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Lucy Vallely Gives Her Top Tips on How to Avoid Burnout

With over one thousand Instagram posts showcasing her latest improv practice or snippet of competition choreo, it's safe to say Lucy Vallely is never not creating. But how does she avoid burnout? Here, she shares her key tactics for staying inspired and energized, in and out of the studio.


Journaling

"Writing down my thoughts and affirmations is so therapeutic," she says. "And it's a great way to spend time alone, which is something I also value. Sometimes I have to force myself to do it, but I never regret it." A few of Lucy's key prompts? 1) Positive affirmations ("so I can become what I think"); 2) Gratitude lists ("which help ground me"); and 3) Word vomit ("so I can get out every last rant, question, or stray thought"). She also rereads previous entries. "It helps me discover more about myself as a human, dancer, and creator."

Listening to Music and Improvising

"When the music's on, I close my eyes and visualize solos, group dances, or myself dancing," she says. "I used to dance around my living room without a care in the world when I was 8 years old, blasting KISS, AC/DC, and Tom Petty. Lately when I improv, I've been channeling that inner 8-year-old."

#SelfCare

Lucy follows a plant-based, vegan diet. "My body is my instrument and it's my job to fuel it properly with fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains," she says. "I supplement my dancing with Pilates, yoga, and gym time. Discovering what makes me feel my best took a while, but finding that balance has been key in keeping my energy up and my mind clear."

A version of this story appeared in the February 2019 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Keeping the Spark Alive."

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Check out our nominations for best choreography below, and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. (You can vote once a day through February 6.) Haven't seen some of the nominated movies? Click here for a look at each one's choreography.

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