The Native Dance Project

That Ballerina Figure and Poise

Ballerinas are most sought after for their artistry, beauty, figure, and poise. Just like other dancers, however, they do not happen overnight. Ballerinas go through rigorous training and rehearsal schedules to attain their stature.

As gentle as it may seem, ballet is actually one of the more physically demanding dance sports. And ballerinas are considered to be serious athletes. Only elite dancers who can keep their tip-top shape with extreme flexibility, strength, endurance, agility, and speed can stay on to perform the routines. Read More

Essential Nutrition for Dancers

In the same way that children are vulnerable to injury so are dancers.  Many dancers, no matter what genre it is, will suffer from repetitive strain injury at some point during their career.  Muscles get sore, especially the legs and back, sometimes from falling heavily or slipping during rehearsals.

Dancers have to be in tip-top condition – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  Good nutrition plays a huge role in preventing and managing injuries and will help your body to recover faster.

What Causes the Pain?

Do you feel pan in your legs or back a couple of days after a performance or rehearsal?  It’s called DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  It is caused by muscle damage, which, in turn, causes inflammation.  Inflammation creates toxins and it is these that cause the pain sensation you feel.  Toxins work as a magnet to white blood cells and these create free radicals.

Free radicals are what cause poor cellular function and ageing in the cells that are in our tendons, muscles and ligaments.  The best idea is to reduce those free radicals from our bodies and the way to do this is through anti-oxidants.

Free Radicals Be Gone!

Most of the anti-oxidants we consume come from vegetables and fruit but many people don’t eat enough to have any real effect.  Most of us reach for easy processed foods instead.  There are very easy ways to get sufficient anti-oxidants in your diet:

  • Add a handful of berries – blueberries, strawberries, etc., to your cereal
  • Add some salad to your sandwich
  • Get your blender out and make a smoothie or two out of fruits or vegetables.

Some foods are better for you than others are when it comes to levels of anti-oxidants. When you do your weekly shop make you pick up some of the following and include them in your daily meal plan:

  • Any fruit berries
  • Artichokes
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Tea

Medical marijuana is an excellent choice of pain relief. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and instances of nausea related to severe sprains and injuries.  If you have a medical marijuana card, Portland dispensaries offer an excellent service.

An Alternative for Pain Therapy Medications

There is nothing more painful for a professional athlete than to have an injury and be relegated to the sidelines, while the rest of the team plays. This is particularly worse for those who are in individual sports like tennis, or track and field. These athletes have spent their whole lives in training to get in shape and to perform at their best during a game. An injury is not something that anyone likes to happen.

For an athlete to have trained hard day in and day out, there is a side-effect which is not usually mentioned. Those who are in very good shape usually rebound fast from an injury. This can be attributed to the excellent health professionals who work on the injury, as well as the physical therapy which is part of the recovery. There are also the human factors: the athlete is in good shape and the body recovers fast because of that; and then there is the person’s determination to succeed.

For those with a particularly painful injury, there are instances where pain management is conducted. This includes pain killers in the medication. However, there are some serious side effects when this is resorted to. Some pain medications are too powerful, the better to mask the pain, but may also keep create a physical or psychological dependence in the patient. There are some alternatives, of course, but mainly if it is really painful, there is nothing anyone can do but ask for pain relievers.

In some hospitals, the use of morphine or vicodin is warranted. There is a growing body of study which shows that cannabis can also help. Prescription medical marijuana in Spokane is now available for those in the area. This can be an alternative to strong pain killers. The use of pain killers is usually only called for when the patient is in the hospital or resting at home. However, there are some medicines which can be taken while at work. Of course, the work should not include operating heavy machinery. Suffice to say, that driving a car should also not be attempted when under the influence of pain killers.

