How to get back in shape for dance

Time to get back in dancing shape.

Lets keep it simple:

Getting back in shape doesn’t have to stress you out. You’re likely well into a new season of dancing. If you’ve been following a balanced meal plan, fueling yourself as needed and dancing throughout the day you’ve likely regained much of your strength and dancer’s physique.

If you haven’t, stay calm – here are some tips to ensure that you bounce back over the next few weeks.

5 Tips to get you Started:

Tip #1:

Front load your meals with the good stuff. Every single meal including breakfast will be improved if you start it off with some greens. Aim for half the plate.

Some easy ways to make this happen – if you eat eggs saute some kale or broccoli as an accompaniment, if you eat oatmeal pulse some cauliflower in your food processor and add it to the mix, if you enjoy an AM smoothie add kale, spinach or even lightly steamed frozen zucchini – it creates a thicker texture without adjusting flavor!

Tip #2:

Cross – train to meet your goals. Going overboard especially if you’re back to 8 – 9 hours of dance/rehearsals is counterproductive. Find a balance and focus on specific areas that need more strength and control.

Tip #3:

Create a recipe database. Dancers are busy. You might be holding down a second job or going to school while pursuing your professional career. The last thing you want to do after a long day is spend an hour cooking a healthy dish. Find recipes and go – to meals that take less than 25 minutes or at least require minimal effort.

Tip #4:

Meal Prep. Spend 1 – 2 hours on the weekend prepping some food. Invest in a rice cooker (you can get one for as little as $15) and make rice for the week. Cook some quinoa on the stove. Make a big kale salad – click for my go – to recipe. I watch Netflix on my iPad while I do this so it’s not total drudgery.

Tip #5:

If you have bigger goals around your body, go easy on yourself. It’s easy to fall into a perfectionist mindset around food; dancers especially tend to do this. If you’re in the habit of denying yourself then going overboard do your best to get to the root of that habit.

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All changes to your body should be gradual. That way you can ensure that you’re maintaining health and strength as you move forward.

For more on this topic, check out this YouTube Video :

photo of The Whole Dancer founder Jess Spinner by Danielle Faretra

Tagged on: back in shape    ballerina body    ballet blog    ballet meal plan    dancers meal plan    diet for dancers

How to Safely Ease Dancers Back Into Training After Vacation

How to Safely Ease Dancers Back Into Training After Vacation

You’ve seen them: dancers, still recovering from a holiday food coma, shuffling into class in a woozy, post-vacation stupor. (You may even know the feeling yourself.) It’s all they can do to make it through their classes, and by day two, they’re stiff, sore and moaning about it.

“Winter break is the worst,” says Rubén Graciani, chair of dance and associate artistic director, Conservatory of Performing Arts, at Point Park University. Not many students take a January intensive, and with no school for about four weeks, it’s just long enough to fall seriously out of shape—especially if dancers aren’t cross-training.

“The biggest thing is stamina,” he says. “Jumping into that schedule—11 to 13 technique classes a week—it’s really hard on their bodies.”

As a teacher, you don’t have time to waste. It’s a new year, and performance and recital season is looming. You need your dancers back to the level they were performing at before break, so they can continue to progress. Julie Green, physical therapist for Pennsylvania Ballet, recommends some adjustments you can make and advice you can offer to get students back in shape quickly and safely.

Use it, so you don’t lose it.

Before vacation, remind dancers that it’s true what they say about an ounce of prevention. The less fitness they lose over break, the less they’ll have to struggle to regain afterward. And while some rest and recovery is important, Green says, “There’s no benefit to lying on the couch for four weeks.”

Strength goes fast. The exact amount of muscle a dancer loses during a break will vary, but Green says they’ll notice it most in dance-specific muscles like calves, inner thighs and hip rotators. The best way to ease a rough reentry into an intense program is to take a few classes before getting back to school. “Start with one class a day for the week before diving into your full schedule. Going zero to 60 is hard.”

If they can’t take classes, Graciani asks his students to at least give themselves a mini-barre in their kitchen a few times before returning to school, just to wake up their feet and turnout muscles. “If you just do 20 tendus each leg each direction and then walk around and do 20 with pliés and dégagés, that makes a difference,” he says.

And cross-training should be non-negotiable. Green suggests classic, low-impact cardio options, like swimming, using the elliptical or biking, plus Pilates for maintaining deep core strength. Since dance classes are usually anaerobic, cross-training can actually send students back to class in better cardiovascular condition than when they left (depending on how much cross-training they do year-round). Plus, using the body differently gives muscles overworked by dancing a chance to recover.

