Spending time with your dance team or castmates can make you a happier, more relaxed person. According to a new study from the University of Michigan, bonding activities that bring girls physically closer increase levels of the hormone progesterone. This hormone makes you feel cheerful and relaxed. High levels of progesterone also reduce anxiety. So the next time you’re perfecting a routine with your gal pals, remember that you’re helping each other feel better—even if you’ve gone over the same steps ten times! —Aminta Iriarte
What’s the secret to making it through back-to-back dance classes? In addition to endurance-building cardio, drinking beetroot juice might be one key to success. A new study done in the UK found that drinking beetroot juice helped participants exercise 16 percent longer. Beetroot juice contains nitrates, which reduce the amount of oxygen you need—so you’re less tired and have more stamina. Order a beetroot blended juice at your local juice bar, and ask your server to mix it with carrots and apples for a sweeter drink. —Lauren Levinson
Swap It Out! Holiday Edition!
Hot, seasonal drinks are delicious, but they can be high in fat and calories. Switch a few ingredients to warm up without tipping the scale!
- Make your pumpkin spice or gingerbread latte lighter by using skim milk and requesting only 1–2 pumps of the syrups (instead of the usual 4). Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg powder into the drink to add flavor.
- Substitute chai tea for your soy chai latte. The chai latte mix contains sugar, but a tea bag has none. Add a bit of steamed soymilk. You’ll get the creamy taste, but less milk means fewer calories. Finish with a teaspoon of honey, which is a natural sugar substitute.
- Whip up your own healthy hot chocolate by mixing boiling water and dark chocolate powder. Make sure the cacao is at least 60 percent dark for antioxidant benefits. A bit of skim milk and few mini marshmallows make the mixture sweet.
Toe Troubles: How to Deal with Ingrown Nails
What it is: An ingrown toenail develops when the skin grows over the edge of the nail. You might have one if the area around your toenail is pinkish, swollen and sore. If it starts to pus, it may be infected, and you should see your doctor immediately.
Why it happens: Keeping your toenails trimmed when you dance is important, but cutting them too short can cause ingrown toenails. Poorly fitting shoes can also play a role, so make sure all of your dance ones fit properly!
How to treat it:
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt three times a day, then keep them dry for the rest of the day. Make sure to wear tights or socks in your dance shoes to absorb excess moisture caused by sweat.
- Gently lift the toenail and place a piece of dry cotton under the ingrown part. This will help it grow out.
Did You Know?
The average cough comes out of your mouth at 60 miles (96.5 km) per hour. It’s cold and flu season, so make sure to get extra vitamin C! And cover your mouth!
You use an average of 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile. Just another reason to show off those pearly whites!
Photo by Erin Baiano
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