With everything that dance teachers need to pay attention to today it is not surprising that it can get a bit stressful at times. In amongst making sure that students are being taught safely and effectively and risk management is in place to deal with all and sundry do we find time to look after ourselves?
I believe it is vital for everyone involved in the teaching of dance to take time to do a little bit of regular de-stressing. Constantly feeling stressed out and just about able to cope can result in our own health suffering as well as our teaching. So what sort of things can we do to help ourselves if we don’t have time to attend a class or take some time out for relaxation? I imagine if you are a busy dance teacher you are already thinking ‘I haven’t got time to fit something else into my day or week’. Fear not, there are some very simple, quick things that you can do without having to stress about finding lots of time to do them. Why not choose one (or more) of the options below to incorporate into your day? You only need 30 seconds to 2 minutes max. Wow even busy dance teachers can find 30 seconds. Do one or more of the options below every day for a week and you should begin to feel the benefit.
Sigh to release tension
Breathe in and give a really big sigh as you breathe out. This is a great way to kick-start releasing tension in the muscles around the neck and shoulders.
Wake up your toes and lower legs
Slip your shoes off and spend 30 seconds wiggling your toes vigorously. Feel the muscles in your feet and lower legs firing up as your toes get moving.
Sigh and arm circling
First do your 30 second sigh (as above) and then take a lovely breath in as you circle your arms upwards and outwards timing your out breath as your arms flow outwards and downwards at your sides. Feel your back muscles firing up with this one.
Roll downs are such a great way to get the body moving and feel connections throughout the body and spine. Doing a Pilates style roll down paying attention to your alignment, and the steady flow of this whole-body movement is a wonderful way to spend a minute of your time.
Balance and grow taller
Stand on one leg for one minute and feel your body growing taller and taller as you lift out of your pelvis engaging your leg muscles right up to your bum – aim for a tension-free neck. Change to the other leg and repeat the balance. Use your breathing to feel free and open as you balance.
Sit and bounce
Spending a couple of minutes sitting on a large gym ball bouncing gently and rhythmically. Feel yourself growing taller as you bounce firing up your core and keeping your neck free from tension.
Breathe and enjoy …