In celebration of Back to Dance season, as the school-year classes resume and we prepare for rehearsals, I thought it would be fitting to share with you what I always do after dancing, on this early-season Tuesday.
BTW…This is similar to a post I did earlier about Replenishing at Night…so check that out as well!
I hope that you can learn something from it, add or remove any of it from your own routine, and improve your sleep and morning flexibility. So, here goes – these are the things I like to include in my after-dance routine:
Right when I get home, I always film the videos that I need for the next day. I already have my leotard on and hair up in a bun, so it’s perfect timing. I’m also decently warm, so stretching and technique videos are okay to do as well.
When I’ve finished filming, I take my hair out and get changed into something cozy. Then I either eat dinner with my family or if it’s super late already, I eat my own dinner while doing my homework or writing a blog post.
I usually spend about an hour doing homework, but that can vary. I find my planner really useful to organize my homework assignments and studying. It gives me a very direct schedule so I can stay on top of what I need to do to avoid late assignments and surprise tests.
If I need to write a blog post or edit a video that I didn’t get done during lunch, I do it after my homework. I try to condense my blog work, video editing, and marketing into the mornings and during lunch, school, or ballet, but if I need to do it at night, then I’ll do that.
I then dive into some exercises and stretching. I start off by rolling out my muscles. I use a smaller foam roller for my calves, iliotibial band (runs from the side of your hip to the side of your knee) and quads. After that I use a golf ball to work on my calves again, and do my feet, hips and shins. This usually takes me 15-30 minutes. It’s a bit time consuming, but it’s worth it!
Now that my muscles have warmed up a little using the roller, I can do some strengthening. Basically, I do a 5-10 minute workout for whatever isn’t sore. It’s usually my abs and feet. Or, if something’s feeling particularly weak, I do some strengthening for that. If I’m taking this route, it’s typically my turnout and toes. Usually, however, it’s just whatever isn’t already sore – my goal is to inch out the soreness that I know does my muscles so much good in the long term..
After strengthening, which usually takes 15-20 minutes, I stretch out a bit. Because I’m not super warm, I don’t do any intense stretches like splits or anything using a Thera-Band. I make sure to stretch my quads, turnout and hamstrings, and I always work deeply into my calves. The routine usually changes every night; I just stretch until I’m loose. This is usually another 15-20 minute session.
Before bed, I like to write down all choreography and corrections that I got from classes and rehearsals in my ballet journal. This takes about 15 minutes if I’ve had, say, one class and one rehearsal, but it can take up to 45 minutes if I’ve had maybe two correction-dense classes and new choreography.
If I know that I’ll be home late, I usually try to get some of this stuff done before the night time. For example, I might write down my corrections on the car ride home from dance or get some assignments and studying done during school or over lunch. I might film my videos on the weekends and save them for publishing when the corresponding blog post goes up.
My routine is very flexible and it’s adapted to my needs, so I find that it really works for me!
Comment down below if this helped you, and make sure to follow me on Instagram, @gouletballet. I’ll see you on Sunday with another blog post (or maybe earlier! Watch for bonus posts!)
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