Chances are, you're regrettably familiar with those unpleasant pre-period symptoms known as premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. PMS is a sign of a healthy, functioning body, but it's still frustrating to deal with every month—especially during long Nationals rehearsals or summer intensive classes. Dance Spirit turned to Dr. Lauren Streicher, a gynecologist and clinical professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, for advice on all things PMS.
What It Is
"PMS occurs just before your period, and goes away as soon as you get it," says Streicher. There are a bevy of symptoms, including bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, and cramping, all of which are caused by the shifting hormones in your body.
How to Get Relief
While a simple Google search yields tons of remedies for PMS symptoms, Streicher emphasizes that the majority of them don't make a difference. "There are lots of myths and quick fixes, from certain vitamins to special diets, but medically, they do nothing," she says. If you're in a pinch before rehearsal and need to ease your cramps and bloating, a cup of peppermint tea, some ibuprofen, and 15 minutes with a heating pad can help. But at the end of the day, Streicher says that one of the best ways to alleviate PMS symptoms is simply moving your body. "Take class—don't take the day off. Any form of exercise or movement will greatly help," she says.
When It's More Than Just a Few Cramps
Most girls experience mild to moderate PMS symptoms, but sometimes they can be more severe. "If you're experiencing debilitating bouts of PMS, ask your gynecologist about birth control pills. They can help regulate hormones and decrease symptoms, or eliminate them altogether," Streicher says. If you're battling crazy bloat, Streicher suggests asking your doctor about a diuretic to combat water retention—especially if you have a big performance coming up.
A version of this story appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Don't Stress About PMS."
Ralph Lauren is kicking off the celebration bright and early with a gender-neutral capsule collection featuring a rainbow version (naturally) of its pony logo. And the brand chose a bunch of influential LGBTQIA+ community members to model the looks—including our favorite danseur in heels, Houston Ballet soloist Harper Watters.
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.