Atypical Exercises or Workouts for Dancers

Just like other artists, dancers also have certain routines in developing and improving their craft. Aside from learning new steps, dancers also need to develop their bodies for flexibility, stamina, and strength enhancement. It’s not just about the expressive movements and dancing style. There’s also the need for physical development with which the following atypical exercise routines can prove useful:

1. Pole Dancing Workout - Not many might find this workout acceptable (most especially for males) but pole dancing can be a great option for building strength. Of course, it’s not something exclusive for strippers and erotic dancers. Any dancer can try it to get the benefits of strength improvement, body movement control, and, for some, the opportunity to develop “fierceness” or tinges of eroticism that could be useful for certain dances.

2. Karaoke Workout - Believe it or not, there are some gyms that offer this kind of workout. Working out while stretching those vocal cords is a great option not necessarily to improve your singing prowess but to develop dexterity and a better sense of timing. Singing during a workout also improves breathing techniques and can improve overall stamina that will be great for dancers.

3. High Heel Workouts - Many foot health experts advise against the use of high heels but for many female dancers, they are an inevitable kind of footwear. That’s why instead of shunning those intimidating heels, it might be a good idea to learn to live with them. There are classes led by podiatrists and professional dancers on how to dance with high heels more comfortably and more efficiently. Anyway, if only anecdotal, there are many who can prove how high heels help strengthen the lower leg and foot muscles.

4. Workouts with Your Dogs - Giving your pets the exercise they need can also be a great opportunity for your own workout. Of course, this isn’t about simple walking and strolling. You will have to jog or run with your dog. Just make sure that your pet has the body for the workout. Some dogs have the inherent tendency to develop hip and leg problems because of frequent or intensive activities.

The regular workouts will certainly mean some muscle pains over time. That’s why there are some dancers who turn to food supplements and even pills to deal with the body pains and discomforts while also improve their physical conditions. Some years ago, there were speculations that marijuana use has become common among dancers because of its ability to alleviate or eliminate pain. Although medical marijuana use is already quickly gaining acceptance, you don’t have to resort to it. Even if you can now legally buy medical marijuana in Spokane or other places through sites like this, it is advisable to hold back and just try if your body can go through training exercises without the need for any pill, supplement, or medical cannabis use.

Responsible Use of Medical Marijuana

Dancers are at risk of injuries, especially those with complicated moves in their dance routines. Even seasoned dancers may still experience this. Some injuries could take time to heal and may cause high amount of pain. Pain medications are usually prescribed by doctors in order to alleviate the pain. Another treatment option for chronic pain is medical marijuana.

The use of cannabis for medical purposes is already legal in some states, including Washington. There are licensed dispensaries that provide quality and top shelf medical marijuana in Spokane and other parts of the state. Medical marijuana ID is required in order to get medical cannabis legally from these dispensaries.

Responsible Use of Medical Cannabis

Like any other medications, the use of medical marijuana should be handled with care and responsibility. Only the prescribed amount should be taken and at the right frequency as this substance can be addicting. Irresponsible use may result to dependency. Excessive use of marijuana could cause various problems. The withdrawal symptoms could be difficult to handle once you get addicted. These symptoms include cravings and stress.  You might feel angry and depressed as you would feel that you need this in your system to feel normal.

Your short term memory may also be affected. You tend to be more forgetful, thus also affecting your learning. It would be difficult to learn or understand things because of its effect in your memory. This could affect your studies or work. It may also cause hallucination and increase the risks of psychotic symptoms and relapse.

This is why only a certain amount of marijuana is allowed even to those who are medical marijuana ID holders. Aside from chronic pain, there are more conditions that are treated by medical marijuana. Some of them are epilepsy, nausea, Tourette syndrome, muscle spasms, hepatitis C and breathing disorders. With responsible use, it can really help a lot of patients live a better life.

Again, make sure that you only use medical marijuana as prescribed by the doctor. Moreover, never share it with others as like other medicines, this is intended to treat specific conditions. Keep it safe and out of the reach of kids too.