Ease students back into it.

When dancers return to a rigorous training schedule after a long break, they can feel stiff and weak and lack stamina. As much as you might like to dive right in, kicking their butts the first class won’t do them any favors.

“Gradual ramping back up is important,” says Green. That is especially true for ballet class. “No matter how much cross-training a dancer does, they’re probably not doing jumps and pointe work over break,” she says.

After gauging his dancers’ energy, Graciani, for instance, might cut back the intensity of his class to 60 percent the first day. “I might do more at the end of the class,” he says. “Take 10 minutes to stretch or do a cooldown.”

“Warm them up longer,” is Green’s advice. Focus especially on the muscles that are specific to dance that they haven’t been using, like the hips, inner thighs and feet. And definitely build in time at the end of class to stretch. “I like rolling out with foam rollers to flush out lactic acid,” she says. It is ideal to do this immediately after dancing, while muscles are still warm.

After that, encourage dancers to practice self-care. Taking a warm Epsom salt bath or lying on your back and propping tired legs up against the wall (another way to drain lactic acid) can feel refreshing. Skip the ice, though, Green says, unless there’s an injury. If you’re sore, the main goal is to circulate blood to muscles to flush them out, not decrease circulation. Moist heat works best.

Beware of Fresh Flexibility

A funny thing can happen when dancers get back to class after a break. Sometimes they feel more flexible than before. Physical therapist Julie Green says it’s not an illusion, but it poses a risk.

Constantly working and stretching muscles causes microtraumas, or tiny tears in muscle fibers. Rest lets muscles heal, so after a break, a dancer may feel able to work into her flexibility in a way she couldn’t before. But discourage her from overdoing it, or she’ll be sore and stiff the next day. Green says, “You have to be careful if you’re at a new end range you haven’t used before.”

5 dances that will help you get in shape for summer

March 10, 2019 However, if you come to at least a couple of classes, it will become clear that this is a great way to improve your body - and with pleasure and without excessive effort. In this case, those muscles will be involved that remain relaxed even with the most serious load in the gym. and Maria Lifar tell about what dance classes will help you quickly get in shape for the summer and how the classes go.


BODY ballet

Video of the day

The most difficult sport is ballet. You come to this conclusion almost immediately, as soon as you find yourself in a hall with mirrors and stand in the first position at the machine. The so-called "eversion" of the legs, which is formed in ballerinas from deep childhood, is only available to an ordinary person to a limited extent. In order to just put your legs in the right place and straighten up, you need to strain your whole body much more than with any push-ups with weights.

At the beginning of the class, you will be offered to perform a lot of exercises for the muscles of the back, legs and feet, for stretching and strengthening. It is interesting that even people with good physical shape do everything by 50-60%, and if we talk about stretching, then it is given to the majority only by 40%.

On the other hand, ballerinas do everything "perfectly well", and with unreal ease. After one such training, you can understand what hard work is laid in a few steps across the stage and a couple of turns. You immediately feel sincere respect for this type of art and understand that ballet tickets cost a lot of money for a reason.

After strengthening exercises, it is proposed to perform several combinations with complex French names. However, when leaving the dance class, the understanding comes that now it is several times easier to keep your posture, and it’s easy to walk, in addition, there is a feeling of flying. A tightened press makes it clear that such a tool for working on the body simply needs to be used.

Jazz modern

Unlike classical ballet, this dance variation is much freer, but not at all easier. The warm-up is also very different - the teacher shows several simple movements and says that if you repeat them at home 10-15 times, then everything will be fine with the figure. Many elements of the dance, which at first glance are very easy, require serious physical training. For example, the first time no one manages to quickly get up from a prone position without the help of hands. Only people with very strong back muscles can perform such a trick. In order for the back to become not only inflated, but also elastic, you need to learn how to pull it. To do this, the teacher offers to stand with your back to the wall, then slowly bend and touch your feet with your fingers. A simple move that requires a lot of skill. Jazz modern gives a feeling of freedom and lightness. After 45 minutes of training, you feel the back muscles, lower abs and back of the legs.

Jazz funk

A direction of dance that makes you think and sweat. A lot of people come to the class and, judging by the preparation, they are constantly involved in hip-hop, latin and club dances: the movements of a person immediately make it clear what skills he has. Any dances make it possible to feel comfortable in a variety of situations, because each learned step helps to go further and show their intellectual and physical skills. Jazz funk, in addition, also makes it possible to move beautifully in a club or at a corporate party. Moreover, it is not necessary to memorize the bunch, the main thing is to understand how the elements are connected, where you can insert one or another wave of the hand.

