Recital Relief

Costumes, makeup, stress: Rehearsals for your year-end recital are in full swing, and sometimes it can seem like too much to handle. Don’t fret! Here’s everything you need to know to have a super-successful show.

Fuel Your Bod

Not quite sure what you need to keep yourself going the day of a performance? Follow this food timeline to make sure your muscles (and your mind!) get the nourishment they need to keep kicking through the last 8-count of the night.

Breakfast: Eat within one hour of waking, combining complex carbs like whole-grain cereals, waffles or toast with protein like yogurt, peanut butter or a glass of low-fat milk.

Lunch: Continue with the carb/protein combo, but add some healthy fats, like nuts or olive oil, to power your muscles and give you lasting energy. A turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with a side salad or a cup of vegetable soup is an ideal afternoon meal.

Dinner: The amount and type of foods you should eat depend on how many hours you have to digest.

3–4 hours before showtime: Choose a larger meal consisting of carbs like rice, pasta or red potatoes with a small portion (about 4 ounces for girls and up to 8 ounces for guys) of protein like baked chicken or grilled fish. Add some cooked veggies tossed with a touch of olive oil as a side dish.


2–3 hours before showtime: Eat a small meal, like two or three slices of turkey or chicken with some whole-wheat crackers and a cup of juice. Other suitable options are string cheese with a handful of baby carrots and some crackers, or some cottage cheese with a few slices of pineapple or peaches.

1 hour before showtime: This close to curtain, you should only drink liquids, which are digested easily. Make a smoothie with one cup of low-fat yogurt, a banana and some juice.

Snacks: You may need a snack or two to get you through the day, but instead of reaching for a candy bar, try these healthy, power-packed options:

• an avocado wedge wrapped in a slice of turkey

• one-half cup of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries

• a hard-boiled egg with a few baby carrots

• a handful of raisins and mixed nuts

*Never try something new (like hot chili sauce) on the day of your performance. Stick with foods you know won’t upset your stomach.

Did You Know?

If you don’t wash your costumes between performances, you run the risk of developing some pretty nasty problems, like urinary tract and yeast infections. Yikes! Hand-wash delicate costumes in a basin filled with warm water and a mild soap, like Forever New, and hang dry. If you have any questions or concerns about costume care, talk to your teacher or wardrobe supervisor.

Stressed out? Loosen your rhinestone choker, close your eyes and visualize a calm, peaceful place. Think about the sights, sounds and smells. Take a deep breath and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to rock.

Latest Posts

Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
The cast of Center Stage in a promotional poster (courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Making of "Center Stage," as Remembered by Its Dance Stars

Whether you first watched it in a theater two decades ago or on Netflix last week, odds are you feel a deep connection to Center Stage. The cult classic, which premiered May 12, 2000, is arguably the greatest dance film ever made. (Dance obsessives might take issue with the "cult" before "classic," not to mention the "dance" before "film.") Jody Sawyer's ballet journey—which combines oh-wow-I've-had-those-blisters realism with wait-does-she-have-magic-color-changing-pointe-shoes fantasy—stands the test of time, early-aughts fashion be darned. We've memorized its highly quotable lines, laughed with (and, gently, at) its heroes, and been inspired by its sincere love of dance and dancers.

To celebrate Center Stage's 20th anniversary, we asked five of its dance stars to talk through their memories of the filming process. Here are their stories of on-set bonding, post-puke kissing scenes, and life imitating art imitating life.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search