The Importance of Strength Training

Strength training, which involves the use of resistance to build muscle strength, is recommendable not only for athletes but also for everyone. This form of physical exercise can greatly benefit the health especially as one gets older, since it is a very effective preventive measure against the loss of muscle and bone mass. For dancers, however, strength training is highly essential.

Most people perceive dancers as lithe, graceful and willowy creatures gliding and flying across a stage. However, appearances can be deceiving because a dancer’s body needs to be strong and powerful in order to perform well. This is why all dancers need muscular strength.

Stronger muscles results in more balance, which is a must for all dancers. Some performances require torso rotations, lifts, twists and explosive movements. While doing this, a dancer has to control his weight so as not to get injured. Obviously, not all strength training techniques are the same, since this would depend on the type of dancing involved. For instance, ballet dancers are very prone to foot and ankle injuries; hence, strengthening the muscles on the limbs would prove helpful. On the other hand, performers who engage in contemporary dance would do well with stronger lower bodies and core muscles.

Dancing is an activity that is not kind to the joints. During rehearsals and performances, dancers spend several hours in a day rotating, jumping, leaping, twisting and bending the body in all sorts of angles. All these movements put tremendous stress on the joints and make them prone to injury. For dancers, an injury can be very detrimental. It will not only sideline a career but can also mean weeks of dealing with pain. More health-conscious dancers who are aware of pain medications’ harmful side effects opt for the use of medical marijuana for pain relief. In states where this is legalized, one can have access to this type of alternative treatment by purchasing marijuana from centers like the Washington dispensary found on this site. Fortunately, with proper strength training, injuries can be avoided and a dancer need not go through all these.

Dancers need strength training for stronger muscles, improved flexibility and longer endurance. Weight lifting, active stretching and Pilates are just a few of the various exercises that can be beneficial to dancers. By engaging in strength training, dancers can perform better and take good care of their bodies at the same time.

How Dancers can Avoid Injuries and Pains Prior to the Show

Dancers are always under pressure. They need to use their energy during practices and for the actual performance. Sometimes, they have to do performances one night after another. Dancers are just human beings and their bodies may also be vulnerable to injuries and other problems. Therefore, if you are a dancer and you want to stay physically fit throughout the performance especially if this is your source of living, here are some tips that you may follow:

1. Avoid doing moves with great body impact during practices. You can do it once in a while, but you must only give it your all during the final performance. Sometimes, this stunt won’t go as expected and you end up being injured even before the show has started. This is not to say that you won’t practice well. You just have to select the practices where you will really give everything that you have. You need to learn how to conserve your energy and strength for the actual performance.

2. Go for strength training. Focus on your core. If your core is strengthened, the rest of your body will be affected in a positive way. You need to do sit-ups, push-ups and training exercises that focus on your abdominal area. You may also go for more intense moves that will center on the core. This will make you more resistant to pain. If the dance moves require balance and lifting, this exercise will also be of great help.

3. Check out intense physical fitness exercises. These exercises can be done in just 30 minutes a day. However, it should be done nonstop. You need to faithfully follow all the details of the said exercise. You should also do it as scheduled. You have to find a way to fit it in your rehearsal schedules to maintain your shape.

4. Smoke pot. This might appear weird to you, but the truth is that marijuana has properties that will help you feel numb when sustaining injuries. It will also help you feel a lot better during practices and give you the energy that you need for the final performance.

If you live in Portland area and you need to buy marijuana in Portland Dispensary, check this out.

Hammer Down on Pain

Hammer toes are more common than people think and, so many times, I hear someone saying that a dancer with hammer toes should not be allowed to go en pointe. My question is why?  There is absolutely no reason why someone should be discouraged just because they have a small deformity on their feet.

That’s all hammer toe is – a deformity where the middle tows bend at the middle joint, in a similar shape to a hammer.  It’s usually only one toe and it isn’t uncommon for callouses or corns to appear on that joint.

