Get Happy!

Amid a busy rehearsal schedule, exams and much-too-cold weather, it’s easy to find yourself down in the dumps these days. (Hello, Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka depression often caused by the long winter months.) While you may be inclined to hole up in the studio and focus on nailing a new variation, that can actually make you more depressed. Here, former Martha Graham Dance Company member and psychologist Sophie Giovanola, Ph.D., suggests fun and easy ways to boost your happiness. Although they may seem obvious, these simple, relaxing activities are the perfect way to keep your mind and body in balance.

Soak in a warm bath surrounded by aromatherapy candles. (We love soothing lavender-scented ones.)

Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. (Bright pink toes? Yes, please!)

Listen to relaxing music you enjoy. (Adele, Sara Bareilles—you get the idea.)

Laugh with your best girlfriends. (Plan a sleepover. No boys—or their drama—allowed.)

Have a meaningful conversation with your family. (Believe it or not, chatting with Mom and Dad can be the perfect remedy for a bad day.)

Go shopping! (Buy yourself a new shirt—bonus points if it’s on sale!)

Dr. Giovanola says: Happiness is linked to self-esteem, which can be an issue for dancers who are constantly looking in the mirror and being compared to others. Take some time to recognize the little things you’re good at—besides being a dancer. They can be very rewarding.

 

Maple Magic

Move over, blueberries: There’s a new super food in town. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island are calling maple syrup a super food because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, their study suggests that the syrup may help keep your blood sugar levels in check. The next time you’re looking for something sweet to add to your yogurt (fresh or frozen!), pancakes or oatmeal, reach for the maple syrup.

 

 

Did You Know?

When you skip a meal, you’re causing a chemical imbalance that may be making you grumpy. A recent study at Cambridge University found that when our serotonin a neurotransmitter that greatly influences our mood) levels drop, it’s more difficult to control our tempers. Since seratonin plummets when you haven’t eaten, be sure to toss a few healthy snacks in your dance bag before a long day of rehearsals.

 

Use your break from rehearsals to enjoy time with family and friends in a healthy way (like snowshoeing and building snowmen!). You’ll head back to the studio in January refreshed and ready to rock 2012!

Health & Body
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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?

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Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

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