#MindfulnessMonday: How Sara Mearns Finds Balance
It's a well-known fact that self-care is extra important for dancers. We're super busy and constantly running from school to class to rehearsal and back again. And as dancers, we deal with quite a bit of mental pressure (like our often super-intense desire to be perfect). Not to mention, we're constantly putting our bodies through intense physical stress. So, yeah, it's safe to say that finding some balance in our lives is kinda important. When dancers learn to slow down and take care of themselves, their art is truly better for it.
Which is why, on this #MindfulnessMonday, we were super inspired by New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns' interview over at Sakara Life's The S Life magazine. Mearns dishes about her wellness rituals and how she makes sure she's operating at 100%, even when her schedule's insane. And you should trust her, because not only did she just wrap up NYCB's fall season, but she's heading right into performances for The Red Shoes, which opens at New York City Center later in the week.
"I would say practicing self-care and taking time for yourself is huge," Mearns told S Life Mag. "I can get so stressed at the theater and stepping away, taking a moment to regain clarity and clear your mind is key."
She also believes dancers are athletes and, therefore, need to be treating their bodies as such. "Basically our daily life revolves around our body," she says. "We consider our body to be a sacred temple that needs and deserves the utmost care and devotion. We have to realize that we're not machines, so the more we listen to the body, the longer it can sustain such an intense physical career."
And she admits, it took her a while to learn. "In my early-to-mid twenties, I wasn't as in tune with the important balance between work and rest," Mearns explains. "I have since learned my lesson many times over, and everyone knows that my body comes first when it comes to my daily routine. I have a check list in my head of what I need to do and what parts of my body are hurting and what feels good."
Her top rituals? "Hot showers and stretching are huge morning rituals for me. At night, I take epsom salt baths, ice whatever is hurting, then rub Voltaren cream on my muscles," says Mearns. "I prioritize hydration and drink about 2 liters of water a day, and eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables and good protein."
Read the full interview for more details about her wellness journey, and make sure to take some time out today to indulge yourself—you deserve it!
What a week in the "Dancing with the Stars" universe, amirite? After we bid farewell to Drew Scott and Emma Slater on Monday (in a surprise to pretty much nobody, despite the duo's strong performance in a super-fun freestyle that evening), it was time, last night, for Season 25's Grand Finale. And goodness, I don't know if we've ever seen quite so many perfect scores thrown around the ballroom. The final three—Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson, Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold, and Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas—performed a total of six routines on Tuesday, and five of them earned straight 10s. Yes, those scores were well-deserved; the finalists danced their bedazzled behinds off. But it also felt like the judges were channeling Oprah. YOU get a 10, and YOU get a 10, and YOUUUU get a 10!
Turkey is great and all, but the best part of Thanksgiving? It's watching some truly fantastic dancing on television, courtesy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On Thursday, when your arms are sore from mashing potatoes and/or you need to escape crazy Aunt Linda, head to the living room to catch these super-dancey parade highlights:
Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?
Last week, we highlighted the deliberately, hysterically bad @biscuitballerina Instagram account, created by a then-mysterious dancer with a great sense of humor. This week, the artist behind @biscuitballerina—who turns out to be Royal Ballet of Flanders corps member Shelby Williams—got in touch with us to set the record straight about the intentions of those LOL-worthy posts.
Her photos and videos, with their exaggeratedly cringe-worthy technical flaws, are NOT meant to mock amateur dancers. Instead, Williams is actually hoping the account will help all dancers move past their shortcomings and accept themselves and their dancing.
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.