hips, turn it in, the straighten. Repeat 10 to 20 times, and reverse the direction as well. This movement quickly heats up the hip joint, the one that will be getting the more pressure as soon as you go for your first grande plie

Holiday time means feast time!
Here are some quick tips for parties, dinners, and left overs. Our next post will go more in to food and why it is not always just about fueling the body.

1. Try Intermittent Fasting. This can really help you become aware of why you might be eating when you are not really hungry. purposely skip a meal and see how you feel. For example, on Thanksgiving Day, try skipping breakfast, going for a nice long walk, then eating to satiety at the feast. Don’t worry about eating more than you would have if you had eaten breakfast. You might actually eat less through the day over all!

2. Before going to an event where you know there will be goodies, eat a big salad or other food you can be proud of. But don’t avoid that favorite treat at Grandmas house either!

3. Make gatherings about people. Don’t wander around and around the buffet table nibbling; put your favorites on a small plate, then go find people to talk to, a game to play, or a peaceful spot to sit. If its a sit down dinner, fill your plate, then eat slowly, put your utensils down frequently, and try to really engage in conversation. Make the party or dinner memorable because of the people you were with, and because of the amazing food!

We’d love to hear your cold weather and holiday survival strategies, post a comment!