The lesson gives the feeling of participating in a TV show about dancing – it seems to be fun, but also with good tension for the muscles. The figures of those who exercise regularly also speak of the effect.


Tribal - physical activity dance is not easier than ballet, but in some ways even more difficult. To perform slow and smooth movements, like some snake woman, you will have to train for more than one month. But as a result, the muscles of the press, back, arms, legs will be pumped, a sense of balance and a more sensitive attitude to music will appear. Tribal is performed both solo and by several people. In addition, many people love this dance because of the costumes. Numerous bracelets, a bodice and a long skirt create a feeling of hypertrophied femininity. Great efforts must be made - especially standing literally in soap in front of the mirror and trying to move some tricky muscle on the press to the beat of the music. But as soon as it starts to really turn out, it immediately seems that you are elegant, magical and dramatically mysterious - you can immediately go on stage to surprise the audience with your talent there. In such classes, people like to talk about energy, femininity and natural beauty. Dance in philosophy is somewhat reminiscent of yoga, it also leads its own mystical path and shows unexpected life situations. If you do not think about the destination and do not associate yourself with the radiance of divine power, then you can simply create a very beautiful body. This will not take much time. The main difference between dance practice and fitness is that after such classes there is no strong feeling of hunger. And this just allows you to work better on the forms.


Barre's occupation can be called dance only conditionally - there are no "connections" here. But there is that very stretch, without which ballet is just ridiculous gestures, and Jazz modern will resemble the dances of the peoples of the north. In barre, the instructor focuses more on the elements of rhythmic gymnastics and makes you feel your body from a new point of view. The lesson is very well suited in addition to dance steps in other areas and will allow you to learn to move more plastically and gracefully.

Text: Maria Lifar

Photo: Vostock Photo

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tips on how to quickly tighten the body

How to get in shape if there is no time to visit a healthy lifestyle club, and the beach season is about to begin? This question is relevant both for women who have recently given birth, and for those who, for some reason, have gained excess weight and now want to get rid of it. Fortunately, nothing is impossible, and quickly getting the body in shape is much easier than it seems.

Making a plan to get the body in shape

If you are planning to get rid of excess volume and achieve an ideal relief figure, it is not enough to give up junk food or do certain exercises every day. An integrated approach is needed. It is also important to understand that weight loss should be gradual. It is quite possible to lose 10 kg in a week, but this will negatively affect health. Therefore, in order to quickly and safely bring the body into shape, follow the plan.

Daily routine

In order to get rid of extra pounds, you need to properly manage your own time. First of all, you need to normalize sleep patterns: it is he who is responsible for the mechanisms of regeneration and helps fight excess fat. Sleep in a well-ventilated area and at least 8 hours a day. Do not overeat at night: refuse food 2-3 hours before bedtime. Get rid of the bad habit of night snacking with Herbalife Nutrition's Formula 1 Evening Shake. This protein product helps to stop overeating. It will give a long feeling of satiety, and tryptophan, which is part of it, normalizes sleep.

Regular training

Getting the perfect beach body without regular physical activity will not work. You need to do at least 3 times a week and take 1-1.5 hours to train. Why is it important?

  • Metabolic processes are accelerated, therefore, fat is burned faster.
  • The blood is saturated with oxygen.
  • The work of the cardiac and respiratory systems is normalized.
  • Stress goes away, sleep improves.

In this case, before physical exertion, it is recommended to consult with a specialist. In the presence of certain diseases, certain types of training will be contraindicated. However, this does not mean that you will have to give up sports: for weight loss, morning jogging or regular walks at a pace that is comfortable for you is enough. The main thing is not to miss classes!

New diet

From the daily menu, once and for all, trans fats, which negatively affect the health of the body, should disappear. Include more fiber, protein, vegetable fats and slow carbohydrates in your diet. Avoid store-bought sweets, soda, and overly fried or fatty foods. Fast food provides the body with a mass of energy, which is then deposited in the body in the form of excess volumes. Normalize your diet to improve your health and lose weight faster. At the same time, you do not need to eat only salads or low-fat yogurts: a healthy diet is also very tasty!

Toning exercises

To put the body in order and get rid of excess volumes, follow the chosen program. It is compiled individually, so we recommend visiting a healthy lifestyle club. Experienced consultants will develop an optimal training program that will bring maximum benefit. By the way, the simplest warm-up will help to make classes easier and more enjoyable.

