This month, dance teams from around the country will head to sunny Daytona Beach, FL, for the National Dance Alliance Collegiate Championships. We know you’ve been working hard and are ready to rock the stage, but are you ready for fun in the sun? Pick up the items on our checklist to ensure a fabulous (and sunburn-free!) trip.
A wide-brimmed hat
Lip balm (with at least SPF 15!)
SPF 30 Sunscreen
After sun lotion with aloe vera
You’ve heard it a million times: Load up on antioxidants! But what are you actually trying to rid your body of?
It’s no surprise that dancing requires our cells to consume a lot of oxygen. But did you know that this extreme oxygen use actually attacks the cells in our bodies, damaging them and producing oxidants called free radicals? Think of these free radicals as little monsters inside your body. They’re missing an electron and are unstable. In order to stabilize, they “steal” the electron they need from your other healthy cells, resulting in oxidative stress—damage to your muscle fibers, proteins, red bloods cells, cell membranes and DNA. This means we need to eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods, like acai berries. —Caroline Lewis-Jones
Caroline says: Get plenty of sleep, avoid excessive UV light and toxins like cigarettes and alcohol and relax (smile more!) to help your body in the fight against oxidative stress.
DID YOU KNOW? The best way to snap out of an afternoon slump may not be a doughnut run. According to a new study published in the journal Neuron, it’s protein not sugar! that may be the best boost. The researchers found that protein, like a hard-boiled egg, helps keep our orexin cells the brain cells that produce the stimulant that gives us energy active, while sugar actually prevents them from functioning properly.
Your Aches and Pains Addressed: Bunions
You feel: Soreness and swelling around a bulging bump on the outside of your big toe joint.
When you’re not wearing pointe shoes (they jam your toes together, causing or worsening bunions!), wear roomy shoes that give all your toes space to move freely.
Place a cold compress on the bunion after dancing to reduce pain and swelling.
Anytime it’s comfortable, place padding (like Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Cushions) around the bunion to ease the pressure and discomfort.
Feeling flushed after class? Place an ice cube on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth for a few seconds. Doing so will trick your body into thinking it’s cooler than it is, and the redness in your face will start to go away.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "