It's been a few weeks...I know. College...finals...books...tests...dance...driving...I'm sorry. Busy. But I'm back! Just in time to talk about winter break, when all of your studios are closed and college has ended for 2 or more weeks!
1) Gifts for Dancers
Obviously, Christmas contains a lot of gift-giving. With Christmas only a few days away (wow, really?), I have a few items in the Etsy shop that my mom and I run, Daisy's Treasure Box, that will be perfect for the dancers (or Harry Potter freaks) in your life. There's poster prints and postcards of the "Do What You Love" poster that I drew/designed a while ago, plus a ballerina necklace. Even better, we can 99% guarantee that any order within the US will make it by Christmas!
For more practical dance gear, online stores like Discount Dance Supply are offering free shipping upgrades that will also make it by Christmas. Dancewear Solutions even offers you a gift guide to help! Capezio Dance Theater shops (physical stores) are offering 50% off on all holiday items.
2) Staying in shape without class
It's hard to keep up a regimen while there's no class to force you to do it. I personally find little motivation and a lot of yummy food when I'm home. To get some exercise and stretching, use a theraband, tennis ball, or foam roller in front of the TV. Take 5-10 minutes a day to do some yoga. Play twister with your friends and force yourself to stretch farther. Stop shopping online and go walk the mall! Go bowling or ice skating for a social activity instead of movies or dinners. Any movement beats no movement. Keep in mind that, within 4 days of stopping class, the muscle that you worked so hard to build up will start to decondition.
3) Watch dance
You're in Nutcracker season! Or maybe you're currently dancing a Nutcracker! Either way, if you have time, go and see a live performance, whether it be from your local studio or a world-class theatre. You should have time, now that you're on break!
4) Stay healthy with your food choices
It's so tempting to bake Christmas cookies and test one...or two or three. Maybe not all of that popcorn you're stringing is making it onto the string. Food is aplenty and you have so many chances to eat it! I know that I haven't been making the best choices in the past few days since I've gotten home, and it will start to show if I don't make a change. Opt for fresh fruit instead of chocolate sometimes when you get a sweet craving. Eat plain popcorn (or with a little salt/garlic powder) instead of buttered. Pass up that second cookie or second helping of casserole. It all adds up, and skipping just a few bad food choices can make a significant difference in both your self-image and in your body.
5) Give back.
If you've got the time, consider volunteering. The Christmas season is when many unfortunate folks feel the most lonely, and you can make a difference by giving up an hour or two of your time, donating clothes or toys, or $20 to a worthy charity. Consider the Make A Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, and my personal favorite, charity: water. Maybe you and your group of friends can give up a round of grande Starbucks lattes and take the money shopping to buy toys for children in need. Social activity and good will all rolled into one :)
What I'm trying to say is stay aware this season. Be aware of your body and the choices you make for it, be aware of the people around you, be aware of world issues, be aware and thankful for the joy in your life, be aware of the dance world, and most of all, be aware of the holiday spirit! Have fun, stay safe, and have an extremely happy holidays everyone.