It's interesting: Warming up oxygenates your blood, speeds up your metabolism, and promotes faster processing of exercise by-products in your muscles*.

What is needed for a good result? Two types of load. Cardio and strength training is a great way to quickly get rid of excess weight and tone your muscles.

Working on the shoulder girdle

To restore tone to the arms and shoulders, strengthen the back and tighten the figure, several exercises for the upper muscle group will help.


Choose a comfortable hand position: narrow and wide. The advantage of the exercise is that it can be performed at home: it does not require any specific simulators and equipment. Take an emphasis lying down, place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and begin to slowly lower yourself until your chest touches the floor. Then return to the original. Make sure your back and legs stay in a straight line and your stomach is pulled in.


If you have a horizontal bar at home, great: You can do this exercise in the morning and evening, before going to bed. Pull-ups not only strengthen muscles, but also perfectly develop endurance. Choose the optimal grip and the way to perform the exercises, just remember that sudden movements are contraindicated here!

Dumbbell Raise

To do this, you will need dumbbells, which can be successfully replaced with two half-liter bottles of water, sand or any cereal. Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Start spreading your arms to the sides, making sure that there is enough tension in the muscles. Hold at the top, start slowly lowering.

Reduce the waist

To work out this area, you will need a hoop simulator. Spin it for at least 15-20 minutes a day to see great results in just two weeks. An additional load will give the bar: this simple exercise perfectly works out all muscle groups, including the oblique abdomen. The result will not keep you waiting: soon you will notice that your figure has become more toned, and the excess volume has left the waist area.

Rocking our legs

Feet tend to get very little attention. As a result, excess volumes leave here last. A few simple exercises will help to make the buttocks more toned and the hips slender:

Lunges. Extend your leg forward, place it on the floor and bend your knee to 90 degrees. The back should rest on the toe. Spring back and return to the starting position. Repeat. Keep your back straight.

Squats. Choose the most comfortable way of squats for you and do them daily, at least 50 times a day. You can divide this process into 3-5 approaches, it will be easier for beginners.

"Bicycle". Lie on your back with your hands under your head. Raise your legs and start "pedaling", while tensing your muscles. You can take 1-2 minutes to complete the exercise.

Develop endurance

In order for the load not to bring discomfort, it is necessary to increase the overall endurance of the body. This requires special training.

It is important! Intense training provokes the accumulation of lactic acid, which can inhibit the process of muscle building. To avoid this, aerobic exercise is used, which increases the rate of oxygen transport to the tissues**.

What loads are suitable for losing weight?

  1. Run.
  2. Swimming.
  3. Cycling.
  4. Dancing.
  5. Classes on the treadmill in the gym.

By the way, even going to the store is also cardio, and with weights. So you can train, even doing the usual household chores.

Healthy Eating Rules

Losing weight without resorting to strict diets is real. Fasting will not bring any benefit to your body, but the transition to a healthier diet will not only help you get rid of excess weight faster, but also improve your general condition. Proper nutrition is the key to success, and an Herbalife Nutrition Consultant can help you create a healthy and balanced nutrition plan.


The main building component of human muscles. Without this valuable amino acid, it is impossible to function normally. A healthy adult should get at least 25 grams of pure protein daily. The diet should include meat, dairy products and fish. If you know that your body lacks protein, you can get the lack of it with the help of "Formula 1" from Herbalife Nutrition. This product contains up to 14 g of protein (depending on taste) and a whole range of essential trace elements. Everyone can consume Formula 1: it is the basis of a weight loss program, but it is also great as an additional source of protein for bodybuilders.


You can often hear the opinion that reducing fat in the diet helps to lose weight faster. This is partly true, but only if we are talking about trans fats. These products do not bring any benefit, but they contribute to an increase in bad cholesterol. But natural fats (including the well-known fish) are the basis of the “transport system” of our body. They help distribute vitamins and minerals, delivering them to the internal organs. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are especially valued. In the Herbalife Nutrition line, this product is presented in the Herbalifeline Max* supplement. The premium omega-3 formula is free of fishy aftertaste, providing essential nutrients to the brain and heart.


A source of energy without which it is impossible to live. The reduction of this component in the diet leads to a breakdown, inhibition of thought processes. However, fast carbohydrates not only saturate the brain, but can also provoke obesity. You can avoid this by eating fiber. Slow carbohydrates allow you to achieve a long feeling of satiety, and the high content of useful components has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the digestive tract.

Water balance

To ensure the proper functioning of the body and normalize metabolism, it is necessary to drink at least 1.5 liters of pure water daily.

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