Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Balancing a Healthy Life

It's no secret that health and fitness are key elements for dancers. Nourishing your body with healthy choices that fuel you throughout the day is what sustains the intense energy that dance demands. Although dancing is a wonderful exercise, when it's your job, your career, your focus, just dancing is not enough. A dancer must tone and strengthen their body while also working on endurance. If you get winded after one combination, how will you make through an entire show? 

Gone are the days of black leotards and pink tights for me. It's been some time since a weigh-in has been required and it's certainly been a few years since I've been the dancer auditioning. I'm the person behind the table now. The choreographer, the judge, the instructor, the professor. Unfortunately for me, I've allowed myself to relax in some of my health habits because I'm no longer the dancer auditioning and training. 

It may not seem like my life has changed since my training days, but a lot of things are different than before. Surprisingly enough, even though I teach dance, it doesn't mean I get the same work out I did when I was a student. First of all, I'm not really dancing. I'm talking. A lot. I'm changing music, adjusting people, surveying their technique, fixing and helping at every point of the class. Yes, I participate in the movement action, but aside from demonstrating the action, the focus is on my students, not me--as it should be. Then there's lecture classes. Again, I'm talking. A lot. 

I'm also sitting at my desk a lot more. I thought I spent a lot of time on the computer as a student, but as a professor and academic advisor, the screen time has increased. I answer emails constantly, grade papers online, research tips, trends and styles, too. It's part of the job! 

There's this other little change in my life, too. No big deal or anything, but a man now resides in my house. A man who is 90% Dr. Pepper and 10% Froot Loops. His sense of diet and health is a little off base, but it's fine. After all, he's a tall, lanky man who go, go goes like the Energizer bunny. The man has so much energy to burn so eating a couple of donuts for breakfast and having a night out for dinner is no big deal. We're both busy and night time is our only time to catch up and see one another. At the end of the day, we're both so tired that we hop on the couch, flip on the tube, and catch up on our favorite shows. 

When it comes to dinner time at our house, we have a bit of a difference in our taste buds. I like a good green salad with a light dressing. He likes ranch with a side of lettuce. I like a lot of veggies in my dishes. He likes a lot of meat in his dishes. See where I'm going? Between that, my TV time spent with my hubby, and the change in my work life, I've been having a little trouble getting back on track. 

It's so easy to slip off the straight and narrow. Even when I was working hard to stay fit and healthy, I would be able to focus for so long before I loosened the reigns and indulged...maybe so much so that I undid all the good. Very frustrating. Finding the balance, finding what works for you so that you can stick to it consistently takes a lot of focus, determination, and a self discipline. 

Recently I've made a few changes to help myself get back on track. Over the last couple of years, I've been using a lame excuse that I can skip a work out or indulge because I'm not in performance mode right now. It's totally fine. Except, Self, it's not. I may not be auditioning every day of my life, but I am dancing and creating. If I'm not fueling my body with good food and strengthening myself in new ways, then I'm letting not only myself down, but my students as well. I've got to be on my A game and that means taking care of myself so that my brain and my body function at 100%. Not only that, I want to feel healthy and happy in my body. 

When I do the simple things I know to do, I feel so much better, happier, and healthier. There really isn't a special secret to getting your health and wellness back on track. You just have to do it. Check back tomorrow and I'll fill you in on the scoops and all that's helping me right now! 

What helps you keep a healthy and balanced life? 


  1. Love this and your honesty! I can't wait to see your tips!


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