How to Relieve the Pain

There are one or two things that I recommend dancers try to take some of the pressure off.  Foam pads used to build up the length of the big toe can help but you should see a specialized podiatrist for this.

I have had hammer toes my whole life and I know how painful they can be.  My whole dance career was spent with a large corn on the top of the joint on my second toe, a corn that revolved around a number of different infections.  I found that narrow shoes made it worse so I had to modify the shoes I wore.

Another form of pain reliever is something called second skin. It is normally used in the treatment of scrapes and cuts or burns to stop a blister from forming.  It’s easy to use as it is available in handy sized rectangles. Gel toe sleeves help as well, especially as they have a long life to them – so long as you wash and dry them between uses.

Marijuana Works Well

To my mind, though, absolutely the best form of pain relief is medical marijuana. I make no bones about telling my dancers to use it if they can. It works quickly and it is effective, needing no time to take effect. And, I find that proper use of it sharpens the performance of the dancers as well.

Many people ask me about medical marijuana and I’ll tell you the same as I tell them. I’m all for it and, if I could, I would get into the business myself. In fact, I have done some research and found some great information about how to open a dispensary – food for thought, perhaps a new career.

What Dancers Need to Do to Stay on Top of Their Game

Being a dancer is never easy. Whatever genre it is, it will surely require discipline, training and focus. This is why lots of dancers have the ability to perform incredibly difficult stunts. This is due to their years of training and hard work. In fact, lots of dancers sustain injuries along the way. They might hurt themselves during practice. They could also get injured with the use of certain props. This is why dancers have to make sure that they are totally focused all the time. In order to ensure that they are at their best, this article will discuss about what dancers need to do. Read More

Strength Training Exercises that Work for Dancers

Dancers should maintain regular exercises in order to look fit for their performance. They also need to strengthen their muscles and bones so they can endure daily practices and hours of performances over several days. In order to make this happen, dancers need to be involved in strength training exercises. These exercises should be done apart from regular dance practices. With more exercises being done; dancers become more physically stable and are capable of challenges ahead. This article covers some of the training exercises that dancers have to go through.

Cardio Exercises

If there is one thing that cardio does to the body, it helps in improving lung capacity. This is what dancers need the most. When they are in serious trainings and performances that last for several hours, they need to make sure that they can catch up their breath. Otherwise, they will pass out in the middle of their performance or not have enough strength to do difficult stunts. Cardio exercises done for 30 minutes a day over 3-5 days can help a lot in improving lung capacity.

Core Exercises

Strengthening the body’s core is also very important. Simple sit-ups and push-ups could work. However, the only problem with this exercise is that it could potentially hurt the neck. Therefore, planking can be a good alternative. Those who do planking have an assurance that the core is still strengthened without injuring any part of the body. It can be done for several cycles a day.

Resistance Training

Among the exercises that work are bicep curls, shoulder presses and even squats. Repetitive actions will most likely help condition the body to resist pain. Those who do this kind of exercise regularly may prevent foot injury and cramps. They also become more numb to pain and can stand long hours of practices with intense dance steps.

Balancing Exercises

Balance is an important part of every dance routine. Ballerinas need balance all the time to appear graceful. Break dancers also have to learn balance to protect themselves from injury. Dancers who are lifted up in the air or those who use props to lift them also need balance to avoid problems when dancing. Therefore, balancing exercises will help. If done during spare time, it could really improve one’s ability for balance during the performance.

A Little Help

Other than rigid trainings and exercises, it is also important for dancers to take marijuana. Yes, many people might be against it, but it is actually helpful. The truth is that with marijuana use, dancers become more resistant to pain. Injuries are healed a lot faster. They also feel more relaxed and calm during performances. They don’t feel any pressure. Thus, they perform better. Many people don’t see this as an alternative, but dancers who perform for a living, definitely need all the help they can possibly get to be on top of their game. As long as dancers stay faithful to exercises, healthy diet and practices, they can easily succeed in their goals.