Getty Images

Hey, Dancers! Here's How to Be Your Own Valentine

If you haven't followed through on your New Year's resolution to practice more self-care, then Valentine's Day is the perfect time to start. Below, we rounded up the best ways to pamper, indulge, and heal everything from your muscles, to your skin, to your mind. Your body (and your dancing) will thank you.


Write down a list of affirmations (positive statements or phrases, like "I can nail my pirouettes," or "I deserve to get the role"), and carry them with you. Repeat them aloud to yourself when you wake up, when you're feeling doubt creep in, and when you're getting ready for bed. Studies have shown that when said with intention, affirmations have a positive influence on your subconscious—which translates into a better all-around approach to your dancing.

Getty Images

Get everything out of your head and onto the page, whether it's by journaling or drawing. If you're worried about an upcoming audition, an especially tricky combo, or starting a new level, write it down! If you're not sure where to start, make a "Journal Jar." Write down 15 to 20 journal prompts, ranging from "What scares you?" to "What is something you accomplished this week?" on small pieces of paper. Fold them up and put them into an empty cup or mason jar. Keep it on your desk or nightstand, and grab one when you're feeling stuck.


Instead of coming home after a grueling rehearsal and heading straight for bed, take a bubble bath with lavender Epsom salts, or a few drops of lavender essential oil. You and your muscles will be super-relaxed!

Getty Images

Heal your skin with a hydrating mask, like Glossier's Moisturizing Moon Mask ($22) or Clinique's Moisture Surge Overnight Mask ($35). Both are packed with replenishing ingredients to help restore moisture that layers of stage makeup can strip from your skin.

Pamper your hands with a pea-sized amount of Aquaphor or cuticle cream, and treat your feet to a peppermint foot soak. Mix 3/4 cup of Epsom salts, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 6 to 8 drops of peppermint essential oil together in a bowl, then scoop the mixture into a foot tub filled with comfortably hot water and two peppermint tea bags. Plop your feet in, soaking them for 15 to 20 minutes.


One word: Chocolate! Dark chocolate is anything but a guilty pleasure—in fact, it's chock-full of everything including heart-healthy antioxidants, energy-producing iron, and flavonoids, which help improve blood vessel function.

Getty Images

A version of this story appeared in the February 2019 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Be Your Own Valentine."

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