In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I love dancing in The Nutcracker, but I feel like my training gets totally sidelined during Nut season. What can I do to make sure I'm still progressing (and will be in good shape for summer program auditions!)?
It's the classic struggle, right? Inevitably, you end up lopsided after performing the same choreography over and over during Nutcracker runs—and yes, it's definitely hard to focus on training when you're constantly in the theater.
My first piece of advice is to make sure you're still taking a full class, every day. Performing isn't training, and a quick barre before the show won't cut it. I'd also recommended cross-training, because non-dance exercise will help combat any imbalances developing in your body. Pilates and Gyrotonic are good low-impact options.
When you're onstage, focus on maintaining proper technique, and always push yourself, whether it's the first show or the 30th. The good news is that performance periods tend to build stamina, especially if you're going all-out every show. Maximize that effect by throwing in a few extra relevés before putting on your shoes, or doing some simple strengthening exercises while you're waiting in the wings. Get a little creative, and you'll be in fabulous shape for those summer intensive auditions!
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.