Using The Holidays Wisely

By. Brian Henninger

The holiday season can be both a blessing and a curse for most working professional and auditioning pre professional dancers. Its a time when you can tend to get caught up in both the holiday events but also in the fact that at this time during the year their just isn’t as much work happening as other times. This of course can be a completely different experience for each individual depending on what you have lined up for yourself work wise, and what opportunities are currently presenting themselves. Over all, the holiday season is definitely a slower time compared to other points during the year. Here are a few great ways to stay focused, stay motivated and let this “Winter” Season of less opportunities be a chance to lay the ground work so you can hit the ground running in the new year!

Make a list and check it twice.  (This has nothing to do with being naughty or nice !). Make a list of all the things that you could do or get started on that would set you up for foreword momentum in your career. Is there is an acting class that you have been wanting to try out but haven’t had the time? Are your business cards up to date and fully stocked? Do you have some social media presence? What about that choreography that you have wanted to get on tape but have been putting off? Make a list of all the things you could do to set yourself up for continued success and tackle the three most important things right away ( This is a key to accomplishing goals, never leave the site of creating a goal without doing something, however small it may be, towards its achievement).

Take care of your body.  This is a big one. When dance gets slow our normal inclination as professional athletes is to get stir crazy and try and take as much class as possible to make up for the lack of set rehearsals or performances in our schedules. While this is a great mentality to have, we also need to recognize when our bodies need some rehabilitation. If your finding yourself in between projects or with extra down time this time of year then try and fill that time with a few things that can benefit your bodies ability to heal. Get in yoga class, and give your body the gift of some gentle stretching and improved circulation in your stressed out joints. Get focused on your conditioning in the gym and also in your injury prevention (Foam rolling, self massage, etc). last but not least the best way to take care of your body if you’re feeling run down is to take a good few days off from dancing and focus on “active rest”. This doesn’t mean to lay in bed all day, but it does mean to give yourself time to ice your joints and also to be moving around. While many of us think that we lose our skills the second we take a day off, the reality is that we often come back stronger and more in control of our movement after a few days of good solid rest.

Use your down time to get inspired.  Get back in touch with why you’ve chosen this path. Spend some time with folks who are less fortunate than you and see how different life can be. I say this all the time, but STAY GRATEFUL that you can even choose to pursue this career path. Take some time and think long term, where would you see yourself in 5-10 years? This time of year can be very overwhelming to people who are taking time to look inward and ask themselves the big questions. The way to use that energy to benefit you is to channel it and realize that you’ve already come so far to even be where you are. Look toward your future in dance with bright eyes of excitement, and know that ANYTHING you want to achieve is YOURS as long as you’re willing to WORK for it.

Most Importantly.  Finally one of the best ways to use your time this holiday season is to show appreciation and love to the ones who support you in what you do. Yes we are all born individuals and we all die individuals but along the way it is the love, support, and guidance of the people closest to us that allows us to push through the injuries, the rejection, and the self doubt to become the brilliant artists and humans that we have the potential to be.  Use this time wisely, and lets all hit that ground running hard!

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