Everything Dancers Should Know About Electrolytes
Chances are, you've heard of electrolytes—but you might not know what they really are, why you need them, or how to get them. Dance Spirit asked Emily Cook Harrison, a registered dietitian at the Centre for Dance Nutrition in Atlanta, GA, for a crash course on this key performance component.
What They Are
"Electrolytes are essentially minerals—sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium," Harrison explains. They're found in your blood and cells, and are essential for a laundry list of functions. But their primary role is maintaining blood volume, or the amount of fluid that your body, muscles, and blood have at any given time.
Why Dancers Need Them
Low electrolyte levels can lead to painful muscle cramping (Thinkstock)
Electrolytes regulate muscle hydration, and well-hydrated muscles are crucial for dancers. When you start sweating after a particularly intense combo, you're losing lots of the key electrolyte sodium by way of your sweat—and that can cause a myriad of symptoms. "If you're cramping up after a long rehearsal, it's likely because your muscles are dehydrated," Harrison warns.
How to Get Them
A smoothie is the perfect way to replenish your electrolytes (Thinkstock)
You might think grabbing a Gatorade or Powerade is the fastest way to replenish electrolytes, and that's not wrong. Those types of drinks are specially formulated with the right ration of electrolytes. But Harrison warns against their processed ingredients and high levels of sugar. Instead, she recommends choosing foods that are rich in the four key minerals—sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. "A smoothie with banana, almond milk, leafy greens, and a sprinkle of salt checks off all the boxes," Harrison says. You can also keep almonds, chia seeds, carrots, celery sticks, or an orange handy for some quick snacking between rehearsals and sips of water.
A version of this story appeared in the December 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "They're Electro-fying!"
What's better than a good dance joke? They're corny, they're punny, and they're exactly what you need to get you through long Nutcracker days. These 10 jokes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face—no matter how much your feet are hurting.
Some might say Charlize Glass' fame kicked off with a single three-letter word. In 2014, Beyoncé shared a video of the then–12-year-old dancer performing to "Yoncé" on Instagram, along with a simple caption: "WOW!"
But by that point, the hip-hop mini had already performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and won first runner-up with her crew, 8 Flavahz, on "America's Best Dance Crew." And her Queen Bey Insta shout-out wasn't even the pinnacle of her tween career: She earned a spot on The PULSE On Tour as an Elite Protégé for the 2014–2015 season, and performed with Missy Elliott at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in 2015.
These days, the 16-year-old spends her time touring the country as Brian Friedman's assistant at Radix Dance Convention and blowing up YouTube and Instagram with her class-video cameos. And while the Char Char we fell in love with was a hip-hop cutie pie, the more mature artist we see today is sure to rock the dance world for years to come.
You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
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Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
"So you Think You Can Dance" Season 14 finalists Lex Ishimoto and Taylor Sieve shocked fans at home (at least the ones who hadn't thoroughly scoured their respective Instagrams) during Episode 14, when choreographer Mia Michaels asked if either of them had ever experienced "the kind of love that takes your breath away." They confessed that, yup, they had—with each other. The two met at The Dance Awards in the summer of 2016, where they were each named Senior Best Dancer, and went on to tour with the convention as assistants. Before long—and long before their "SYTYCD" journey—they became a couple.
Take a look at Dance Spirit's exclusive interview where they dish on everything from their favorite dates to the dance moves that give them all the feels.
There's a surprising twist to Regina Willoughby's last season with Columbia City Ballet: It's also her 18-year-old daughter Melina's first season with the company. Regina, 40, will retire from the stage in March, just as her daughter starts her own career as a trainee. But for this one season, they're sharing the stage together.
Yes, we all know dancers are strong. But sometimes it takes a truly epic workout video to remind us JUST HOW INSANELY STRONG they actually are.
Behold, National Ballet of Canada principal Svetlana Lunkina's oh-so-casual pre-class exercise:
Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!